TFC Or Tandoori Fried Chicken

I dreamt about this one night and woke up feeling elated. In my dream I imagined a free-range organic chain to rival those poultry death camps so prolific on our every high street. A lot of tandoori chicken recipes use red food colouring but I use tomato puree which gives a more natural finish.
I find a mixture of organic tallow and groundnut oil makes for the crispiest results when frying this. Crunchy, spicy and melt in the mouth tender this is the ultimate comfort food.


1x 284ml carton of buttermilk or natural yoghurt

1 tsp toasted and ground cumin powder

2 tsp tandoori masala powder (available in all good Asian grocers)

1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp chilli powder or half a finely chopped green chilli

1 tsp fresh black pepper

1/2 tsp cloves

2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

1/2 an onion grated

8 cloves garlic – crushed

1 inch grated ginger

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp sea salt

4-6 organic free range chicken thighs and drumsticks (skin on)

Rapeseed/groundnut oil, for frying organic tallow (beef dripping) – optional

rice  flour

pinch of curry powder

1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground peppercorns

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


* To make the marinade, toast the cumin and coriander in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes and crush to a fine powder with the cloves in a pestle and mortar.

* Combine the first 15 ingredients in a large bowl. Make several slashes in the chicken, (but not through to the bone) rub with the lemon juice and salt mix well in the marinade to coat, cover and refrigerate overnight.

* Heat 1 inch of groundnut oil with the beef dripping (if using) in a large heavy-bottomed high-sided pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F. In a bowl or paper bag whisk the flour with the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6

* In a medium bowl, beat 1 egg.

* Place each piece of chicken, 1 at a time, in the flour and coat well. Then dip chicken into the egg. Place the chicken back into the flour to coat for a second time. Repeat this method on remaining pieces of chicken.

*Tap off the excess flour and fry a couple of pieces at a time for approximately 6-8 mins, until golden brown all over.

*Using tongs, transfer the glistening chicken pieces to a baking tray.Cover loosely with foil.

*Transfer to the oven and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked all the way through.

*Serve hot with coleslaw, a crisp green salad and some mashed potatoes. Also delicious cold as picnic food.


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