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Nadiya Hussain's 'tandoori' oven chicken with burnt butter rice

Nadiya Hussain / 12 July 2019

Nadiya Hussain shares her recipe for cooking tandoori chicken in the oven, extracted from her book Time to Eat.

Nadiya Hussain's tandoori chicken, photo by Chris Terry
Nadiya Hussain's tandoori oven chicken, photo by Chris Terry

Cooking time

45 minutes




For the chicken

  • 4 skinless chicken thighs and 4 skinless breasts, flesh slashed
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, melted
  • 4 tablespoons tandoori spice mix

For the sauce

  • 400g yoghurt
  • 5 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 35g melted ghee
  • 4 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 3 tablespoons tandoori spice mix

For the rice

  • 500g basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 200g butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 litre boiling water

For the red onion apple salad

  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 green apples, cut into thin sticks
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A small handful of fresh mint

To serve

  • Sliced red chillies, to taste
  • Fresh coriander, chopped


I never understood what was meant by tandoori chicken, until I realized it was the type of oven – a tandoor – they were talking about. So I have made the same dish my dad used to serve up in his restaurant, but using our oven at home. It has a similar red hue, but not so red that you’ll question whether you will ever sleep again! It’s served with an onion salad and burnt butter rice.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C and have a roasting dish ready that all the chicken will fit into.

Put the chicken into the tray. Massage the ghee into the skin and sprinkle over the tandoori spice mix. Then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

To make the sauce, put the yoghurt, chickpea flour, ghee, tomato purée and tandoori spice mix into a bowl and combine.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/fan 180°C. Take the chicken out of the oven and pour the yoghurt mix all over the top, then put back into the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the rice. Put the butter into a large pan on a high heat until it becomes a golden-brown colour. As soon as it does, add the rice and salt and stir. Add the hot water and keep stirring until it comes to the boil – when it does, keep stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Pop the lid on the pan and leave the rice to steam on a low heat for 10 minutes.

To make the salad, mix together the onions, apples, lemon juice, salt and mint.

When the chicken is ready, sprinkle with red chillies and coriander and serve with the burnt butter rice.

Nadiya Hussain Time to Eat

Recipe taken from Time to Eat by Nadiya Hussain (Michael Joseph £20). Photography by Chris Terry

Visit our Indian recipe section for more delicious cookery ideas


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.