In Indian restaurants the chicken comes out bright orange-red. No artificial coloring is used in my recipe.
- 2 spatchcock, about 500 g (1 lb) each
- 2 tablespoons ghee (if cooking in oven)
- 175 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) natural yoghurt
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons crushed garlic
- 1½ teaspoons finely grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (page 168)
- ¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek leaves
- 3 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- juice of 1 lime
With a sharp knife cut through the skin of the chicken right down the centre, front and back. Skin the chickens, then make slits in the flesh to allow the spices to penetrate. To make the Marinade, combine the yoghurt with all the other ingredients. Rub the marinade all over as well as inside the chickens and leave for 2 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight. A barbecue with a cover is the next best thing to a tandoor, which is a clay oven heated by charcoal. Make sure the fire has burned down to glowing coals. Place the chickens on a rack above the coals and cook until tender, turning them so they cook on all sides. If more convenient for your kind of barbecue, cut the chickens in half lengthways before cooking.
They may also be cooked in a hot oven at 200¡C (400¡F). Melt the ghee in a roasting pan, put the 2 chickens in the pan, side by side, breasts downwards. Brush with the melted ghee and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the chickens on one side and roast for another 15 minutes, then turn them on the other side and roast for a further 15 minutes. For the final 10 minutes turn them breast upwards and baste after 5 minutes. If your barbecue or oven has a rotisserie they may be roasted on this, but remember to baste a the skin has been removed. Serve hot with parathas or naan and Onion Sambal. You can use my bottled Tandoori Tikka Marinade, which contains all the Marinade ingredients listed above except yoghurt.