Tandoori chicken

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Tandoori chicken
Chicken Tandoori in Mumbai, India
Course Main Course
Place of origin India[citation needed]
Region or state Indian subcontinent
Creator Kundan Lal Gujral of Moti Mahal [1][2]
Main ingredients Chicken, yogurt, honey, tandoori masala
Variations Tandoori Paneer, Fish Tabdoor
Cookbook:Tandoori chicken  Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken is a dish originating from Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in South Asia, Middle Eastern and Western countries. It consists of roasted chicken prepared with yogurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.


The chicken is marinated in yogurt and seasoned with the spice mixture tandoori masala that is considered[by whom?] moderately piquant in North India and Pakistan, but too spicy in most Western nations.[citation needed] Cayenne pepper, red chili powder or Kashmiri red chili powder is used to give it a fiery red hue. A higher amount of turmeric produces an orange color. In milder versions, both red and yellow food coloring are sometimes used to achieve bright colors, but turmeric powder is both mild and brightly colored, as is paprika, a sweet red pepper powder.[3] It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven), but can also be prepared on a traditional barbecue grill.

History & Cuisine[edit]

Tandoori chicken in Punjab, Pakistan

Tandoori chicken originated in the Punjab before the independence of India and Pakistan.[4][5]

In India, tandoori cooking was traditionally associated with the Punjab[6] and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when Punjabis resettled in places such as Delhi.[7] In rural Punjab, it was common to have communal tandoors.[8] Some villages[9] still have a communal tandoor which was a common sight prior to 1947.[10] Tandoori chicken is also used as a base chicken in many Indian and middle Eastern curries . Therefore, Tandoori chicken forms to be a part of both Indian Cuisine and Mughlai Cuisine .[citation needed] Rather than mostly being eaten as in starters and appetizers, Sometimes it is also eaten as a main course traditionally with naan ( an Indian Flatbread ) and is used in numerous cream based curries .[citation needed]

Tandoori chicken was popularized in post-independent India by the Moti Mahal, Daryaganj, Delhi, owned by Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral and Thakur Das Mago,[11][12] when it was served to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The tandoori chicken at Moti Mahal so impressed Nehru, that he made it a regular at official banquets. Visiting dignitaries who enjoyed tandoori chicken included Daniel J. Sass, American Presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, the King of Nepal, and the Shah of Iran.

The fame of tandoori chicken led to many derivatives, such as chicken tikka (and eventually the Indian dish popularized in Britain, chicken tikka masala), commonly found in menus in Indian restaurants all over the world.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gujral, Monish (7 March 2013). On the Butter Chicken Trail: A Moti Mahal Cookbook (1.0 ed.). Delhi, India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780143419860. 
  2. ^ Hosking, Richard (8 August 2006). Authenticity in the kitchen : proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on food and cookery 2005 (1 ed.). Blackawton: Prospect Books. p. 393. ISBN 9781903018477. 
  3. ^ For instance, see the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Pakistani Cookery pp66-69
  4. ^ Rude Food: The Collected Food Writings of Vir Sanghv By Vir Sanghvi
  5. ^ "Metro Plus Delhi / Food : A plateful of grain". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  6. ^ The Rough Guide to Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra By Daniel Jacobs, Gavin Thomas
  7. ^ New York Times STEVEN RAICHLEN 10 05 2011
  8. ^ "Alop Ho Reha Punjabi Virsa Harkesh Singh Kehal". 
  9. ^ Pind Diyan Gallian PTC Channel - Bilga (Jalandhar) has a communal Tandoor also known as tadoor in Punjabi
  10. ^ http://www.shvoong.com/medicine-and-health/nutrition/1866706-specialities-punjabi-cuisine/
  11. ^ "Hindustan Times: Crystal Awards for Best Restaurants". Delhi Tourism. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Motimahal celebrates Kabab festival". Indian Express. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

External links[edit]