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tandoori Chicken.jpg

Tandoori Chicken

I have vivid memories as a child of Dad cooking Mum’s delicious tandoori chicken in his black Weber barbeque for lunch and dinners. I wasn’t really into Indian food as a child, but this dish was one thing I would always love to eat. There’s nothing quite like a good piece of tandoori chicken and I’ve been developing my own recipe for over a decade now. After several adjustments I think I have a pretty good version, which is very easy to make and tastes pretty authentic – only minus the smoky flavour of being cooked in an actual tandoor oven! A few things to note: you should be able to find mustard oil and spices at your local Indian store, I butterfly the chicken as it reduces roasting time and is easier to carve, and lastly, there is no need for red food colouring – the Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric give the lovely, natural colour.

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes + overnight marination / Cooking Time: 60 minutes + 15 minutes resting


For the wet rub:

  • 1 butterflied whole chicken (approximately 1.6kg), skin on
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic and ginger paste

For the yoghurt marinade:

  • ½ cup thick Geek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 heaped tsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tbl mustard oil


  1. Make a few cuts on the legs, thighs and breasts of the chicken with a sharp knife (for intense marination into the meat).
  2. Rub the lemon juice and salt on the flesh and into the cuts of the chicken.
  3. Add the rest of the wet rub (turmeric, Kashmiri powder and garlic and ginger paste) and massage well on the flesh and into the cuts. Cover in a bowl and leave in the fridge for 2 hours to marinate.
  4. Combine the yoghurt, garam masala, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, garlic and ginger paste and mustard oil in a small bowl to make the yoghurt marinade. Add this to the chicken and ensure complete coverage over the meat.
  5. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate. Remove from the fridge 2 hours before cooking.
  6. Preheat the oven to 250°C fan bake. NOTE – the high temperature seals the chicken during initial cooking, retaining moisture while also getting a nice slightly charred skin.
  7. Place the marinated chicken on a roasting rack on a tray, breast and thigh side up. Place chicken in the oven for 20 minutes. Save any excess yoghurt marinade left in the bowl.
  8. Reduce temperature to 200°C, rotate tray/rack 180° and baste with any remaining yoghurt marinade. Cook for further 30 to 35 minutes, until juice run clear when chicken is poked near the leg/thigh joint.
  9. Remove from oven, cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes before carving up and eating!

Serve with naan/pita bread, salad and/or a yoghurt raita.

Enjoy! GPW