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Homemade Tandoori Paste

Prep Time6 hrs
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time6 hrs 6 mins


  • 4 free-range small chicken breasts cut into about 2cm-3cm cubes
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tbl. ginger-garlic paste. Generally used in every Indian household. I always just do a 1:1 for this paste. I keep some of this paste for stir-fry and Korean dishes as well.
  • 2 tbl. tamarind pulp. A key ingredient for my Tandoori. It adds a unique tang and sweetness.
  • 1 tbl. sumac. I add this in place of more lemon juice since it has sour notes but also as a natural red coloring agent.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tbl. smoked paprika to give it a BBQ clay pot taste and to deepen the red color.
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbl. of garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbl heavy cream as a finisher or a press of whipped cream learned this from a local Indian dude in the LES.


  • Take everything except the chicken and mix it up in a CuisinArt. You will end up with a mixture of sweet, savory, bitter, spicy and sour. All swirled up with those traditional Indian spices.
  • Taste it.
  • Put the chicken cubes into the paste / yogurt marinade for 5-7 hours.
  • Thread the chicken pieces onto some metal skewers. Metal is key here. Rock on.
  • Now turn on your broiler and place the skewers a few inches underneath the flame or element.
  • Turn every 1 minute for the next 4 minutes – every side.
  • If you are doing this on the grill, they should cook about a minute or so on each side.
  • Pull and let them rest for a couple minutes.


This dish has just a little heat but needed since it is Tandoori. I would add more but wifey won't eat it when it's too hot.
If you have a grill, fantastic. Turn it all the way up. You know when it's hot enough when you won't be able to hold your hand over the grill for longer than 3 seconds.
2-3 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer if you are iffy.
Walah. Serve with some thinly sliced white onion, lemon wedges, coriander leaves, a "raita" and naan. Another easy chicken recipe.