22 February 2010

Tandoori-style Chicken

I've finally managed to track down the Gujarat Masala Curry paste required for this Waitrose recipe. Lundulph chose it ages ago and I should really have done one of the other recipes in the collection, but I'd set my heart on this one and so I've not made any progress on Ye Olde Recipe Collection until now.


The original recipe is here. I had twice the weight of chicken in the shape of fillets, so decided to do a double dose of this dish. The chicken is accompanied by a raita, a salad and chapatis. The below recipe incorporates the changes I made to the original recipe.


150 g Veeraswamy Gujarat Masala Curry Paste
4 tbsp lemon juice
0.5 tsp turmeric
0.5 tsp sweet paprika
600 g full fat Greek style yoghurt
1 kg chicken fillets
250 g cucumber
20 g fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 red onion
3 tomatoes
6 chapatis

  1. Mix the curry paste, 2 tbsp lemon juice, turmeric, paprika and 400 g yoghurt together well in a non-metallic dish. Place the chicken in the marinade and make sure it's well covered. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge 90 minutes.

  2. Peel and dice the cucumber finely. Wash and chop the mint leaves finely. Stir into the remaining yogurt, season, then cover and put in the fridge.

  3. Peel and slice the onion finely. De-seed the tomatoes and slice thinly as well, then combine both into a salad and refrigerate.

  4. Cook the chicken under a medium grill, that has been pre-heated. Turn every 10 minutes or so, so that the chicken breasts are evenly cooked through and through.

  5. Once the chicken is ready, heat up the chapatis as per the instructions on the packet. In the mean time, slice the chicken into small pieces and serve so that the warm chapatis can be filled with the chicken, salad and raita.

As usual, I felt the need to add steamed broccoli to this meal. I also bought some baby chestnut mushrooms, but decided to save for our Friday dinner.

Next time, I think I'll only use 300 g of the yoghurt for the marinade and use the rest for the raita. In fact, the amount of mint and cucumber was not doubled, so what's on the photo of the card is far from what you'd end up with, had you used the listed amounts.

After I'd mixed the marinade, I couldn't resist to have a taste of it. It was very yummy and I think would be excellent as a dip for crisps or tortilla chips just like that.

The de-seeding of the tomatoes was a first for me. I've never had them like that and I felt a lot of the tomato got discarded, but it'll make for a less watery salad. It was a bit of a faff doing it though. I've saved the seeds and frozen for future use.

I also saved the stalks of the mint, I intend to chop them finely and make into tea.

Dicing the cucumber finely made me wonder how advisable this is - cucumber has a tendency to go very watery if cut too finely and indeed this one did. I think it'll benefit from de-seeding too. The raita was very tasty and worked very nicely with the chicken, but the mint was quite dominating, so I'd use a bit less. If I'm to make it for poppadoms, I'll cut the cucumber even finer.

The marinade was quite mild and delicate, once the chickens were ready, I should perhaps have done a bit of basting during the grilling. And the red onion was one of the dominating flavours too, so maybe swap it for something milder, like chives or shallots.

I should do some research on chapatis and see if I can make my own.

Oh, and I had a quick look in my Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery book, which has a whole chapter on the garam masala spice mixtures and one of these is the Gujarati garam masala from the Western parts of India. It has over ten different spices and is a dry mixture. I might give it a go one of those days.

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