Chicken Tandoori : Date Added: 10 Nov 2009 Ingredients:

8 chicken legs with thighs attached
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoon meat tenderizer unseasoned; natural
For lovely vermillion color:
1 tablespoon red food coloring
2 tablespoon yellow food coloring
Marinade:
1 cup yogurt; plain
2 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ginger root; fresh; chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds; roasted;ground*
1/2 teaspoon cardamom; ground
1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1 ghee or vegetable oil; for basting

Cooking Instructions:

*HOW TO ROAST CUMIN SEEDS: Take a small sauce pan or frying pan and heat it until moderately hot. Put in the cumin seeds and shake pan back and forth or stir until seeds turn from dark green to brown. This happens very quickly. Remove seeds immediately. When cool, grind to a powder. If this seems like a big hassle, just use powdered cumin. Flavor of dish will be only slightly different from original.

**ABOUT GHEE: Ghee is clarified butter. I usually use a mixture of half margarine and salad oil.

1. Remove skin from chicken legs. Prick the chicken all over with fork or thin skewer. Make diagonal slashes, 1/2- inch deep, 1 inch apart on the meat. Mix food colors together, and using a pastry brush, paint chicken. Coloring will stain fingers, so be careful. Put the meat in a large bowl.

2. Add meat tenderizer and lemon juice to the chicken, and rub them into the slashes and all over for 2 minutes. Cover and marinate for 1/2 hour.

3. Put all the ingredients of the marinade into the container of an electric blender or good processor, and blend until reduced to a smooth sauce. (Alternatively, garlic and ginger may be crushed to paste and blended with the remaining ingredients.)

4. Pour this marinade over the chicken pieces and mix, turning and tossing, to coat all the pieces well. Cover and marinate for 4 hours at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight, turning several times. (I refrigerated chicken) Chicken should not remain in the marinade for more than 2 days, because the marinade contains a meat tenderizer which, with prolonged marinating, alters the texture of the chicken meat to very soft and doughy.

Yield: 4 servings

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