Peri Peri Chicken

In most parts of India, there is one dish which is a unanimous favourite - Tandoori Chicken (unless one is a vegetarian, of course). It is just something that we have grown up eating and the dish still continues to dominate "grilled" or "tandoor" sections of most restaurant menus which serve Indian / Mughlai food. Its just the brilliance of the dish - medium-large chicken-in-bone pieces marinated in a fusion of spices, and grilled to perfection in a charcoal tandoor. That reddish coloured chicken (though artificially added) is omnipresent on Indian food tables. We have been exploring alternative cuisines for a very long time, but were struggling to find a similar recipe or even a close second. Until we ventured upon the South African chain - Nando's

Nando's opened around 2 years back in Delhi, India and its marque flame-grilled peri-peri chicken has taken the city by storm. It is an absolute delight for chicken eaters with a spicy palate and for most, it's just such a good option to the tandoori chicken. Its grilled (not the KFC fried!), spicy and just full of flavours. But long queues outside Nandos at any time of the day is something that is the only dampener. 

So we were motivated to recreate the recipe at home. We had tried recreating the Dominos spicy chicken wings earlier and it went very well. The trick this time was that the original peri peri sauce is made with bird's eye chilli, something not easily available here. So we used the locally available red chillis but also had to use other ingredients liked smoked paprika to infuse more flavour.

Presenting WhenIAte's lipsmacking version of the famous peri peri chicken. Its spicy, slightly sweet and yummylicious. Enough said, let's cook!

Ingredients - serves 2

1/2 chicken (in bone)

For Sauce (to marinate 1/2 kg chicken)
2 cayenne pepper or red pepper (for medium hot)
1 Red bell pepper
10 garlic cloves
2 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil (or more to achieve desired consistency)
1 tbsp smoked paprika (optional but gives that much needed smoky flavour)
1 tbsp dried oregano (or to taste)


1. Grill the red bell peppers and red peppers for about 15-20 min at 200 centigrade, or till the skin starts getting black.

2. Take out the peppers from the oven and take off the skin and de-seed them.

3. Grind all the ingredients together and adjust salt as per taste.

4. Marinate chicken in the sauce for a tleast an hour (you may marinate and keep in fridge over night). Make slits on the chicken before marinating to ensure it reaches the core and makes it soft.

5. Cook chicken in a foiled baking tray at 250 degrees for 20 mins.

Squeeze lemon before serving!



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About the Authors

This blog is from the kitchen of Neha Gupta and Mridul Karkara. We go about our days pretending to be HR Managers and Business Consultants respectively, though in reality, just thinking about our next big meal! This food blog is a representation of our experiments in the kitchen and for the simple joy of cooking and sharing!

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