Tandoori Chicken Combo

I love colorful food ……though I try to stay away from artificial food colors as much as possible. I also try to stay away from packaged spice mixes because of all the preservatives, flavor enhancers, colors etc. However, I must admit that there are times when I do reach out for these spice mixes for their unbeatable convenience. Tandoori chicken is one such dish which is a snap to make with ready spice mix even though the taste is not the same as the one my Mom used to make with her freshly ground  garam masala and gas tandoor…….will post that recipe whenever I get around to making it.

This time I served the tandoori chicken with spiced rice (packaged Biryani masala again) and my version of Mediterranean salad.
The different colors on the plate…some natural other artificial  looked lovely.
For the Tandoori Chicken I marinated the chicken pieces with thick yogurt, ginger-garlic paste,lemon juice and Shan Tandoori Chicken Masala (you can use Shan Chicken Tikka Masala too…it’s almost the same). Usually large pieces of chicken with slits are used for tandoori chicken but I used regular pieces that are used for curry since that was what I had at hand. Instead of grilling or baking I cooked it in my stone coated frying pan with just a tbsp of cooking oil. Here’s what it looks like :

 This pan was part of the stoneware set that my brother in law brought for us. It’s great for oil free cooking without the harmful effects of Teflon coated non stick pans.The chicken took about 40 minutes on medium low heat , turning in between. You can cook it in any covered heavy bottomed pot. I find the chicken turns out much juicier this way rather than baking in an electric oven. Grilling on charcoal is of course the best option if you can manage it.

For the Spiced Rice I washed and soaked about two small cups rice. Heat some cooking oil and add half sliced onion (medium one). When onions are golden brown add about 1 tbsp of Shan Memoni Mutton Biryani Masala. You can use any other biryani masala too but I like the bright yellow color that this particular one imparts to the rice. Saute for a minute or so and add 3 cups of water (for 2 cups of rice). When the water starts boiling you can add 1 cube of chicken bouillon also. Check the salt at this stage and add more if you want. Add the drained rice. When almost all the water dries up and you can see craters in the rice, cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes until the water dries up completely. Fluff with a fork.

For Mediterranean salad I used cherry tomatoes,lettuce, english cucumbers and red onions . You can add black olives and feta cheese too……I didn’t have any.For the dressing I used extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Use your creativity for plating this colorful chicken platter.

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