21 July 2019 Lorraine 0Comment
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As long as chicken has spice I’m in, there’s nothing worse than bland chicken. No thank you, then I would rather be a vegetarian. Well, one thing’s for sure there’s nothing bland about this Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken. It is full of flavour and delicious. I am sure if it’s cooked in a clay oven it will be even better but I have to settle for my electric oven I guess. Tandoor oven or not I am very pleased with the way it turned out. It is one of my favourite ways to cook chicken.

I have tried making a tandoori chicken a few times before but I wasn’t very happy with the results. Now that I have found that perfect balance of spices this Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken recipe is definitely a keeper. You may think that it’s a long list of ingredients but don’t be intimidated by that, it’s a super simple recipe.

If you wondering what Tandoori chicken is, it’s just chicken marinated with yogurt and a million spices…..just kidding. Well, it is almost all the spices I have in my spice cupboard. It is usually cooked in a clay oven. This dish originated in the Punjab region of India and extremely popular.  It is best served with  lemon wedges and eaten with Naan Bread. For best results the chicken should be marinated for a few hours or overnight.

Chicken legs cooked with yogurt and aromatic spices

Since moving to Johannesburg I haven’t yet found a restaurant that serves great Tandoori Chicken. When we first moved we did go to a place, in a very dodgy part of Johannesburg, with a friend. The Tandoori Chicken was really delicious but that was my very first and last visit to that place. I am a little OCD so I am fussy about where I get my food from and the quality of food too. It’s why I was on a mission to perfect my own recipe.

I wasn’t patient enough to allow my chicken to get a little chargrilled although I did switch on the grill function. You can turn on the grill function and grill your chicken for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Chicken legs cooked with yogurt and aromatic spices

Spicy Butter Chicken Biryani

Aromatic and flavour-filled rice cooked in a butter chicken sauce
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinating Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 500 gram chicken breasts Cut into large cubes
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 1/2 tspn kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tspn garam masala
  • 2 tspn chilli powder I used Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1&1/2 tspn ginger/garlic paste
  • 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • drop of red food colouring (optional)

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 elachie/cardamom
  • 1 black elachie
  • 1 star aniseed
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 1 tspn ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn masala
  • 1 tspn kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 1/2 tspn ground fennel seeds/soomph blended
  • 1x400 gram canned tomatoes
  • 1 tspn honey
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 50 gram butter
  • 2&1/2 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 fried onion for garnishing optional


  • For the chicken marinade, cut the chicken into cubes
  • Whisk the yogurt, ginger/garlic paste and lemon juice together
  • Add in all the dry spices, kasuri methi and salt and mix well to form a paste. Add a drop of food colouring if you wish
  • It's best to roast and grind your own spices before making the marinade
  • Rub the marinade into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight
  • Turn on the grill function of your oven
  • Add the melted butter to the chicken and mix well
  • Place the chicken on a parchment lined baking tray and grill for at least 10 minutes or until chicken is chargrilled

For the sauce

  • Heat butter with a drop of oil to prevent burning.
  • Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, black elachie, elachie, curry leaf and star aniseed. Fry until fragrant
  • Add onion and sauté until slightly brown
  • Add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute
  • Add the masala, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, soomph and allow it to cook for at least 2 minutes. Add a few drops of water to prevent burning
  • Add the tomatoes, season with salt and add 1 tspn honey. Add the cream and mx well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the chicken and raw rice to the pot. Season with more salt if required. Add 2 & 1/2 cups water or chicken stock. Cover and cook in the oven at 180 degrees celcius for 45 minutes to an hour until rice is cooked
  • Cut up the 50 grams of butter and place on top of the rice. Mix through when serving



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