Even if you’re not all that familiar with Indian cuisine, you’ve probably heard of tandoori chicken. Tandoori refers to a spice blend traditionally used for marinating meat and fish dishes that are then cooked in a tandoor, a charcoal oven. This particular tandoori masala combines eight different spices. Arnaud first tasted it on a small beach in the Indian state of Goa – he still fondly remembers the taste of grilled shark meat, spiced gently with a tandoori mixture. We just can’t be sure whether this was before or after the Goa rave…
Otherwise, it should be noted that this tandoori masala is more orange than red, because tandoori is only really red when it contains added dye. Also an extra helping of chili can turn your tandoori red – and wickedly hot. Alternatively, beetroot adds red colouring to tandoori powder, although this has an impact on taste and isn’t quite in line with Arnaud’s memory of grilled shark.
Sour and fruity, slightly salty with a pleasant notes of cumin.
Use this tandoori masala with white meat and fish and cook in the oven or on the grill, adding fresh ginger, garlic and fresh coriander to taste. For a chicken marinade: mix the tandoori masala with yogurt, along with garlic, onions, ginger, salt and lemon juice. You can also add a little saffron if you want an extra vibrant color. Dice the chicken and let it sit in the marinade for 20 hours or overnight. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees; depending on the oven and the size of the chicken cubes, the whole thing should be ready in 10-20 min….
The powder isn’t particularly hot by Indian standards, but still plenty intense, so be sure to use it in moderation, making for tandoori-style dishes you’ll have trouble finding in this country.