|Place of origin||Punjab region|
|Region or state||South Asia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Western world and countries with north Indian diasporas|
|Creator||Kundan Lal Gujral of Moti Mahal|
|Main ingredients||Chicken, yogurt, honey, tandoori masala|
|Variations||Tandoori paneer, Fish tandoor|
|Cookbook: Tandoori chicken Media: Tandoori chicken|
Tandoori chicken is a dish originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Western world. 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. 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. It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven), but can also be prepared on a traditional barbecue grill.
Marinated chicken is skewed on to the skewer and cooked in a heated clay oven known as the Tandoor. It is heated by charcoal or wood which also add to the smoky flavour.
Tandoori chicken as a dish originated in the Punjab before the independence of India and Pakistan. Although tandoor cooked chicken dates back to as early as the Mughal era, the dish is believed to be invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, a man who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Peshawar. Gujral moved to Delhi, India after the Independence of India and Pakistan and the subsequent partition of the Punjab Province.
In India, tandoori cooking was traditionally associated with the Punjab and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when West Punjabis resettled in places such as Delhi. In rural Punjab, it was common to have communal tandoors. Some villages still have a communal tandoor which was a common sight prior to 1947.
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 such as butter chicken. Of late, localized varieties of tandoori chicken prepared from the rooyi posto in Bengal have appeared in local eateries, particularly those between Kolaghat and Kolkata. Tandoori chicken was popularized in post-independent India by Moti Mahal Delux in Delhi when it was served to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. There, tandoori chicken became a standard offering at official banquets.
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.
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