This is the sort of dish that can be easily cooked in the oven or on a barbeque if you don't have a tandoor.
2 spring chickens, 750–800g each juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander stalks
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon chaat masala (see page 261)
bamboo skewers, soaked in water
For the marinade
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red chilli powder
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (see page 260)
1 tablespoon ground roasted cumin
215ml plain yoghurt
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground garam masala
1 teaspoon crushed dried fenugreek leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
For the salad garnish
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 tomato, deseeded and sliced
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Skin the chicken by literally peeling off the skin and separating it from the carcass. (This is done for all tandoori cooking and it helps the marinade to penetrate the meat better. Most halaal butchers are able to do this easily, or just ask your butcher nicely to do this for you!) Cut the chicken in half lengthways or spatchcock it, then wash and dry it using kitchen paper.
Prick the breasts and legs with the tip of a knife – these incisions help the chicken to retain flavours and cook evenly.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Thread the chicken halves onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers or metal skewers, place in the marinade and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Mix together all the salad ingredients and set aside for 10–15 minutes for the flavours to develop.
Preheat the grill to 180ºC and grill the marinated chicken for 12 minutes on each side until it is coloured and the juices run clear when the chicken is pricked with a knife.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the cooked chicken, scatter over the chopped coriander and brush with butter. Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve immediately with salad.
Images and recipes from Indian Festival Feasts by Vivek Singh, Bloomsbury.