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Tandoori Chicken with Pilaf

Tandoori chicken is a popular Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of roasted chicken prepared with yoghurt and spices.

Tandoori Chicken with Pilaf
Tandoori chicken is a popular Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of roasted chicken prepared with yoghurt and spices.
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, flattened
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori paste
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • juice of ½ lemon
For pilaf
  • dash of oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
For raita
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, flesh only, finely diced
  • ½ cucumber, finely diced
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander, torn roughly
Instructions
Procedure for the chicken
  1. Cut chicken down the centre of the backbone, from the cavity to the neck. Remove the backbone. Flatten the chicken out - breasts should be in the middle of the chicken and wings and legs on the outside.
  2. Place some cling film over the top of the flattened chicken and using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, bang it until it becomes evenly flat. You can get your butcher to do this for you.
  3. Mix together tandoori paste, yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon and rub all over chicken, top and bottom.
  4. Place the chicken on a rack in a baking tray lined with foil and bake in a hot oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour (usually 20 minutes on each side) depending on size of chicken and popping it under the grill for the final 5 minutes.
Procedure for the pilaf
  1. Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan.
  2. Lightly sauté onions, garlic, spices in oil for a few minutes until onion is opaque. Add pistachios.
  3. Add rice and cook for a further minute, coating the rice with the spices.
  4. Add a stock cube to the boiling water. Add the stock water to the rice and stir. Add a pinch of salt and cover with a lid.
  5. Reduce heat to as low as possible and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir rice through and serve when you are ready. It doesn’t hurt to allow it to rest for a while!
Procedure for the raita
  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl.
To serve
  1. Cut the chicken into 4 pieces. Add an extra dollop of yoghurt on the chicken, serve with rice and raita.

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