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Tandoori roast chicken and a saag aloo inspired salad

December 16, 2012

We make roast chicken pretty much every sunday and love a traditional lemon and thyme flavoured bird with crunchy roast potatoes and an array of veggies. But it’s summer in Cape Town now, and the last thing you want to do is spend 3 hours in the kitchen when its 35 degrees out and all you really want is to drown yourself in an ice cold glass of dry sauvignon blanc!

With that in mind, last sunday I decided to shake up our tradition and try a new style for our sunday roast. During my trip to Zanzibar in September, I bought a number of spice blends. One of these was a vibrantly coloured tandoori mix. Remembering how much we’d loved the roast tandoori lamb I’d made last year, I made a simple yoghurt based marinade for our roast chicken. To accompany the chicken, I reworked a delicious spinach and mustard salad that our house mate Cora recently made, to include some of the elements of our favourite Indian side dish – Saag aloo.

Tandoori roast chicken

Serves 4 with some leftovers!


1 cup of yoghurt (plain or greek)
3 tbsp of tandoori spice mix (you can use any curry mix of your choice, just be careful with spiceyness if it’s a hot one!)
Juice of half a lemon
Ground black pepper
1 large (about 1.5kg), free range chicken (we use Lazena and Elgin chicken)


Combine all the marinade ingredients. Make a pocket under the breast skin of the chicken, pour some marinade in and smother the rest on the outer skin.

Cook the chicken, uncovered, in the centre of an oven at 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Then turn the heat up to 220 for another 30 minutes. After this time, check if the juices run clear, if not, you may need to return it to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or so. Ours took just over 70 minutes in total.

Saag Aloo inspired salad


250g fresh spinach, you can use baby/English, but I used the more substantial variety we get here in SA, for its fresh crunch.
8 medium sized potatoes
2-3 spring onions, roughly chopped
4 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of wholegrain mustard
1 tsp of fresh ginger (grated)
1 tsp of cumin


Peel, cube and boil the potatoes until they are just done (they need to stay firm), leave to cool. Make the dressing using the mayonnaise, mustard, ginger and cumin. Wash and roughly chop the spinach. Assemble the salad (potatoes, spinach and spring onions), add the dressing and lightly toss together.

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Serve the salad with various cuts of the chicken. You can also add rice to bulk up the meal if you like, we can’t do spicy food in our house without it!

Serve with a chilled chenin blanc or viognier, a great IPA like the Devils Peak Kings Blockhouse would also work!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 16, 2012 4:03 pm

    How do you find the restraint to delay the eating and take photographs?!

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