One of my favourite ways to cook is to stand out by my clay oven, or tandoor, with the fire reaching 100’s of degrees as I carefully and skillfully make the most amazing tandoori dishes.
Hmm, or not.
I’ve never actually ever used a tandoor, which is perfectly fine, because I don’t think I know anyone who actually has. This means you definitely don’t need to invest in a tandoor or risk burning half your garden to enjoy some delicious tandoori chicken at home! Simply mix up a batch of this easy tandoori masala and enjoy your favourite tandoori chicken any time.
Growing up, tandoori chicken was always a family favourite.
Typically, we always had a jar of tandoori paste sitting in the fridge, waiting for the tandoori chicken mood to strike (which it did, often). It’s hard to find a lot of things to agree on for dinner in a family of six, but tandoori chicken was always a hit.
As an adult I experimented with using tandoori spice mixes, which I found much more convenient than a large bottle of paste taking up valuable fridge space. I tried out different store bought packages, seeing which one was our favourite. As I started to become more conscious of what was being put into my body and living #LifeFromScratch, I started reading the labels of every thing I bought. I noticed that most tandoori spice packs (as well as those jars of paste) had the mysterious first ingredient “spices,” followed by a list of preservatives and colourings. Yikes!
Intrigued by why I had spent my life buying tandoori pastes and spices, I started to look into what was put into a typical tandoori spice from scratch. I realized that much like all other masalas, tandoori masala was really just a spice mix; tandoori masala calling for an earthy blend of spices blended into a yogurt marinade. Like any masala blend, the flavours vary from house to house and palate to palate, but my tandoori spice strikes a balance between earthiness and spice. It is full of beautiful, aromatic, warm spices, most of which you can find at any quality grocery store.
Homemade tandoori spice is not only easy to make, it is delicious, fast, and inexpensive.
This tandoori masala from scratch is the perfect earthy compliment to some beautiful organic chicken, potatoes, or even some roasted vegetables. There are no preservatives, no added colours, and nothing else to be suspicious of! Mind you, putting in less paprika and red pepper results in a more muted, brown tone to the masala, but if you like the heat, add in as much pepper as you want to get that beautiful red tone.
I personally don’t mind a little less of that red tone to my tandoori if it means I get to keep that food colouring away from my plate!
- *We like to buy most of our spices from Mountain Rose Herbs with the exception of some spices like Garam Masala that Mountain Rose Herbs does not carry.
- 1 Tbsp garam masala (like this)
- 2 Tbsp cumin powder
- 2 Tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 1.5 -3 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper (or more, to taste)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi), crushed
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
Tandoori Chicken Wings
- 3/4 kg organic chicken wings
- 4 Tbsp high-fat yogurt
- 3-4 Tbsp tandoori masala (recipe above)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon
- unrefined sea salt, to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro & lemon wedges to garnish
- Combine the yogurt and masala in a large bowl, making sure that the spice mix is evenly mixed into the yogurt.
- Add the chicken wings to the bowl and mix well. Add in lemon juice and mix.
- Transfer to air tight container and place in fridge to marinate for 12-24 hours.
- Remove from fridge and bake uncovered for 40 – 50 minutes at 400 degrees, or until cooked through or grill for 15 – 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Sprinkle with a serving of salt, to taste. Serve with a garnish of chopped fresh cilantro and lemon.