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