Tandoori chicken

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Tandoori chicken
Chicken Tandoori in Mumbai, India
Place of origin Indian subcontinent
Main ingredients Chicken, yogurt, honey, tandoori masala
Cookbook:Tandoori chicken  Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken is a dish popular in Indian subcontinent consisting 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. It is moderately piquant in India and Pakistan, but the heat is reduced in most Western nations. Cayenne pepper, red chili powder or Kashmiri red chili powder is used to give it a fiery red hue in the original version. A higher amount of turmeric produces an orange color. In milder versions, both red and yellow food coloring could sometimes be used to achieve bright colors, however turmeric powder is both mild and brightly colored, as is paprika, a sweet red pepper powder.[1] It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven), but can also be prepared on a traditional barbecue grill.


Tandoori chicken in Punjab, Pakistan

Tandoori chicken originated in the kitchens of Mughals and Nawabs of the Punjab region. It has been a popular dish in the kitchens of Muslims of the Punjab region for centuries. It was popularized in post-independent India by Moti Mahal Delux restaurant of Kundan Lal Gujaral, in Delhi[2][3] 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 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.


It is popular in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and among Indian and other South Asian diaspora in other countries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For instance, see the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Pakistani Cookery pp66-69
  2. ^ "Hindustan Times: Crystal Awards for Best Restaurants". Delhi Tourism. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Motimahal celebrates Kabab festival". Indian Express. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

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