Saffron Tandoori Hen – Indiaphile

Saffron Tandoori Chicken by

I’ve been speaking with Puja for a very long time about doing a collection of posts on tandoori cooking. I wish to cowl every little thing from naan to restaurant model tandoori hen, and discuss how the oven works and all of that. After speaking about it for weeks and weeks, I lastly stepped up and made a recipe for it.

I did some analysis and got here up with what I hoped could be a really conventional, restaurant-style tandoori hen. What’s particular about this meal is that we really deliberate it out forward of time, and began making it the evening earlier than because the hen has to marinate for not less than just a few hours. We normally don’t begin to make meals till we’re already hungry! Additionally, we not often have meat in the home.

Saffron Tandoori Chicken by

The outcomes weren’t what I hoped for. Consider it as a contented accident, in case you like saffron. I used to be most centered on getting the proper stage of sourness, from yogurt and lemon, and I missed one thing actually apparent. My recipe was slightly gentle on indian spices, noticeably lacking the garam masala. And the colour isn’t proper for tandoori hen. I knew it wasn’t going to be vibrant crimson, as a result of I didn’t wish to add crimson meals coloring like eating places and Indian avenue distributors do. I hoped the chili powder would give it some crimson colour. As a substitute it got here out yellow.

The actual accident was with the saffron. I don’t actually like saffron, however many tandoori recipes name for it, so I assumed I might put in a pinch. Simply sufficient so it was there, however not sufficient to hassle me. Then after I put the pinch in, I made a decision that was simply not fairly sufficient. I shortly grabbed one other small pinch from the bag and threw it within the bowl. Solely I wasn’t paying superb consideration and an enormous clump flew into the bowl with it! Thankfully a lot of the clump landed on the clear a part of a whisk I had resting within the bowl, in any other case the marinade would have been ruined in addition to a number of this extremely prized saffron that Puja’s mother introduced for us from India just a few months in the past. Let’s simply say Puja wouldn’t have been pleased with me! Nonetheless a full teaspoon ended up within the bowl.

In the end the dish labored out. Puja and Kristen preferred it. However saffron was the dominant taste and although the hen got here out nice the saffron taste ruined it for me.

I used the broiler as a result of in my view that’s the most related cooking approach to the Tandoor that we now have in a typical American kitchen. It permits for very excessive warmth cooking whereas letting the butter and juices drip off because the hen cooks. In the long run the feel of the hen got here out simply as I had needed.

I plan to do a extra a correct tandoori hen submit sooner or later, till then you may also attempt Puja’s Baked Tandoori Hen Wings with Cumin Yogurt Dip. I in all probability ought to have thought to make use of that recipe as a beginning place for my marinade. She likes her hen sopping with marinade so it doesn’t have fairly the crisp, dry-on-the-outside texture that mine does.

Saffron Tandoori Chicken by

Saffron Tandoori Hen


  • 8 hen leg and/or thigh items
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp contemporary grated ginger (can sub 1 tbsp powdered ginger)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp floor turmeric
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp floor cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Marinate the Hen (4 hours to 2 days earlier than)


  1. Combine 1 cup yogurt with the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, saffron, cumin, black pepper and cayenne. When properly blended, stir within the different cup of yogurt.
  2. Put together the hen by eradicating any pores and skin and fats. Poke many holes within the hen with a fork or the tip of a knife.
  3. Cowl every bit of hen with the marinade and therapeutic massage it in.
  4. Put the hen and marinade in an hermetic container, or a ziplock bag eradicating as a lot air from the bag as attainable. Retailer within the fridge for 4 hours to 2 days till able to cook dinner.

Prepare dinner the Hen


  1. Preheat your oven’s broiler for 10-20 minutes. In the event you would quite bake it, you possibly can bake it within the oven on a baking sheet at 450 levels, however the texture won’t come out as properly.
  2. Take the hen out of the marinade, wipe off extra marinade. Some is okay however the hen shouldn’t be thick with marinade. Distribute the hen throughout the broiler pan. Depart some house round every bit. Baste every bit with melted butter.
  3. Broil for about quarter-hour on all sides. Baste once more after flipping the hen. Use tongs quite than a fork to flip so that you don’t pierce the hen and launch the juices.
  4. Permit the hen to relaxation for about 5 minutes.

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