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Behind The Cooking of Tandoori Chicken

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices,herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hindu, and cultural choices and traditions. Also, Middle Eastern and Central Asian influences have occurred on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal rule. Indian cuisine is still evolving, as a result of the nation’s cultural interactions with other societies. Tandoori chicken was invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, a Punjabi Hindu, who is the founder of the Moti Mahal Delux restaurant. Gujral founded the restaurant in the Peshawar area of pre-partition India, which is now in Pakistan.

In the United States, tandoori chicken began appearing on menus by the 1960s. Jacqueline Kennedy was reported to have eaten “chicken tandoori” on a flight from Rome to Bombay in 1962. A recipe for tandoori chicken was printed in the Los Angeles Times in 1963, for the hostess in search of a fresh idea for a party dinner a similar recipe was featured in the same newspaper in 1964, along with other chicken dishes from world cuisines.

Tandoori chicken is chicken dish prepared by roasting chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven. It is a popular dish from the Indian subcontinent and has become popular in other parts of the world through restaurants serving food from the Indian subcontinent.

The raw chicken is marinated in a mixture of yogurt and the spice tandoori masala. Cayenne pepper, red chili powder or Kashmiri red chili powder is used to give it a fiery red hue. A higher amount of turmeric produces an orange colour. In milder versions, both red and yellow food colouring are sometimes used to achieve bright colours, but turmeric powder is both mild and brightly coloured, as is paprika, a sweet red pepper powder.

The marinated chicken is placed on skewers and cooked at high temperatures in a heated clay oven known as the tandoor. It is heated with charcoal or wood which adds to the smoky flavour.

The dish can also be cooked in a standard oven, using a spit or rotisserie, or over hot charcoal.

Tandoori chicken can be eaten as a starter or appetiser, and as a main course, the latter with naan (an Indian flatbread).It is also used as a base chicken in numerous cream-based curries such as butter chicken.

Tandoori chicken was popularised in post-independent India by Moti Mahal Delux in Delhi when it was served to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. After that Tandoori chicken became a standard offering at official banquets.

The fame of tandoori chicken led to many derivatives, such as chicken tikka (and eventually the Indian dish popularised in Britain, chicken tikka masala), commonly found in menus in Indian restaurants all over the world.

Tandoori Chicken

Turkey Bhoona Recipe

Turkey Bhuna

Ever been stuck with leftovers and no inspiration but the turkey sandwich? Indian food doesn’t have to be hard to make and our leftover turkey recipe is just the example of home Indian cooking you’ve been looking for.

Turkey Bhoona (serves 2)

250gm left over shredded turkey

2 chopped onions (medium size)

1 chopped tomato (medium size)

2tbs cooking oil

½ tsp garlic paste

½ tsp ginger paste

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1tsp paprika powder

½ tsp garam masala powder

2-3 green chilies, chopped (to taste)

50ml water

Salt to taste

Freshly chopped coriander for garnish

1. Heat the pan and pour in the oil. Add chopped garlic when the oil is hot and add the chopped onion when the garlic is brown. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until the oil comes out of the onion and is clear. Then add the green chilies and chopped tomatoes with a little salt and stir. Place all the ground spices in a small bowl, add a little water and mix it into a paste. Add the paste to the onion and stir well ensuring it doesn’t set at the bottom. Add the leftover turkey and stir for a few minutes to mix well. Finally, add around 50ml water and cook on low heat keeping it covered for about 5-7mins. Keep stirring from time to time to ensure it doesn’t settle at the bottom.

2. Simmer on low heat until the turkey is well covered by the spices.

3. Remove from heat and sprinkle the chopped coriander.

4. Serve with either rice, naan bread or as a spicy sandwich filler.


Bon Appetite!

Lucknawi Biryani History And Authentic Recipe

The very mention of Lucknow, which is also known as Awadh, brings to mind the tradition of “pehle app” (after you) , the language dripping with politeness and the lifestyle of the nawabs. But what appeals most is the cuisine of Awadh famous for it high standards of gastronomic etiquette still preserved in the current aristocracy and the famous “bawarchis” (cooks) who with perserverance and tremendous discipline continue to follow traditional style of cooking , handed down to them by their ancestors . The Bawarchis NEVER compromised on the quality. Their regular experimentation in the royal kitchens gave the Awadhi cuisine a new height of finesse and dimension.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah , the last Nawab of Awadh , was a great lover of art, culture and cuisine . It was during his period that several “bawarchkhanas ” (kitchens) flourished owing to the high degree of culiniay skills of the cooks who competed with each other to cook the exquisite delicacies , to their master’s desire and liking. The Rakabdars (Gourmet Cooks) laid out Dastarkhwan,a Persian term, meaning an elaborately laid-out ceremonial dining spread. It is customary in Awadh to sit around and share the Dastarkhwan.

The richness of Awadhi cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also is the ingredients used in creating such a variety. The Chefs of Awadh transformed the traditional dastarkhwan with elaborate dishes like kababs, biriyanis, kormas, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and parathas.

The most frequent method used in Awadhi cooking is the “Dum Pukht” Dum means to breath in and Pukht stands for to cook. The Dum Pukht involves placing semi cooked ingredients in a traditional “Degh” or “Handi” (cooking pots) sealed with dough to trap the steam . It is then slow cooked over glowing charcoal fire to simmer in its own juices until tender and delicious.

The essence of Dum cuisine is the excellent aroma, fragrance, flavour and texture developed during the slow cooking process , thus imparting a unique and distinctive character.

Zari brings you the true essence of this magnificent cuisine for you to try out . Our chef Parveen who specialises in the Awdhi Cuisine has three generation of his family who have mastered the art of Awadhi Cuisne.

We are giving away one of the best kept secret of Zari in the form of a Dum Pukht Briyani recipe for you to try at home! Enjoy the cooking!!!

Lucknawi Biryani

Lucknawi Biryani

How to prepare the famous Lucknawi Biryani in the authentic style

Recipe for two persons

Step 1 Chicken Preparation

Ingredients for the chicken preparation

2 medium size onion finely chopped

1 stick cinnamon

2 medium size bay leaves

3 green cardamom

3 cloves

1 piece of mace

½ star anise

200gms plain yogurt

40gms ghee

250gms Chicken (on the bone or boneless in small pieces, preferably on the bone as it taste much better)

2tsp ginger garlic paste

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp coriander powder

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp salt



1. Heat a medium-size pan on low to medium heat, add the ghee. Once the ghee has melted add the whole spices (the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, mace and star anise) and stir for a couple of minutes or until they are roasted in the ghee.

2. Add the finely chopped onions and salt and stir until the onion is golden brown in colour. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for about ½ a minute.

3 Add the ground spices (turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin powders) and stir for a few minutes to cook the spices and making sure not to burn the spices. Add the yogurt to the onion and mix well. Make sure to stir regularly to stop it from burning and settling at the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the chicken and cook for 15 -20 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside the cooked chicken.

Five Foot Two’s

8pm the music starts, so prompt arrival of 7.30pm please!

Call us now on 01293 525 107 to book.

The Five Foot Twos are a youth Jazz band who play together as a 7 piece, with special guests joining for occasional concerts. In November 2012 they
recorded their first studio album – ‘Five Foot Two – I Mean You’ which proved to be a huge success among many age groups. The band is labelled as a
Jazz band, but this never stops them from moving between musical genres, frequently introducing Funk, Rock & Roll & blues into the set.

£25 all inclusive. Our last event was a complete sell out, call now to ensure you do not miss a fantastic Jazz night to remember….

Please note that full payment must be made for the tickets at the time of booking.

Bollywood Night at Zari on 9th April 2014

Due to Popular demand“ Bollywood Night” at Zari is back!

on Wednesday 9th April at
7pm for 7.30 Start

Come and join us for a Night of Live and Exciting Bollywood Dance and
Entertainment. Enjoy a 6 course meal or recline in conversation ,
sipping on some of our signature cocktails

We promise to make it a Night to Remember ! Whether you know
nothing of Bollywood or are an avid fan of Indian Music,
we are sure you will have an exotic Night!

Tickets will only be reserved if payment is made in advance
Hurry to Book Tickets as places are limited and will be offered
on a first come first served basis!