This Tandoori Masala Chicken recipe is paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free. It is so creamy and full of flavor, perfect for a cold day – or just when you need some satiating comfort food.
“Tandoori masala is a mixture of spices specifically for use with a tandoor, or clay oven, in traditional north Indian and Pakistani cooking. The specific spices vary somewhat from one region to another, but typically include garam masala, garlic, ginger, onion, cayenne pepper, and may include other spices” (source)
The recipe can range from very very easy to mid-range difficulty depending on whether you would like to make your masala (spice) from scratch or buy a pre-made spice mixture. While I do not think it is hard to make your own spice mixture, it does take extra time, consideration, and cost for all the individual spices. To save time and money on some spices that I don’t use that often (like mace, anise, fennel, etc), I went with a pre-made spice mixture. This one was delicious!: “Gotta Cook Tonight Tandoori”. And it only cost $4!
When looking for a pre-made spice, look for word “Tandoori”. If you cannot find tandoori and can only find garam masala, then you will have to add some extra spices like paprika, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, fennel.
RECIPE: 4 servings
1.5 lb chicken
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp garlic, powdered or minced
1 Tbsp butter or ghee
1/2 yellow or white onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup (or small handful) or fresh cilantro
1/2 can of unsweetened canned coconut milk (use thick top part)
To keep this recipe simple, I recommend using a pre-made spice mix. No, this isn’t cheating! To find a perfect spice mix, look for “Tandoori” and make sure the ingredients are spices ONLY.
To Make Yourself, mix the following:
1 Tblsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
Marinate chicken in a bowl or bag with lemon juice and tsp of garlic, let stand for at least 20-30 minutes (while preparing the sauce), or you can leave in refridgerator overnight.
To start the sauce: heat up butter or ghee in a large pan. Chop up onions and carrots and add to the pan. Stir evenly and cook on medium for 15 minutes until onions are translucent.
Stir and turn heat down to a simmer.
Add in the thick part of the canned coconut milk and all spices. Stir well. Sauce should be thick. Chop chicken into large pieces about 1 inch each, or “bite-sized”. Add in chicken to the sauce. Make sure sauce is still on low/simmer heat.
Chicken will cook in about 20-25 minutes. To check if chicken is cooked, take a piece and cut in half to make sure there is no raw or pink center. Once the meat is white, it is ready to serve!
Enjoy with your favorite side of potatoes or veggies (maybe a curry cauliflower side dish?).