Auntie Heather’s Chicken Tandoori Masala

The other evening I visited my Aunt who lives here near the beach, I asked her to cook me something that I could pop on my blog. I just cannot believe she had never made this curry for me before as it is absolutely delicious!! Similar to Tikka Masala but much better than the take away’s in England!!

My Aunt was born in India and moved over to England at a very young age. She has distant memories of the place she once lived and hopes one day to go back and re visit her childhood home. Growing up I was always surrounded by curries and spice, all of my family love this type of food and cook it so well, as a family we are re-known for our curries by our friends, each of us have our own recipes and style, but the recipes we make do stem from the influence of our Nana (My Aunt’s Mother) as she was the true Indian cook 🙂IMG_1800

Serves 4



1tbsp Coriander Powder

1tbsp Cumin Powder

6 Cardamom Pods (seeds only to make it more fragrant)

1″ Chunk Ginger grated

3 Large Garlic Cloves grated

1 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Red food colouring

3 Birdseye Chilli’s chopped

Salt 1 tsp

250g Natural Yoghurt

Juice 1 Lemon

Chicken Legs x 6


Spice Mix = 2 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds, head of 10 Cloves (reserve the stalks for the rice), 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds, 7 Cardamon pods seeds only.

1 Onion Diced

2 Beef Tomatoes Chopped (or 5/6 medium tomatoes)

1/2 Red Pepper Diced

4 Garlic Cloves Grated

1″ Chunk Ginger Grated

2 Birdseye chilli’s Chopped (If you prefer your curry milder omit these chilli’s as the marinade already has spice)

3 Bay Leaves

1 Tsp Turmeric

Salt & pepper


Handful of fresh Coriander chopped


1 Cup Basmati rice

2 Cups boiling water

2 tbsp Oil

1 Cinnamon Stick

The clove stalks from earlier

9 Cardamon pods (whole)

1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 Bay Leaf


First skin the Chicken and cut the chicken into leg and thighs:


Get hold of the skin


Pull skin right over the leg and remove it


Cut the skin away at the end


Slie off any other skin/fat as this will make the curry too oily


Break the bone between the thigh and the leg


Then cut to separate the pieces


Score the flesh so all the marinade juices get into the chicken

Set the Chicken aside while you make your marinade.

Take all of the marinade ingredients and pop into a large bowl.



Mix well


Place the chicken in the bowl and cover with the marinade, stir well.



Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for 1 hour, longer if you have time.

While this is marinating prepare your dry spices. Take all of the dry spice mix for the curry and in a frying pan dry fry until you can start to smell the aroma.

Then crush with a pestle and morter, we used a spice grinder:





The smell is AMAZING!

Once the chicken is marinated, heat your oven to 200 degrees, pop the chicken into a over tray and roast until cooked, and the chicken has browned.


While this is in the oven prepare your curry. In a deep pan add oil and fry your onion for a few minutes, then add the red pepper.

Then add the garlic, onion and chillis.


Then add in the spices along with the turmeric and bay leaves. Keep stirring.

Now add in your Tomatoes.


Now add lots of Salt.


Let this cook for 5 minutes, keep stirring it.

Add approx 1/4 cup of hot water.


By now your chicken should be cooked, remove this from the oven and carefully pour all of the juices into the curry pan. Set the chicken aside but keep it warm.

Make sure you get all of those lovely juices from the pan.

Let the curry bubble away on medium heat.

Meanwhile make your Pilau rice.

Boil the Kettle.

Put the oil in a deep pan with a lid and heat, add in the cloves, cinnamon stick, salt, turmeric, cardomon pods whole and bay leaf.

Fry for a few minutes then add the rice.

Coat the rice well.


Add in your hot water and bring the pan to the boil, stir well.


Once this is boiling pop the lid on and put on lowest heat, cook rice for 20 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID WITHIN THIS TIME!!!

After 20 minutes turn the heat off but leave the lid on for another 5 minutes. Then you will have perfect rice. 🙂

While the rice is cooking, add you chicken to the curry and the fresh coriander. Don’t stir this yet just place the lid on and keep the pan on a low heat.



Now you’re ready to plate up! Enjoy xx



Fluffy yellow rice


Amazing flavours, try it out xx

After all of this spice we needed to cool off in the sea!!


Thanks Auntie Heather ❤ xx

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