Jan 30, 2023

Prep Ahead Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken

Wanna switch to a spice-filled marinade for the usual oven baked chicken? Here's one Indian recipe that you can prep one day ahead. Once ready to eat, simply pop the chicken to the oven and brush more marinade a couple more times during the process, then you'll have a delicious main for dinner.

Prep ahead oven baked tandoori chicken -

Prep ahead oven baked tandoori chicken


  • 3 whole bone-in and skin-on chicken leg 
  • Some mint leaves (optional)
  • Some quinoa basmati rice, saffron rice, or turmeric rice (optional)


  • 1 cup plain yogurt 
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon light-tasting oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala 
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder or regular chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt  


Mix all the ingredients under the "marinade" section to a big container. 

Tandoori chicken marinade

Add in whole chicken legs. Massage and make sure both front and back are covered with the marinade. Put the lid on and store in the fridge overnight.

Marinating tandoori chicken

When ready to cook the next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/175 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with rack.

Rack, foil, and baking sheet

Remove excess marinade from the chicken and lay them over the rack. However, save the marinade, which we will have to reapply them to the meat during the baking process. Into the oven for 20 minutes.

Tandoori chicken in the making

Carefully take out the baking sheet.

First round of baking the tandoori chicken

Brush both sides of the chicken with the marinade. Back to the oven for another 20 minutes. Remember to check on the meat and make sure not to over-burn the surface. You might have to adjust the heat accordingly.

Reapplying marinade for the tandoori chicken

Once ready, take out the baking sheet again. 

Half way through baking the tandoori chicken

This time, switch the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. Brush the chicken one final time with the remaining marinade. I actually used them all here. 

Back to the oven and bake till the top seemed charred but not seriously burnt, about 10 minutes. Once done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the meat reset for 10 minutes.

You can serve the tandoori chicken with quinoa basmati rice like me, or saffron rice, turmeric rice will do. Don't forget to chop some fresh mint leaves and garnish on top.

Prep ahead oven baked tandoori chicken

The center of the chicken remains juicy, partly thanks to the bone-in chicken we used. Every time I bake or roast chicken with bones, it's safe to say that 99% of the time they turned out juicy. The remaining 1%, probably a couple failures during my early days of cooking. 

Juicy bone-in chicken

Either way, bone-in chicken gives much more flavor to the final result. That's a must, no substitutes. 

Other Indian recipes:

Jan 24, 2023

Honey and Cajun Spiced Salmon

Over the past couple years, I've gradually adjusting my diet to include more fish instead of red meat. That's partly the reason why there're quite a few salmon recipes on my blog. Not just for its protein and omega-3 fatty acids, the fact that I can easily enjoy big piece of boneless and skinless fish is a huge plus to me. 

The easiest way to cook up salmon is by sprinkling salt and pepper on both sides then give the fish a good sear. However, sometimes I'd like to get creative and adjust the basic flavor with a twist. Just like this recipe, on top of the already delicious Cajun spices, why not introduce honey, the sweet and sticky element to the flavor bunch?

Honey and Cajun spiced salmon - 

Honey and Cajun spiced salmon


  • 4 medium salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons honey (avoid the thicker kind)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some chopped scallion
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds


Pat dry the salmon fillets with paper towel. Mix together the honey, Cajun spice, and salt together. Rub the honey spice mixture all over salmon.

Honey and Cajun spice marinade

It can be hard to rub because the honey makes everything sticky. So sticky that the spices might end up on your fingers instead of the fish. Keep trying, it'll get easier after a while. In fact, I simply took the salmon and rub against the honey mixture alongside the plate instead.

Destem and chop the scallion, set aside for garnish in the end.

Take a non-stick pan and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Switch to medium heat and wait till the surface gets warm.

Transfer salmon fillets over one by one. Leave them undisturbed at first till the bottom starts to set. Note that the honey can turn browned or even burnt easily, so switch to lower heat if needed.

Continue to sear the fish. Once the bottom seemed to get a nice slightly brown color, flip and continue to sear the other side. 

Searing salmon fillets

Wait till the bottom gets a nice sear then perhaps arrange the salmon side by side in order to sear the sides. When all four sides get a nice sear, transfer the salmon to serving plate.

Searing salmon fillets

I actually served the salmon together with quinoa basmati rice. You can also steam some veggies to make it an even more balanced meal. 

Honey and Cajun spiced salmon

Remember to sprinkle some toasted white sesame seeds and garnish with chopped scallion. If you'd like, I guess a squeeze of lemon wedge can further brighten up the flavor.

Honey and Cajun spiced salmon

The saltiness is about right to me. However, if you prefer a heavier taste of perhaps you've got bigger pieces of salmon fillets, I would suggest double up the amount of salt used in this recipe.  

Other salmon recipes: