A tandoor is a North Indian clay oven that is about three feet (90 cm) high, usually buried in the ground up to the neck. Live coals are placed in the bottom, and skewers with meat and poultry are angled at a suitable distance from the heat to cook them. It’s the Indian version of a barbecue.
- 16 skinless bone-in chicken thighs (or thighs 16 and drumsticks) (about 5 lbs/2.5 kg)
- 1 cup (250 mL) plain nonfat yogurt
- Juice of 2 limes or lemons
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced peeled ginger root (see Notes)
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced garlic
- 2 tsp (10 mL) coriander powder
- 2 tsp (10 mL) cumin powder
- 2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala
- 1½ tsp (7 mL) salt or to taste
- 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cayenne pepper
- Few drops red food coloring, optional
- Juice of 2 limes or additional lemons
- 1 onion, cut into rings
- Lemon wedges
- Shallow baking pan, lined with foil
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Cut long diagonal slits, against the grain, almost to the bone.
2. In a large shallow nonreactive bowl, mix together yogurt, lime juice, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, garam masala, salt, paprika and cayenne. Add red food coloring, if using. Add chicken, turning to coat and making sure marinade goes into all slits. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for about 2 hours or for up to 12 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove chicken from marinade and place in prepared shallow baking pan. Discard any remaining marinade. Bake in preheated oven until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 45 minutes.
4. Transfer pieces to heated platter and squeeze lime juice over top while still warm. Discard accumulated juices. Garnish with sliced onion rings and lemon wedges.