This beautiful, authentic Indian dish is perfect for the entire family.


  • For the marinade

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons peeled, finely chopped root ginger

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped or crushed garlic

  • 3 hot green chillies, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (ideally My Garam Masala, see page 214)

  • For the chicken

  • 1.75kg (3lb 14oz) whole chicken, skinned

  • ½  teaspoon chilli powder

  • ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Garam Masala

  • 1 tablespoon green cardamom seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cloves

  • 5 centimetre (2 inch) piece cassia bark or cinnamon stick, broken up

  • 1/3  whole nutmeg

  • For the roasted masala potatoes

  • 6 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled, halved lengthways, and cut into roughly 5x4 centimetre (2 x 1 ½  inch) chunks

  • ¾  teaspoon salt

  • ¾  teaspoon freshly coarse-ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½  teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri (mild) chilli powder


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  • 2.

    Place all the marinade ingredients in a blender and process to a paste.

  • 3.

    Using a sharp knife, make two deep, diagonal cuts into each breast of the chicken, going all the way down to the bone. Make two equally deep slashes in the thighs and two in the drumsticks as well.

  • 4.

    Place the chicken, breast side up, on a roasting tray lined with enough foil to cover the bird completely. Pour the marinade paste over the chicken, rubbing it well into all the cuts. Set aside for 30 minutes.

  • 5.

    Sprinkle the chilli powder and black pepper over the chicken evenly.

  • 6.

    Wrap up the chicken in the foil so it is completely covered, with the tightly closed seam at the top. Bake in the middle of the hot oven for one hour.

  • 7.

    Unwrap, without letting the juices run out, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, basting two or three times with the juices.

  • 8.

    Check the chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh, between the leg and the body. If the juices run clear with no trace of pink, it is cooked. Continue to cook for a little longer if needed.

  • 9.

    Set the chicken in a warm place to rest for 10–15 minutes, then carve and serve.

  • For the Garam Masala:

  • 1.

    Put all the spices in a clean coffee grinder, or other spice grinder, and grind as finely as possible, in batches if necessary.

  • 2.

    Store in a small, tightly lidded jar in a cool, dark place.

  • For the roasted masala potatoes:

  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  • 2.

    Pour the oil into a large bowl. Add the potatoes and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Ensure the potatoes are well coated, then transfer to a baking tray in a single layer.

  • 3.

    Place it in the middle of the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

  • 4.

    Spoon the coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder on to a plate and mix well. Remove the potatoes from the oven.

  • 5.

    Using tongs, roll the potatoes in the spice mix, making sure all sides are covered. Return them to the

  • 6.

    Oven for a further 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender all the way through when pierced with a knife.


This is the garam masala that is used in my family. It is very strong and aromatic. You can buy the cardamom seeds, already podded, from Indian grocers.

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