Whole Roasted Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients :

Chicken - 1 whole (around 5 lbs)

1.Mix A

Red chili powder -1 tsp

Kashmiri chili powder / Paprika  1 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Lime juice- of one lime

Mix and make a paste

2. Mix  B

Tomato paste - 2 tsp

Mustard sauce - 1 tsp

Garlic ground - 1 tsp

Ginger ground - 1 tsp

Thick yogurt - 2 tbsp


Garam masala -  use 2 tsp of any brand of store bought one / Tandoori chicken masala powder (MDH brand works well)

OR make ur own  in minutes I promise it is sooo worth it.

Home made garam masala: 

Cardamom / elakka - 2

Cinnamon sticks /Karuvapatta- 1 inch piece

Cloves /Grambu  - 4

Coriander seeds/ Malli - 2 tsp

Black pepper corns/  kurumilagu- 1 tsp

Cumin seeds / Jeerakam- 1 tsp

Fenugreek /uluva seeds - 1/2 tsp

Star anise / thakkolam - 1 petal from the flower

Whole red chili/ chumanna mulagu- 2

Nutmeg powder/ Jatikka podi- 1/4 tsp (don't dry roast simply add to powder)

Dried fenugreek leaves / unakka uluva ella - 1 tsp (don't dry roast add while powdering)

Dry roast in an empty pan to warm up (that is warm on touch and the aroma comes out not to brown it) and powder to fine dust using a coffee grinder or mortar & pestle. (I used the entire batch for the chicken)

For stuffing and finishing:

Red onion -1 cut into two

Lime - 1 cut into two

Twine for tying the leg

Olive oil - 3 tsp +


1.Wash chicken thoroughly inside and the outside well (remove giblets or other other parts inside wash and keep that separately) Do not discard skin, it acts as a protective coating on the chicken and retains moisture and makes it tender and juicy.

Pat dry the chicken using a paper towel. Make gashes only on the flesh without tearing skin where ever u can reach. Mere poking with knife works too.

2.  Apply the first mix (A) on all sides (inside and out side) . Refrigerate overnight.

3. In the morning make a paste with mix B apply as shown in between the skin and flesh and on the inside of the chicken. Refrigerate for atleast 4-6 hours. (it could be done along with mix ( A) if u don't mind the garlic giving out an aged taste.)

4. Bring the chicken to room temperature by removing it from fridge at least 1 hour before putting it into the oven so the meat does not get temperature shocked. The chicken will turn chewy if u put from refrigerator to oven straight.

5. Stuff the inside with the lime and onion. Tie the leg with with one hand by making a loop as shown in the pic.This helps the heat to circulate better.

Lay the chicken on the baking dish (I have not made a bed this time)  fold the wings backward so it does not burn while baking.

6. Preheat oven to 400 F apply olive oil on the skin of chicken so the spices do not burn. Bake for 30 minutes then take out and turn  apply olive oil and return to oven remove after 30 minutes turn again return to oven for 10 -15 minutes. The thickest part of the chicken should be 165 -175 F when the chicken is cooked completely check with a meat thermometer.

The plastic thermometer should pop too.

7. Drain and discard the excess fat flowing from the chicken every time u take out the chicken to turn. So the meat does not boil in its own juices

Keep an eye on the chicken after 50-60 minutes of baking as every oven is different if it is not cooked and browning too fast reduce temperature to 350 and loosely cover the top with aluminium foil to prevent further browning.

 If the chicken is cooked well switch off oven and keep in the oven itself  to crisp up for another 10 -15 minutes.This is completely optional as I find only Indians like slightly dry chicken:)

Give a final  brushing of olive oil or butter if u like .Let the chicken rest in room temperature for another 15 minutes to cool down and absorb all its juices.

Slice from skin towards inside like u would slice bread.

Serve tandoori chicken with naan, jeera rice ,salad, raita and fruit salad.