In my opinion, there is no better summer meal than this quick and easy Barbecued Tandoori Chicken recipe.  I don’t cheat with store bought pastes that often but the Patak’s Tandoori Paste is one I use regularly as it so convenient and tastes fabulous.  This is a very easy meal to make, which is perfect for mid week, however it is so pretty on the plate, it would be perfect for entertaining too.  I also make it with lamb back straps or cutlets so feel free to use either.  I always pair the Barbecued Tandoori Chicken or Lamb with a simple shaved salad of radish, fennel & cucumber and a gorgeous cumin scented rice but no Tandoori is complete without a generous, saucy dollop of mint yoghurt.  This dish is a total triumph!

Prep time:  20 Minutes

Marinating time:  Minimum 1 Hour

Cooking time:  15 Minutes

$$ Medium Budget

Serves 4

For the Barbecued Tandoori Chicken:

4 x 150gm Chicken Breast Fillets (you could use thigh fillets)

1 tbs of Patak’s Tandoori Paste

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 a cup of greek Yoghurt

For the Cumin Scented Rice:

1 cup of Basmati Rice (rinsed thoroughly under cold water for best results)

1 heaped tsp of cumin seeds

1 heaped tsp of Ghee (you can use a knob of butter and a drizzle of oil as a substitute)

1 1/2 cups of water

Sea salt & Pepper

For the Radish, Fennel & Cucumber Salad:

1 baby fennel bulb, shaved with a mandolin*

1 Lebanese cucumber, shaved with a mandolin*

4-6 Radishes, depending on their size, shaved with a mandolin*

1/2 a red onion, peeled and sliced thinly top to bottom

1 cup of coriander leaves

Sea salt & pepper

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

For the Mint Yoghurt:

1 cup of greek yoghurt

1/2 a cup of mint leaves

Sea salt & pepper

Micro Herbs for garnish (optional but very pretty)* or coriander leaves

To marinate the Barbecued Tandoori Chicken, combine the yoghurt, Tandoori paste and lemon juice in a large bowl and add the breast fillets.  Toss to coat the chicken thoroughly and evenly and cover before marinating in the fridge for at least one hour.

Place the shaved fennel, radish & cucumber in a large bowl and cover with iced water.  This will make the salad beautifully crispy, just drain through a strainer before adding the red onion and coriander.  Once drained, toss to combine and season with salt & pepper and drizzle with lemon, just before serving.

To prepare the rice, heat a medium sized saucepan and melt the Ghee until bubbling.  Fry the cumin seeds in the Ghee for about 60 seconds before adding the washed and drained basmati rice.  Toast the rice for about 40 seconds in the cumin seeds and ghee, then add the water.  Stir to combine and bring the rice to a simmer before covering with a lid and reducing the heat to about medium.  Cook, covered for 12 minutes and then remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.  Don’t remove the lid while the rice is resting, this is when it steams and will give you perfect, fluffy rice.

Place the yoghurt and mint in a small food processor and blitz until the mint is well and truly, finely chopped.  The yoghurt goes a bit foamy and saucy but it is delicious wth the chicken.

Heat a BBQ plate or griddle until lovely and hot.  Oil lightly with vegetable oil and then cook the chicken for approximately 6 minutes either side or until cooked through.  It will char slightly but if you flip it every couple of minutes and baste it with the remaining marinade, you will achieve the best and most flavourful results.

To plate the dish as I do, spoon the yoghurt on to the bottom of the plate, spreading it out with the back of the spoon. Spoon rice into a measuring cup or ramekin and invert onto each plate so you have a nice even mound. Cut the chicken fillets in half diagonally and pile them next to the rice and on top of the yoghurt.  Place a generous pile of the shaved salad on top of the chicken and garnish with micro herbs or coriander leaves.

*I have provided the link for the micro herbs that I grow and use, simply because I love them.  I am no way affiliated with the company and purchased my own Micro Pods.  They are just too good not to share…..

*I use a mandolin for slicing the radish, fennel & cucumber as I love it shaved.  If you don’t have a mandolin you can use a fine slicing attachment on a food processor or try and get it as thin as possible with a sharp knife.  Mandolins are a very handy kitchen gadget so I highly recommend purchasing one.  They are not overly expensive and you can get small, hand held mandolin for about $20 online.