My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Dad Chef Raghu

Born in India and raised in the U.S., Raghu combines his passion for both cultures with a delicious and simple “Red Chicken” plus adds a Spanish-Style Spinach dish. Amazing!

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Raghu Krishnaiah


This father of two is a Chief Operating Officer with a busy schedule, but loves making time to cook for his family. Born in India and inspired by flavor, Raghu likes to follow his nose while creating in the kitchen. He began cooking in his early 20s for fun, and now one of his favorite things to do is watch his daughter copy things he’s cooked for her.

Q1 - What’s one tool in the kitchen you wish you had and why?

sous-vide. I’m a gadget guy. How could I not have this one?

Q2 - What’s your biggest meal disaster? Disaster?

What does that even mean - it all tastes good :) seriously though, I once put too much oil on food I was grilling and the resulting flame destroyed the grill

Q3 - What’s one thing you would like to learn how to make?

Peking Duck

Q4 - If there was one dish you would teach your kid to make, what would it be?

Beef Stroganoff

Q5 - What does it mean to you as a dad to cook for your family?

Cooking allows me to spend time with the family and experiment with new flavors together. It’s something that is just for us.

Get your laughs as Raghu Krishnaiah and Jason Glover shoot this episode and can’t stop messing up!

Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Dad Chef Raghu

Transcript of Season 1 Episode 7

Jason Glover: Welcome to Dad’s That Cook. I’m Jason Glover. I’m on a quest right now to go out around the country and find Dads that know how to cook. They may be plumbers, electricians, physicians. We’re going to highlight the incredible meals that they make, show everything that they do and get you the recipes so you can make them when you’re sitting at home with your family as well. There’s no time limits, there’s no secret ingredients and no experts … just good cooking.

On this episode of Dads That Cook, we’ll be grilling with Raghu Krishnaiah, a Dad who’s traveled all over the world, picking up tons of great recipes along the way. Today he’ll be whipping up Indian style chicken and a spinach dish inspired by Spanish cuisine.

Welcome to Dad’s That Cooke. I’m Jason Glover and today we have an awesome guest. Raghu Krishnaiah?

Raghu: You got it.

Jason Glover: First shot. What do you do? What’s your story? Where do you come from?

Raghu: There’s a bunch of questions in one, right?

Jason Glover: Hurry up, tell everybody real quick because I want to get to the food, I’m hungry, I’m starving.

Raghu: Absolutely, absolutely. I was born in India, grew up in the U.S. completely. Lived in about 10 different cities. I love food. Food brings it all together at the end of the day. Growing up my Mom cooked all those really great Indian foods, right? All the curries, all the vegetables, everything, right?

Jason Glover: She cooked them from scratch?

Raghu: Yeah, I don’t have an hour or two hours to make a dish so I take some of the best of that and the best of U.S. and best of other parts of the world I’ve been to and sort of put it all together.

Jason Glover: The family, the kids, the fact that they actually like your food, they want more of it, it’s just so cool.

Raghu: Yeah, and I let them name everything I make.

Jason Glover: Did they call this one red chicken?

Raghu: This is their name, not mine.

Jason Glover: Really? And they called it spinach? Where’d they come up with that one?

Raghu: I don’t know. You know, they’re creative. Kids are most creative around. My son turns 10 in a month.

Jason Glover: Ten? Oh great.

Raghu: Yeah, so I’m going to hit the double digits then.

Jason Glover: And your sons name is?

Raghu: My sons name is Bashel. My daughters name is Mira. She’s seven, she runs the house.

Jason Glover: She runs the house?

Raghu: Of course.

Jason Glover: She’s like, she owns it.

Raghu: She owns it, it’s her house. Sure. Everything’s hers. And my wife, Misha, she’s a dentist>

Jason Glover: So your wife hated you when you first met?

Raghu: That’s her story. My story much [inaudible] than her story.

Jason Glover: So how’d you work that angle?

Raghu: Charming.

Jason Glover: Is that what it was? I don’t know if you noticed or not but, when you cook, and you like, oh my gosh, this is really great, I’m really cooking along and all of a sudden you slop all over yourself, so I’m not going to let that happen today, okay?

Raghu: Really?

Jason Glover: I’m going to make sure that Chef Raghu –

Raghu: Oh ho, look at this –

Jason Glover: Has his own jacket –

Raghu: Alright –

Jason Glover: See it’s got –

Raghu: I love it –

Jason Glover: Chef Raghu over here –

Raghu: Hey, and my name is spelled properly –

Jason Glover: Look at that.

Raghu: This is perfect.

Jason Glover: I’m fired up about this dish.

Raghu: Okay, this is actually really quick, easy. There’s only a few ingredients here as you can plainly see. Garlic paste, ginger paste, comes in those little squirt containers, curry powder, tandoori powder, olive oil.

Jason Glover: And chicken. And a bowl.

Raghu: And a big bowl to mess in.

Jason Glover: And a spoon.

Raghu: And a spoon. I usually just use the thighs. Boneless, skinless thighs and I find these really absorb it well and they cook quickly. There’s about two pounds of chicken in here. So once it’s all mixed up, you let it sit for a little while and you can grill it right away and serve it. What I find with chicken, the longer you let it marinate in, the better the flavor comes out. It goes inside the food and not just on the surface.

Jason Glover: You had some already prepared last night, correct?

Raghu: That’s correct.

Jason Glover: We’ll already have that marinated aspect, but we’re going to show you how to do it anyway.

Raghu: You try to do a little bit of planning because you really want to marinate the chicken overnight if you could because that’ll really get the flavor coming out and the scent coming out when you eat it. And, really, this is so simple. You can actually flavor it the way you want and add what you want. I’ve got some ratios here I use typically. One and a half of garlic to one ginger. Ginger’s like the wonder spice. It’s good for like everything from hair growth, which I could use more of probably, to anti-fungals for your feet –

Jason Glover: We’re not doing anything with feet today –

Raghu: We’re not doing today in [inaudible], tandoori powder, this is where the red comes from, obviously. Again, off the shelf, in a container about yeah big. You don’t want too much of this. You really want more of the curry. The last main ingredient is olive oil. Get good olive oil. This is critical. While it doesn’t necessarily add a whole lot to the flavor, it won’t take it away from it. Bad olive … kill ya’. The main thing about the olive oil is that it also makes sure it doesn’t stick on the grill. So this helps. You don’t have to do any of the spraying or anything else, this will take care of it for you.

Jason Glover: So we’ve got to go to Italy, is that what you’re saying?

Raghu: I just import it from Italy, don’t you do that?

Jason Glover: Of course, I mean cases of it. It will show up and [inaudible]

Raghu: There you go. Again, grocery store you can find everything.

Jason Glover: Awesome. Mix it all up in a little bowl and let it sit overnight and then work it’s magic on the grill.

Raghu: Yep, so, I usually hand mix this. I let it sit out for maybe twenty minutes till it kind of warms up a little bit so I’ll use my hands. I’m going to slip beside of you if that’s okay.

Jason Glover: Yeah, go for it.

Raghu: Alright. I always start with the olive oil. The trick is to make enough to coat all the chicken. Two pounds, about a quarter cup does it. So, just stick it on in. Alright, so I’m going to add the garlic in now. It’s about an ounce, ounce and half of garlic is pretty much all we’re going to need. Then, the ginger, last is ginger because the ginger –

Jason Glover: Ginger’s really strong, it can ruin the whole dish.

Raghu: So you only use about half the amount of ginger. Mix it up a little bit. It’s like creating a paste just a little bit. So you want to make sure the olive oil really mixes in with the garlic and stuff. It looks kind of chunky at this point but it will smooth out really quick. So now we’re going to add the real flavor, the curry powder.

Jason Glover: This isn’t the fake flavor?

Raghu: No, not at all.

Jason Glover: This is the real flavor.

Raghu: This is fresh flavor. I use a whole teaspoon of this of curry powder. I use my hands.

Jason Glover: You use your fingers. Oh, my gosh.

Raghu: It’s much easier.

Jason Glover: A couple of pinches.

Raghu: A couple of pinches, right. And then I do, this is the red stuff again, tandoori powder, very little of this. If this is a teaspoon, you want a quarter teaspoon of this.

Jason Glover: Tandoori, what does it do?

Raghu: So tandoori, you have tandoori chicken in your restaurants, right? It puts a little bit of flavor to it and it really makes the color. I use it just for coloring.

Jason Glover: Just for coloring.

Raghu: Not really for the flavor.

Jason Glover: Not much for the flavor.

Raghu: No, it’s merely for color. That’s where the red comes from. It makes it fun, kids like color.

Jason Glover: I like color.

Raghu: Perfect, so red’s good.

Jason Glover: I like chicken, hey, we should hang out.

Raghu: That’s right. The trick is, don’t put too much of this because this will burn on the grill. This stuff won’t, this stuff will burn. So never do that.

Jason Glover: Hmm. That’s a good little thing to know.

Raghu: Now I mix this together, now you got to smell it.

Jason Glover: Oh yeah, that smells great. Mm-hmm (affirmative) Could we just start eating it?

Raghu: We need more spice.

Jason Glover: It still smells good, I smell olive oil a lot.

Raghu: I’m going to put the rest of the curry powder in.

Jason Glover: Yeah, what the heck.

Raghu: So I was a little worried the first time I made it whether the kids would eat because they weren’t big on spice then. But they ate it and they didn’t even notice it.

Jason Glover: They didn’t even notice it.

Raghu: It’s all mixed, we’re all set. So the chicken, you got to put your hands in.

Jason Glover: Got to put your hands in.

Raghu: So you just toss it on in.

Jason Glover: Throw that chicken in there.

Raghu: It just lays on top and literally you just scoop it together. Just make sure that everything is very well coated.

Jason Glover: Alright good, so this is all ready to go. You go wash your hands. Do you put saran wrap or something on it?

Raghu: I put saran wrap right on top and let it sit in the fridge.

Jason Glover: Fortunately for us, Raghu already had some made last night because obviously you want to have that marinating overnight, right?

Raghu: Right. Here it is after about 18 hours of marinating. So Jason, we’re going to let it sit here for about 15 minutes. I find it’s best to let it wait, let it warm up a little bit. If you put something really cold on the grill it will just kill the flavor and it will shock the meat, it won’t taste as good.

Jason Glover: And it won’t be as tender. So we’re going to let that sit for about 15 minutes and then we’re just going to go throw that on the grill.

Raghu: Yes, straight on. I’ll go turn on the grill now to get it warmed up.

Jason Glover: We are outside, we’re barbecuing. Chef Raghu, how hot have we got it?

Raghu: I’ve got it up around 375, 400 degrees. Probably a good temperature. You don’t want to get it too hot because you want to get the inside to cook and not burn the outside, right?

Jason Glover: Absolutely. So what are you going to do? You going to throw it on there?

Raghu: So I’m going to put it on right now. I’ll take it piece by piece. This is always the fun part. Put it on without burning your hands.

Jason Glover: Everybody’s got their techniques, right? Oh, listen to the sizzle.

Raghu: If you guys weren’t here, I’d probably use my fingers, you know?

Jason Glover: Well, then you just wipe it all over your –

Raghu: Yeah –

Jason Glover: But now you’ve got your jacket and eventually you can do that, right? Right now I like the way it looks nice and clean.

Raghu: Trick is, you put it on, trick is chicken is a little [inaudible] you got to flatten it out a little bit.

Jason Glover: Sure.

Raghu: So it cooks nice and even, otherwise, you get spots. So I usually keep it on for about seven to ten minutes per side and then flip it. You move this one out of the way a little bit –

Jason Glover: Oh, it’s flaming.

Raghu: When you use the grill a lot you realize you’ve got some spots on the grill that will cause problems. I’ve got a funky grill. I don’t know about you guys but I’ve got some areas that are hotter than others.

Jason Glover: That’s normal with every grill. Every grill has got a hot spot and I don’t why that is. I don’t know why they can’t make one that everything is –

Raghu: Perfect? I’m flipping this early just to –

Jason Glover: You are? Your flipping it early, huh?

Raghu: Yeah, I’m just curious what it looks like on that side –

Jason Glover: It’s looking good.

Raghu: Sometimes I worry the grill gets too hot in some places, it might burn a little bit –

Jason Glover: Yeah, yeah, yeah –

Raghu: Clearly I’ve got to flip it again but –

Jason Glover: That’s okay.

Raghu: This is a starting point.

Jason Glover: It’s a starting point.

Raghu: This is one of the colder spots –

Jason Glover: Yeah, I can see that –

Raghu: Move it to a hot spot.

Jason Glover: I’m going to smell like chicken tonight.

Raghu: If you notice, nothing is sticking except for that one piece, which obviously had not enough olive oil. Everything else comes right off. Absolutely no stick and I put nothing on the grill to do that.

Jason Glover: And normally, you know, sometimes you do. You kind of set your grill up, you put some oil on it, you give it that nice base. You pre-coat it, right?

Raghu: Right.

Jason Glover: But if you do have enough oil in the dish that you’re making, you don’t necessarily have to worry about it so much. I can smell all that. There’s garlic and ginger.

Raghu: Okay. I’ve got to make sure these things are fully cooked, right? Chicken you don’t want to mess around with.

Jason Glover: You don’t want to mess around with chicken. You don’t like raw chicken? I wonder why.

Raghu: I think we’re ready to take it off.

Jason Glover: I think the chicken is calling.

Raghu: Oh, look at that.

Jason Glover: Yeah, it’s ready to roll.

Raghu: It’s ready, it’s ready to be eaten.

Jason Glover: Get that platter or I’ll hold the platter for you if you want.

Raghu: No, I got it, it’s alright.

Jason Glover: You can do both?

Raghu: I can do both.

Jason Glover: You are, like, magic man.

Raghu: Right, look at that. Two pounds. That’s what it looks likes.

Jason Glover: Oh, look at that. That looks good.

Raghu: Clean on the grill when it’s hot, works well.

Jason Glover: Really? I usually just leave it.

Alright, we’re back from the grill. We’ve been working –

Raghu: It came out really nice on the grill, actually. I’m surprised I didn’t burn it this time.

Jason Glover: Yeah, I’m so happy you didn’t burn it.

Raghu: Take a whiff. This is what it comes down to.

Jason Glover: Oh, you definitely smell that.

Raghu: It’s all set.

Jason Glover: That curry and tandoori, you can smell that in there, it’s so tasty. Okay, we got to have some veggies –

Raghu: We got to have veggies. We got to get a green also, right?

Jason Glover: Got to get a green.

Raghu: Yep. It’s a very easy recipe. Actually it’s a Spanish dish and I found this when I was first traveling in Spain years ago. I modify it a little bit for the allergy stuff and also make it a little more mix with the chicken we just made. So, obviously, olive oil, good stuff. Raisins, California grown, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. And what we have here are the mince garlic and ginger powder. I usually use about a spoon, spoon and half of the garlic, just a little dash of the ginger. Baby spinach, fresh, I like the fresh stuff.

Jason Glover: Picked it right out of the back yard. It’s unbelievable.

Raghu: This is about 16 ounces –

Jason Glover: Because it will shrink down into like enough for 3 or 4 people –

Raghu: This is a bowl, it’s a bowl about this big –

Jason Glover: Kids like it –

Raghu: Kids like it, I’m surprised.

Jason Glover: I am surprised.

Raghu: They won’t eat Brussels sprouts but they’ll eat the spinach.

Jason Glover: So let’s get this thing cooking. Let’s put your spinach on. What do you like it on?

Raghu: I put it on medium, typically. But I put the oil in right away, because sometimes the pan gets a little too hot without the oil.

Jason Glover: Yeah, just like what? A quarter cup?

Raghu: Yeah, just enough –

Jason Glover: Maybe less than that –

Raghu: It probably needs [inaudible] cup, just enough to coat the bottom is really all you really want. Okay, let’s see how much we can actually get in here.

Jason Glover: I know, looks like you got some hand fulls. You don’t have to do it all. You can leave a couple leafs left over for your bunny rabbit or something, if you have one.

Raghu: So we’re going to let it sit here for a little while –

Jason Glover: Let it sit, let it steam –

Raghu: Let it warm up for a little while. I’m going to first get this thing to start getting smaller –

Jason Glover: Kind of where you want it –

Raghu: The right size –

Jason Glover: Then you’ll add the rest of it.

Raghu: Then I’m going to add the rest of the stuff.

Jason Glover: Take a bigger pan I think next time.

Raghu: You think?

Jason Glover: Next time. Or less spinach. Takes a little while.

Raghu: It takes a little while.

Jason Glover: Couple of minutes, but I like spinach. It’s really good for you and it is really easy to make.

Raghu: It is, I was really surprised when I first started eating spinach because I used to really hate eating vegetables. It’s already half the size.

Jason Glover: Yeah, that’s really getting there.

Raghu: I’ll put the garlic and ginger in right now so I’ll just keep mixing it.

Jason Glover: Just throw it all in there.

Raghu: Just throw it all in there.

Jason Glover: Make it happen.

Raghu: Mix it up a little bit and I’ll put some raisins in and then, I think a couple minutes after that, we’re all set. All right, let me pop the raisins in. Cook this a little bit because they get a little bit firmer –

Jason Glover: Yeah, absolutely. I like raisins. Sometimes currants are good too if you don’t want them so big. Cranberries are really good in here too.

Raghu: I’ve never tried that one.

Jason Glover: Try the cranberries.

Raghu: Good thing about this, it’s a little bit sweet with the raisins and it offsets some of the spice you get with the chicken.

Jason Glover: True. Alright, so now we’re going to sit down with the family and we’re going to test it out and see what the kids have to say.

Raghu: Let’s go.

Jason Glover: Alright, let’s go.

We have the family now. We have Raghu’s beautiful family. Look at these beautiful kids. And, Raghu’s been working hard all day, sweating all day on this chicken.

Raghu: I had to take a shower before dinner.

Jason Glover: I know. I hear this is something that you guys like that your Dad makes, right? So you ready to eat it up? What’s your name sweetheart?

Mira: Mira.

Jason Glover: Mira? And what’s your name?

Bashel: Bashel.

Jason Glover: Bashel and Mira. I think I got it. Okay and your beautiful wife, your name is?

Misha: Misha.

Jason Glover: Misha. Alright, so I’ve heard some awesome stories about you.

Misha: Oh, oh.

Jason Glover: Good ones, they’re all good. Alright, well let’s try some food, let’s give it a whirl. They love spinach. Here you go. Take your plate.

Raghu: Big piece, small piece?

Mira: Big.

Raghu: Big, yes.

Jason Glover: Of course.

Raghu: There you go.

Jason Glover: That’s what we’re talking about.

Raghu: That’s what we’re talking about. Here you go. You can start eating. You don’t have to wait.

Jason Glover: Go for it. Eat it up.

Raghu: I know you guys are hungry.

Jason Glover: Oh no, they’re just going for it.

Raghu: Dig in. I’m going to go back and actually get spinach first –

Jason Glover: Wow, I’m getting served. Okay. Looks good.

Raghu: There you go.

Jason Glover: Alright, well, let’s give it a whirl. I’ll wait here [inaudible]

Raghu: Oh so nice.

Jason Glover: You know, that’s how I rule. Let’s try this chicken.

Misha: Mmmmm. This is delicious.

Raghu: Came out good.

Jason Glover: That’s really good.

Raghu: Worked out. You guys like it? Better than before? No? The same? Okay, good, at least the same.

Jason Glover: Just the same, that’s good. This is excellent. You used no salt and pepper in any of this. I’m getting salt in this from the chicken and what you’ve cooked and I’m, you know, it really didn’t need it. Hence, I probably would’ve over salted my food on this one. Let’s try this spinach and see how that goes.

Raghu: It’s best with the chicken, they go well together.

Jason Glover: Mmmmmm. That’s yummy and I’m not just saying that, you know what I’m saying? You know what I’m saying? Mmmmm.

Raghu: Quick, easy, healthy, very little clean up.

Jason Glover: This is awesome. Mmmmm.

Raghu: It was great seeing you and good luck with the show.

Jason Glover: Thanks Raghu. Thank you so much. So you want to learn Raghu’s recipe you go on back to Dads That Cook dot com, you can figure it all out. Otherwise, we’ll see you next time. Have a good one. Awesome.

So are you a Dad? Do you like to cook? Do you cook meals for your family? Are you a regular Dad like I am and not professionally trained but you think you’ve got what it takes to be on my show? Go to Dads That Cook dot com, fill out the form and who knows? You might be the next person on our show.