Tandoori Chicken is one of the most well-known and beloved Indian dishes. There are many versions of this popular dish, named for the Indian clay oven, called a tandoor, in which it is cooked. Most recipes call for a lengthy soak (several hours or overnight) in a yogurt and spice mixture before being loaded into a tandoor where it is cooked at high heat until it is golden or red (depending on the spice mix) and very juicy inside. Since a tandoor is not standard kitchen equipment in most homes, the dish is often cooked on a grill or in a very hot oven.
While the following quick version of Tandoori Chicken captures the traditional Indian flavors of the original, it can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Spicy Indian food is especially good with basmati rice, and the following Basmati Rice Pilaf makes a perfect side dish. The bonus is that the rice can be cooking while the chicken is prepared; complete the meal with a quick salad and fruit.
Shortcut Tandoori Chicken with Basmati Rice Pilaf
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons mild curry powder, or substitute hot curry powder for spicy chicken
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes, according to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
5 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth, canned or made from bouillon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Clean the chicken breasts and cut out any veins or other disgusting stuff; dry between paper towels.
Crack the cardamom pods by hitting them with the side of a knife and place the seeds in a mortar and pestle; crush them, then add the ginger, cinnamon, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and turmeric. Mix well. then add to the yogurt.
Smear the yogurt spice mixture over both sides of the chicken breasts. Let them sit while you get the pilaf started.
Rice Pilaf: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add the onions and stir until they are softened. Add the rice, chicken broth, and parsley. Cover and bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low, and let cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; add the chicken breasts, and brown on each side. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan, and let the breasts cook for 5-10 more minutes, until they are just cooked through.
Spoon the pilaf on serving plates and top with a chicken breast. Garnish with lime wedges and parsley.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 452 Calories from Fat 139
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 31% Protein 29% Carb. 40%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 89 mg
Sodium 838 mg
Total Carbohydrate 45 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 33 g
Vitamin A 12% Vitamin C 4% Calcium 0% Iron 25%