What is it?
Traditionally, tandoori chicken is covered with tandoori paste and marinated before it takes a turn in the hot, clay tandoor oven. This paste is a usually a mix of spices and condiments like ginger, garlic, coriander, cayenne pepper, cloves, cumin, cardamom pods, saffron, and garam masala, as well as tandoori coloring.
While the spices certainly add color, the distinctive red-orange color of tandoori chicken is the result of the flavorless tandoori coloring which is made from annatto seed (also responsible for the orange coloring in some cheeses, like cheddar).
Don’t have it?
If you can’t find tandoori coloring, you can substitute red food coloring (or a mix of red and yellow) for the same effect. Omitting the food coloring won’t affect the flavor.
How to choose:
Look for tandoori coloring at Indian groceries and speciality markets.
I love serving this with traditional Indian accompaniments, such as sesame-seed chutney, curried potatoes and peas, raita, basmati or fried rice, and mango shakes. If you like spicier chicken, increase the…