Sumeet Nair Part III Tandoori Chicken – video

Nair explains the marination which takes 24 hours considering the yogurt lactic acids need time to breakdown the chicken.

Cooking the chicken to perfection helps when your mise-en-place is perfectly prepared making cooking something very easy to do. There is no doubt that using the thigh is the correct part of the chicken to use any other part would work but probably be less juicy. The marination of dairy based marinades, such buttermilk or yogurt are probably the marinades that do an excellent job in tenderizing. It seems that the calcium in dairy products activates enzymes in meat that break down proteins, a process similar to the way that aging tenderizes meat.


When meat is exposed to an acidic marinade the bonds break between protein bundles and the proteins unwind. Water trapped within this protein network and tissue remains moist and juicy. But after a while, the protein bonds tighten, water squeezes out, and the tissue can toughen.


On the other hand enzymatic marinades work by breaking down the muscle fiber and connective tissue collagen. Kiwi, papaya, pineapple, all contain protein enzymes that will work. The chicken might get mushy without passing though an intermediate stage of tenderness so pay attention to the meat during this phase.

The next steps are frankly straight forward that’s if you have a tandoori oven. Nair explains how simple they are to make and he has his made from an old barrel.


The tandoori ovens is a cylindrical clay pot that emits both radiant and convective heat reaching temperatures of 600 celcius. The tandoori is an exceptional way of cooking and is both practical and efficient yet many people are too lazy to use it given the effort required.