Friday, 19 October 2012

Goan Green Tandoori chicken

I know that Tandoori Chicken to most people is a vivid red colour, and the thought of having Green tandoori chicken would seem very odd, I too had that mind set before I backpacked throughout India and found out first hand that a lot of "Anglo Indian" traditions are not necessarily authentic. This was the very first meat dish that I had in India, the weeks leading up to this point I had been basking in the vegetarian glory of India. With my Inner carnivore calling and after long hours venturing to the hippy haven of Palolem Goa (the sort of place where the Beatles must have visited) I decided to have what was called Chicken Tandoor on the menu. Although people may believe that Tandoori is a flavour it is actually the name of the oven in that chicken is cooked in, Chicken cooked in a Tandoor oven. A tandoor oven is a huge clay pot filled with coals or wood that reach searingly hot temperatures which subsequently cooks the chicken at lighting speeds which means that the meat has less time to dry out and retains ultimate moisture. 

I have to confess when this chicken was placed in front of me, I was a little confused as to why it was green, I suspect that this is what tandoori looks like from being marinated in fresh ingredients as opposed to dried spices and a helping hand from a cheeky food colouring. I have to say that the memory of this chicken has always stayed with me, green or not it was absolutely delicious.

You will need:
For the garlic, ginger paste:
50g of fresh Garlic
50g of fresh ginger
2 tsp salt

For the chicken brine:
1 1/2 tsp salt
100ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the spice paste:
75g of corriander stalks
2 deseeded green chillies
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp of aesofatida powder
1/4 tsp mango powder
1 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of chilli powder
1 tsp of corriander powder
1/4 tsp of garam masala
200ml natural yogurt

4 large chicken breasts cut into huge chunks

Firstly crush the ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar using the salt as an abrasive.
Dissolve the next lot of salt in the lemon juice ad then pour over the chicken and allow to sit.
In a food processor, pulse the corriander stalks, chillies and spices until it is a fine paste, add the yogurt and ginger and garlic paste and pulse until fully combined.
Pour the spiced yogurt over the chicken and mix throughly, cover and refrigerate over night.
The best way I have found to cook this is to skewer the meat with metal skewers and chargrill each set of skewered meat firstly on a searingly hot grill pan, then when the chicken has colour finish them in an extremely hot oven 220 degrees C for no more than five minutes. Leave to rest then indulge.

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