Tandoori Chicken with Turkish Pilaf + Tzatziki

A strong family favourite, this was one of my mum’s signature dishes growing up. Although I don’t eat chicken these days, my husband occasionally requests something non-pescatarian for dinner and I’m more than happy with just the pilaf and condiments. Everyone wins!


Serves 4

Tandoori Chicken:
4 chicken marylands
4 tablespoons tandoori paste
4 tablespoons greek yogurt

Turkish Pilaf:
1 tablespoon butter
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups vegetable stock
Salt + pepper
3 tablespoons currants
3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

1 cup greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 small cucumber, de-seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
Squeeze of lemon
Salt + pepper


For the tandoori chicken, massage the marylands with a mix of tandoori paste and greek yogurt. Position the marylands in one even layer in an oven dish with all of the marinade. Leave on the counter covered for 45 minutes or in the fridge for 3 hours to marinade. Marinating at room temperature helps the marinade to absorb faster. If you choose to marinate in the fridge, make sure you bring the chicken back to room temperature before cooking as this will help it cook more evenly and retain the juices.

Preheat your oven to 180*C. Once heated, place the chicken in the oven and cook for 30 mins or until the chicken is cooked through (cooking time will depend on the size of your marylands).

While the chicken is cooking, grab yourself a large chef pan with a lid. To make the pilaf, sweat the onions in butter until softened. Add in the bay leaf, cumin, turmeric and rice and continue stirring to toast off the spices, coating the rice. Once the perfume of the spices hits you, top with the stock and season. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to a simmer, leaving the lid slightly askew so it’s covered but the heat has a gap to escape (this is my secret to perfect, al dente rice every time). Leave to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, then turn the heat off and place the lid on completely so the rice can steam for a few minutes. adorn with the currants, toasted almonds and coriander.

Quickly throw together the tzatziki and you’re ready to plate…

Pilaf, chicken, a generous helping of the tandoori sauce, tzatziki, chutney and coriander. Yum!