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Tandoori Chicken For Dummies

Hey everyone! Today, I’ve got a great recipe for a classic Indian dish that everyone seems to gravitate towards. Raise your hand if you love Indian food!

Okay, well maybe don’t raise your hand per say. Because if you did, I wouldn’t be able to see that and frankly wouldn’t care too much. But I digress. Anyways, today’s post is about showing you an Indian dish that is healthy, easy to make, and packed full of Indian flavor. I’ll also take a minute to talk about the health benefits of Indian food.

If you think making international dishes are too complicated or use fancy ingredients, the good news is just about all of these ingredients can be found at your local supermarket. Spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger, and chili powder are becoming much more mainstream these days because everyone is realizing these spices provide incredible health benefits!

The Health Benefits of Indian Food

  • Anti-inflammatory—this buzzword seems to be all the rage these days, and for good reason. Chronic inflammation is arguably the source of many diseases, including but not limited to: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), metabolic syndrome, and even some cancers. The good news is that by making strategic changes in your diet, exercise habits, and overall lifestyle, you can help keep inflammation and disease at bay. Indian spices like turmeric, ginger, coriander, cardamon, etc. are all great at fighting inflammation.
  • Low in saturated fat—I know the jury is still out on fat these days. This isn’t to say I promote a low-fat diet or high-fat diet, because honestly I think everyone is different and benefits from different macronutrient ranges. But if you are watching your fat intake or are under orders from a healthcare professional to watch your fat intake, Indian food might be a great cuisine to explore. Many of the dishes are vegetarian or lower in fat, which is great if that’s your goal.
  • Spices may boost your metabolism—Again, the jury is still out on this one. But there is this a lot of literature supporting the notion that peppers and other spicy foods support a higher metabolism that could aid in fat loss. In my personal experience, I’ve noticed that Indian cuisines and other spicy foods help some of my clients maintain adequate hydration status. The spice in the food seems to get them to drink more water 🙂
  • Loaded with fruits and vegetables—One final point I’ll make about Indian food is that the cuisine is heavily plant-based, incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables into the dishes. If the idea of salad night after night doesn’t appeal to you, try looking at other cuisines and see how they work fruits and vegetables into their diets. You’d be amazed how sometimes all it takes is a little seasoning to turn bland vegetables into delicious side and main dishes!

One last note before today’s recipe. I realize, of course, that this is by no means a traditional Indian recipe. Traditionally, tandoori chicken is cooked in what is called a tandoor, which is a type of clay oven used to cook meats. Using a conventional oven instead is a method many Indian-American families employ. Enjoy!

tandoori chicken

Print Recipe
Easy Tandoori Chicken (Without the Tandoori)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix yogurt, spices, water, and oil in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Wash chicken breast, remove extra fat, and cut into chunks that are about the size of your palm (approximately 2-3 ounces). Add chicken to the yogurt mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap/aluminum foil and let marinate for at least one hour.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the pieces of chicken from the marinate, shaking off excess yogurt. Place on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Cut the chicken with a knife to check the center and make sure it's no longer pink. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, or any other healthy starch.
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