Out of the Tandoor, Into the Fire


“Eh, it’s like Char Siew Chicken, only much Spicier!”

Our first date. How wonderfully romantic. Mike had just relocated from Singapore when we met at a church event. I didn’t really take to tall, dark and bookish men who brood. This one was different.

It was that one liner that was lame but hint of possibilities.

He mentioned spicier. Any man who can cook get many points in my book.

We went shopping for the ingredients. That was the easy part.

• 1 kg chicken pieces (we chose breast with skin removed)
• 6 tbsps. Tandoori Masala
• 1 cup yogurt
• 1 tsp. garlic paste
• Salt
• 1 cup olive oil
• Red food colouring
• Onion rings to garnish
• Lemon wedges to garnish

Back in the kitchen we laid out the ingredients and opened a bottle of wine. How terribly presumptuous. We thought we had the recipe down pat.

To prepare, we made diagonal slashes in the chicken pieces. Set this in a bowl.

Mix the Tandoori Masala with the yoghurt, 2 tbsps. cooking oil and salt to taste and make a smooth paste.


Marinate the chicken. We used spoons to turn the chicken pieces around to coat it evenly, making sure that we rub in the deep gashes we made on the chicken earlier.

Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 12-18 hours.

Oi! What do you mean? That’s like over night. I thought we were having tandoori chicken for dinner.

Mike looked at me sheepishly. “I only read the ingredients, got excited and immediately invited you for dinner before I chickened out,” he confessed.


One very hungry date and no food until the next night. Sigh.

It’s a good thing that we were able to head out to a nice Tandoori place for dinner.

The rest of the preparation? “Easy,” Mike continued after we’ve eaten and had our second Teh Tarik. And I’ve forgiven him…

Preheat your grill on medium. Put the chicken on it and quickly sear (sealing in juices) on both sides. Now allow to brown on both sides, brushing cooking oil on as necessary. Once browned, reduce heat and cover the grill. Cook till the chicken is tender.

Alternatively we could bake this for approximately 15 minutes, turn and bake for another 10minutes.


Alternatively we could eat out.

Doris Lim is a popular freelance writer who blogs as Little Fish on travel and food stories here. Be sure to check out her other inspiring stories and follow her Instagram @SmartDoryID & Facebook to check out more places to eat delicious street foods or dine in the best restaurants!


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