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How to Make Tandoori Chicken Marinade

Learn how to make tandoori chicken marinade from cookbook author Maya Kaimal in this Howcast Indian food video.


It's called tandoori chicken because it cooks in a tandoor oven, which is a large clay oven that gets very, very hot, to about 700 degrees. So it cooks meat really quickly and keeps it very succulent. When meat is cooked in a tandoor it's always marinated, in usually a yogurt based marinade. So I'm going to show you what goes into making a really nice, simple tandoori marinade.

First we have the spices that are going into the marinade. We've got mostly coriander, about a teaspoon of cumin, half teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili pepper. We've got about two teaspoons of paprika, that'll give some nice red color. We have a half teaspoon of fennel, a quarter teaspoon of clove, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper.

Now, I use a lot of paprika to get a nice red color. If you have had tandoori chicken in an Indian restaurant then you know it's a really bright red color. And that actually comes from using a coloring agent. It's a natural coloring agent. But I prefer to just use the spices so mine comes out a little more of a salmon pink color instead of red.

I'm adding some garlic and ginger here that's been finely minced. Putting in half a cup of yogurt. I'm using Greek-style yogurt, so it's nice and thick. Then I have a little lemon juice and salt and a bit of some canola oil. And we'll mix this up.

You can cook all kinds of meat in tandoor ovens. It's a great way to cook lamb. Excellent with chicken. Seafood's also nice. And when you cook meat in a typical tandoor oven it's a very long, deep oven. It's like a pit, really, and you skewer the meat onto really long, long skewers. And then they drop the skewers into the tender oven and the meat cooks vertically.

Okay, we have our marinade here.

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