Fake Bake Tandoori, Illustrated

I really loved Simran’s “Fake Bake Tandoori Chicken” post and was inspired to do an illustrated version just for fun. Just click on Ms. Elephant to see the whole recipe.

If you love drawing and cooking like me, click on over to They Draw and They Cook and browse through fabulous illustrated recipes from all around the world, including our own “Super Delicious Apple Mint Picnic Punch“.

Fake-bake Tandoori Chicken

Fake Bake Tandoori Chicken

I made this chicken for a party and as soon as it came out the children gathered around it and devoured it.  Contrary to popular belief the red color in tandoori is not from chillies but from food coloring. You can omit the red food coloring – it does nothing to enhance the taste – just makes it look more like “tandoori”.  I call it “fake-bake” because tandoori chicken is typically made in a clay oven (called tandoor) but I make this in a conventional oven.  The spices are also “dumbed down” to make the dish more palatable for the little tastebuds and you can add even less if you prefer.  This recipe is very kid friendly and an awesome way to introduce ethnic food to kids at home.  Great in wraps for school lunches the next day.

Good one for July 4th as it can be thrown on the grill as well.  Tandoori chicken and all that buttermilk ice-cream – strawberry, mango and pineapple!  It will be a HAPPY 4th of July.

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids


1 lb chicken breasts/thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes

3/4 cup yoghurt (full/lowfat)

1 tbsp ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

pinch (or more) of red chilli powder (optional)

pinch of red food coloring (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Marinate chicken in all the ingredients for at least 2 hours or overnight (longer is better)
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes and if you like it charred you can leave it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes
  4. Serve on skewers for fun presentation if you desire (no need to bake on skewers – the skewers just make the chicken little fingers friendly)

Tips: Marinate in a ziplock bag for easy clean-up and line oven tray with foil.