Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goodbye England

Fake 20 Minute Tandoori Chicken

It's not red because of no food colouring, and also because it's fake! 

I'm flying to Bangladesh in a few hours, and I thought I'd do a last post before I leave. I didn't want to spend hours cooking the night before my flight, but I still wanted something home made. Thus the 20 minute dish. I'm also (hopefully) moving to London in September, so I've been checking out some of the food blogs from around there. One of the writers from a blog I found, Dos Hermanos, talks about how classic recipes are "debased so they can be squeezed into the schedules of the busy and the lazy" in his post Mission Coq Au Vin: Serving Up A Dodgy Old Boiler. I completely agree with this sentiment. A recipe is as a recipe is. If you deviate from it, you end up with something different from the original. And while it is fine to deviate from the original for whatever reason, it is not fine to label the deviant as the original. It irks me greatly when restaurants do this and serve biriyani or beef bhuna that is obviously not real. Well, sure it's real in the sense that it exists, but it doesn't exist as biriyani or beef bhuna. It's fake biriyani or fake beef bhuna.

Hence the title of this post. I cooked chicken, and my leading ingredient was tandoori masala. But it was in no way authentic tandoori chicken - whatever that may even be. I was short on time but I wanted the comfort of home cooked food and this is what I went for. If you ever find yourself in the same situation, this is possibly the recipe for you. 


  • 180.00 g of chicken breast, diced
  • 1.00 tablespoon of tandoori masala (crazy I know)
  • 1.00 teaspoon of powdered garlic
  • 0.25 teaspoons of powdered turmeric
  • 0.50 teaspoons of cumin seeds (normally I'd toast and ground them)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1.00 tablespoon of natural yoghurt


  • Mix all the spices and the chicken together.
  • Heat a little oil in a pot, add the chicken and spices and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 0.75 cups of boiling water, cover and let the chicken cook for 6 minutes.
  • Mix the yoghurt with 0.25 cups of water, and add this to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes and then taste for salt.
  • Add more salt if needed, and then continue to cook the chicken until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency, or until you get bored. I left my dish on the stove for approximately another 10 minutes. 
  • Since you're being lazy, serve with microwaveable tortillas.

Top left, chicken cooking after adding water. Top right, the  yoghurt .
Bottom, the chicken cooking after the addition of yoghurt. 

Additional Information:

You don't really need to add yoghurt here if you don't want to, although I would still advise you to keep cooking the dish for the full 20 minutes I mention above. I've added the yoghurt to thicken the gravy, as I've skipped on the usual pastes (especially onion paste) that would normally do this for a curry.

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