Tandoori Chicken is a succulent and intensely flavourful roasted or grilled chicken that is marinated in yoghurt and some aromatic spices. I find that when I use my own simple blend of spices, the chicken turns out a LOT tastier than when using pre-packaged tandoori mixes.
Clean the chicken pieces and pat them dry, then make a couple of deep slashes on each piece using a sharp knife.
Combine the powdered spices and gently heat them in a pan over low heat until fragrant. Mix together the ginger, garlic, yoghurt, lime juice, toasted spices, food colouring (if you are using it), red chilli and oil until smooth. Pour this marinade over the chicken and massage well. Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours but preferably overnight.
When ready to grill, make sure to remove the chicken from the fridge at least half an hour before you begin cooking so that it comes to room temperature.
BBQ on a grill over hot coals, using low heat to ensure the chicken is cooked through. Make sure you oil the grill so that the chicken doesn't stick, and turn the pieces over every few minutes to get all sides equally done. Alternatively you can grill these in an oven under a hot broiler/grill at around 200 C for about 20-25 minutes per side or until chicken is done. Similarly, turn them over once or twice on the oven tray so all sides are equally done. Of course, this tastes a LOT better done over coals, so if you have the option, use the bbq grill for best results!
For oven-grilled chicken, you can then 'smoke' the chicken with a lit coal and a drop of oil to give it a bbq aroma.
While the chicken is cooking, put the leftover marinade in a pan, add a cup of water to it and simmer it over low heat for about 10 minutes until it thickens and is cooked through. Adjust salt if needed. This can then be drizzled over your chicken when serving. Keep the chicken wrapped in foil until time of serving to retain heat and moisture.
Serve hot with salad, fries, cold drinks, raita, chutneys, naan...whatever you prefer!