• 2 kg whole chicken of the best quality available (ideally organic, cornfed, or free range)
  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil or clarified butter
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed or blitzed)
  • 2 fat inches ginger (finely grated or blitzed with skin on)
  • 0.5 pint (or 2 small pots) natural, plain yoghurt
  • 4 tblsp pouring, single cream
  • 3 tblsp tomato purée (rounded)
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon


  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC (Gas 4). Spike the chicken with a skewer, knitting needle or small knife and cut the loose skin between the legs and body of the bird. This is to give the marinade the best chance of fully flavouring the bird.
  • In a bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients into a paste. Gently coat the bird all over with the marinade, not forgetting to also coat the cavity of the bird with a little of the marinade (for increased flavour).
  • Place in a roasting dish and cover with foil or ‘wetted’ greaseproof paper.
  • If you have time, pop into the fridge overnight or for 8 hours, but don’t worry if you don’t have the time and just go straight ahead with the next part.
  • Pop the bird in its roasting dish onto a middle shelf of the oven and cook for *1½ hours with the foil or wetted grease proof covering it. You will need to baste the bird a couple of times during its time in the oven; simply tilt the roasting dish to form a pool of fragrant juices and spoon them over the bird. Then recover and pop back in the oven.
  • Always test the chicken is cooked by taking your skewer, knitting needle or small knife and spiking the thickest part of the leg. If the juices that run from the incision are clear the bird should be cooked!
  • Don’t worry if parts of bird or the juices on the dish turn black, this is just the marinade cooking and anyway, it’s part of the authentic look!
  • When you’re happy the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven, allow to rest for about 20mins, then carve and serve…simple!
  • Serving suggestion:
  • Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and serve with Riata and a green salad, mounds of Indian Basmati rice or Indian breads.


Arun's cooking tips: To cook your chicken allow 15mins per 500g (1lb) and then add another ½ hour at 180ºC or Gas Mk 4. For example, for a bird weighing 2kg allow (4 x 15)mins + ½ hour = 1½ hours.