Tandoori chicken

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This article is about the food. For the song, see Tandoori Chicken (song).
Tandoori chicken
Chicken tandoori in Mumbai, India
Course Main Course
Place of origin Delhi[1][2][3][4]
Region or state Indian Subcontinent[5]
Creator Kundan Lal Gujral of Moti Mahal[6][7]
Main ingredients Chicken, yogurt, honey, tandoori masala
Variations Tandoori paneer, Fish tandoori
Cookbook: Tandoori chicken  Media: Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken is a dish originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in India, other South Asian countries, and over the years it has also become popular in other parts of the world mainly United Kingdom and Southeast Asia. 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.[8] It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven).

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 Delhi at the Moti Mahal Delux restaurant.[9][10][11][12] The dish is believed to be invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, a man who founded the restaurant called Moti Mahal Deluxl in Delhi in 1947. Gujral, a Punjabi Hindu[13] moved to Delhi, after the partition and started a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux in the Daryaganj area of Delhi.[14][15][16][17] It was in this restaurant that Gujral invented Tandoori chicken, along with other dishes like Butter Chicken.[18][19]


Tandoori chicken is also used as a base chicken in many Indian curries.

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.[20] 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[21][22] 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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who invented the dal makhani?". NDTV Food. IANS. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Moti Mahal offers complete Tandoori cuisine". Daily Excelsior. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  3. ^ http://food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-punjabi-recipes-724174
  4. ^ http://qz.com/528366/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-punjabi/
  5. ^ "Malaysian Tandoori Chicken". CNN iReport. 
  6. ^ Gujral, Monish (7 March 2013). On the Butter Chicken Trail: A Moti Mahal Cookbook (1.0 ed.). Delhi, India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780143419860. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ For instance, see the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Cookery pp66-69
  9. ^ "Who invented the dal makhani?". NDTV Food. IANS. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Moti Mahal offers complete Tandoori cuisine". Daily Excelsior. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  11. ^ http://food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-punjabi-recipes-724174
  12. ^ http://qz.com/528366/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-punjabi/
  13. ^ Laura Siciliano-Rosen. "Delhi Food and Travel Guide: The inside scoop on the best North Indian foods". 
  14. ^ Vohra, Pankaj (2 February 2009). "Moti Mahal The Gem in Delhi's palate". Hindustan Times. 
  15. ^ "London's Moti Mahal restaurant lauded for food hygiene". The Times of India. 
  16. ^ Ananya Jahanara Kabir. "Five exhilarating dance moves that celebrate the traumas of modernity". Scroll.in. 
  17. ^ "Tandoori Chicken - A Royal Punjabi Dish - DESIblitz". DESIblitz. 
  18. ^ "Dish". The Hindu. 17 May 2008. 
  19. ^ Patel, Perzen (4 January 2015). "Eight Kilometres Of Eating In Purani Dilli". The Huffington Post. 
  20. ^ Nancie McDermott, Pauline Cilmi Speers (1999) The Curry Book: Memorable Flavors and Irresistible Recipes from Around the World [1]
  21. ^ "Hindustan Times: Crystal Awards for Best Restaurants". Delhi Tourism. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "Motimahal celebrates Kabab festival". Indian Express. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

External links[edit]