This is a true fusion of western cooking style with Indian exotic spices. We made the Indian “Tandoori Chicken” without the tandoor (vertical clay oven) by using a conventional electric oven. The thing with “Tandoori Chicken” is that it cannot be cooked at home (because no one keeps a “Tandoor” at home) and since a regular roast chicken (made the american/european way) would have been too bland for our palate we decided doing a roast chicken the desi way – spice it up with tandoori masala (spice). The result was awesome. Personally we felt we never tasted a better tandoori chicken or roast chicken.
Keeping the bird marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices resulted in a fantastic roast with flavors penetrating deep to the bones. One spice that deserves a special mention is the use of “Shan Garam Masala”. Any regular Indian garam masala can be used but we always prefer using the Pakistani “Shan Garam Masala” for our roasts, grills, kebab, and Kormas. The roast also had an additional nice aroma of lemon and garlic which was the result of throwing in onions, lemon juice and garlic in the roasting pan.
The other interesting part of this recipe was making the chutney or dip for the side. This was a nice experiment we tried and what a tasteful result we got. In Americas and Europe, the roast drippings are used to make a gravy for the side or used to make dressing for salad. Now knowing that these drippings and juices have got the most flavorful elements of the recipe, we had to use it. Generally in India, the chutney for tandoori chicken is made with cilantro and mint leaves blended together with yogurt and some spices. Here, we added all the juices that collected from the roast along with the roasted caramelized onions and garlic into the blender with yogurt, cilantro, green chilies and some sugar. Really, we never tasted a chutney so yummy blasted with all the roast flavors.
Finally, thanks to all the YouTubers and Food Bloggers for posting so many variations of roast chicken that guided us to decide upon the oven temperature and cooking time as we saved ourselves from buying a meat thermometer.