Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken 2

I have a problem. Whenever someone talks about a certain food with passion, I immediately have a craving for that food. Whenever I read a recipe, I also have a craving to eat the product right away.

The other day, I was reading David Lebovitz's Tandoori Chicken post on his blog and I said: Gosh darn it! I'm going to make me some Tandoori chicken.

For those of you who don't know, David Lebovitz used to work for Chez Panisse in Berkeley in the pastry department. Chez Panisse = super famous. So famous that for the 6 years that I have lived in Berkeley I have never eaten there once. It's because I like to admire famous thing/people from afar...and also because it costs something like $95 for a meal. Instead of saving that $95 for a fancy dinner, I went and blew it all on lunches for 2 weeks! I know, I know, shame on me...I cannot control my binge eating.

In any case, being the cheap skate that I am, I figure that why should I spend that much money for people to cook and serve me while I can get recipes from David Lebovitz, the inside man, for free! Since it was free, I am not too stingy with the sharing, so here you go, free recipe from David Lebovitz! (with adjustments made because I can't afford or find some stuff on it)

8 pieces of skinless chicken drumsticks (on sale)
3/4 coarse sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander (I used fennel seeds that I roughly chopped up)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Tandoori spice mix (I use this to compensate for any missing spices)
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
juice of one fresh lime
1 tablespoon finely-minced ginger
2 cloves garlic - minced


Mix the salt, cumin, coriander/fennel, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, chili powder, and pepper together.

Mixed spices

Throw them all in a large Ziplock bag.


Add to that 1 cup of plain yogurt. Heh. I used the same spice mix bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime in the bag. Add ginger and garlic (sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the ginger and garlic).

Use a sharp knife to score several times in each chicken pieces then throw them chickens in and squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and close the bag. Use your hands to massage the mixture until they reach a nice uniform salmon pink color.

Massage marinade

Phew, the chicken must be tired of all of the massaging. Let them rest in the bag and soak up the spices for at least an hour. You can use this hour to make molasses cookies like I did. Or you can go for a run.

When the chickens are done marinading, I fried them on my piping hot cast iron skillet with some vegetable oil.

Frying marinade chicken

Be sure to fry until each sides are dark and the juices run clear.

Browning chickens

After frying them. I popped them in the oven and baked at 425 degrees F for about 10 minutes to make sure that they are thoroughly cooked.

Tandoori chicken

Then eat and thank David Lebovitz for the free recipe.


  1. can i borrow some spices? I accidentally bought another thing of cumin that I can trade you with! :D

    Also, we should plan a trip to Chez Panisse sometime and then to Ad Hoc. :D

  2. But I already have a thing of cumin, Helen! I do have two things of cinnamon... I will let you borrow my spices whenever you want!