Tandoori Garam Masala


Here’s one version of the world-famous tandoori spice mix; in India, there may be a million variations that are just as good.
Try this, then experiment!
   2     tablespoons coriander seeds
   2     tablespoons whole cumin
   1     tablespoon whole Ceylon black pepper
   1     tablespoon whole Ceylon cardamom pods
   1     3-inch-long stick Ceylon cinnamon, broken into small pieces
   1     teaspoon whole Ceylon cloves 
 1/2    Ceylon nutmeg seed, grated 


  • In a dry skillet over low heat, roast coriander seeds until dark brown and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.  
  • Transfer to small bowl. Repeat roasting process with cumin, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in separate batches, transferring roasted spices to same bowl and allowing to cool.


  • Transfer roasted spices to mill and grind to fine powder. Transfer to bowl.  Finely grate nutmeg in spice mix. (See milling instructions.)
  • Transfer Garam Masala blend to airtight container and store indefinitely in cool, dark, dry place.


Tandoori Chicken

Made with Tandoori Garam Masala

Once you make this mainstay of Indian restaurants at home,
you may never want to go out for it again.



 3/4   cup plain yogurt
   1    tablespoon crushed garlic
   1    tablespoon grated fresh ginger
   1    tablespoon fresh lemon juice
   1    teaspoon paprika
 1/4   teaspoon turmeric
 1/2   teaspoon ground coriander
   1    teaspoons cayenne
   1    teaspoon Tandoori Garam Masala (see recipe)
   1    teaspoon salt
 4-5   chicken leg and thigh quarters, skin removed, separated
   2    teaspoons ghee or melted butter
   1    medium onion, thinly sliced
   1    tomato, quartered
   1    lemon, cut into wedges
   1    cup cilantro leaves


  1. Combine yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, Tandoori Garam Masala and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Cut deep slits in chicken pieces so that marinade can penetrate. Place chicken pieces in glass dish. Pour marinade over and rub into chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  3. Preheat broiler. Place chicken in roasting pan on middle rack of oven and roast until cooked through, turning once and basting with ghee 2 to 3 times while cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes. 
  4. Transfer chicken to platter, top with onion and tomato, garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro leaves and serve.

Alternative Cooking Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cover chicken with foil and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, pour ghee over chicken and cook under broiler until brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. (Watch carefully to avoid burning.)

Serving Suggestions:

Stop by your local Indian restaurant to purchase a few samosas for appetizers and some daal (lentils) for a second dish; then team the chicken with mango chutney and rice.

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