The dish starts with boneless chicken pieces, typically chicken tikka, marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices. The marinade includes ingredients like tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. The chicken is left to marinate for a few hours to absorb the flavors and become tender.
Meanwhile, fragrant basmati rice is cooked separately. The rice is typically washed and soaked to remove excess starch before being cooked. It is then flavored with whole spices such as cumin seeds, cardamom, and cinnamon to enhance its aroma.
Once the chicken is marinated and the rice is cooked, the chicken pieces are grilled or baked until they are nicely charred and cooked through. The tandoori chicken tikka is then combined with the cooked rice, allowing the flavors to meld together.
The result is a colorful and flavorful dish with tender pieces of tandoori chicken tikka nestled among aromatic basmati rice. The combination of the smoky and slightly tangy flavors from the chicken tikka and the fragrant and fluffy rice creates a delightful contrast of textures and tastes.
Tandoori Chicken Tikka Rice is often garnished with fresh cilantro, sliced onions, and lemon wedges for an added burst of freshness. It can be served as a main course or as part of a larger Indian meal, accompanied by raita (yogurt dip) and naan bread.
Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger spread, Tandoori Chicken Tikka Rice is a satisfying and flavorful dish that showcases the rich flavors of Indian cuisine.