3.7/5 rating (90 votes)

Tandoori Chicken

Chicken in a Spiced Yoghurt

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Marinade 1 hr
  • Cook 40 mins

The iconic Punjabi dish is cooked with chicken pieces on the bone and flavoured with a delicate blend of tandoori spices in a yoghurt marinade - healthy and delicious!

Hari says

The iconic tandoori style chicken comes from my family's home region in India and it's a dish that we are very proud of. Our family barbeques have never involved sausages or burgers, but are instead all about tandoori chicken, lamb kebabs and spicy chutneys.

Traditionally, tandoori chicken is cooked with a whole bird that has been infused with flavour through a distinct two-stage marinading process. This involves using a wood burning clay oven that is cylindrical in shape and built into the ground.

The tandoor oven is what gives this amazing dish its unique flavour, texture and smoky fragrance. It's the Kashmiri chillies that give it the iconic red colour (not the luminous red we are used to seeing in restaurants). As difficult as it is to replicate these flavours (I have been trialling and testing for years), I think that I have a pretty good tandoori chicken recipe here.

I am very passionate about this dish, and not only do I love to eat it, but I really enjoy putting it together too. If you have time it's great to let the chicken marinade for as long as possible but if you dont have time then you can cook it staright away too so it's a great mid week meal. So if you want to make your barbeque something special this year or just enjoy a quick, light meal in the evening give this tandoori chicken recipe a go!


To buy the main ingredients for my Tandoori, check out my curry kit here

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 4 chicken legs, skinned and trimmed

Marinade

  • 1 tbsp mustard oil / rapeseed oil
  • 1 large lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 200ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves.

Garnish

  • Handful of coriander with chopped lemon wedges
 

Method

  1. Once skinned and trimmed, slash the flesh on the legs twice, diagonally, down to the bone.
  2. Blend the garlic, ginger, chilli in a pestle and mortar.
  3. Place the chicken in a dish and stir in the blended ingredients. Pour on the lemon juice and the mustard oil.
  4. In a separate dish, mix the remaining ingredients (salt, garam masala, ground cumin seeds, Kashmiri red chilli powder, dried fenugreek leaves) with the yoghurt to create a paste. Add this yoghurt paste to the chicken and massage into the meat using your hands.
  5. Cover, refrigerate and leave for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better. Heat the oven to 200oC.
  6. Transfer the marinated chicken to an oven tray and cook for about 30-40 minutes. The chicken should be tender and a little charred, which helps give the smokey flavour. Even better, you can cook this on the barbecue!

Served with

I always have this chicken recipe as a starter with a green salad. The one thing you have to have with this tandoori chicken is raw onions that have been soaked in salted water, drained and then drenched in lemon juice.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories255
Fat (g)12
of which saturates (g)2
Carbohydrates (g)7
of which sugars (g)3
Fibre (g)1
Protein (g)30
Salt (mg)771
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments

Comments (21)

  • itaEpifs

    itaEpifs

    07 October 2019 at 08:05 |
    Ciao a tutti vengo dall'italia

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      07 October 2019 at 19:50 |
      Ciao - welcome to the website. You need to join us on the app too! Do you like Indian food? Hari

      reply

  • Linda

    Linda

    13 September 2019 at 11:26 |
    Thank you for this lovely recipe, Hari. This is great for lunch with friends and can be prepared the night before. I serve it with spicy fried potatoes and a big salad. Not very authentic but we like to have lemon mayonnaise with it. Again, thank you.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      29 September 2019 at 14:37 |
      Hi Linda - thanks for trying it - I can see how lemon mayonnaise would work here! Thanks so much for sharing Hari

      reply

  • Quazi Akram

    Quazi Akram

    09 April 2019 at 11:05 |
    Hey...
    My mouth is full of water just by reading the recipe of the dish. Will definitely try to make these recipe. And would like to introduce it in my restaurant. By the way I am running a restaurant in India which is specialized in offering International BBQ with desi (national) flavor.
    Please go to the link below and have a look:
    http://sizzlingbarbeque.com/

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      12 April 2019 at 10:37 |
      Let me know if you try it in the restaurant!

      reply

  • Ryan

    Ryan

    29 January 2017 at 02:38 |
    Hi Hari,
    Thanks so much for the tip on the chile. I started marinating yesterday and threw it on the grill tonight and it was fantastic! It went great with homemade chapati (first try making chapati, btw, lol) and charred onions with a squeeze of grilled lemon. I think this would be wonderful and easy for camping: just get the chicken marinating in ziplocs at home and just throw them on the grill when I get to the campsite. Mini chicken wings would be good this way too, I think.
    Thanks again,
    Ryan

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      30 January 2017 at 09:03 |
      Hi Ryan so good to hear that you loved the tandoori chicken. Yes totally agree - perfect meal for a camping trip. Hari

      reply

  • Ryan

    Ryan

    23 January 2017 at 23:14 |
    Hello Hari,
    This recipe looks fantastic and I am really excited to try. One question, though: what kind of green chili do you use? Jalapeño? Serrano? Green Thai? Something milder? Something hotter?
    Thanks,
    Ryan

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      25 January 2017 at 08:33 |
      Hi Ryan we tend to use Serrano chillies and the Kashmiri chilli powder for the colour. I hope this helps - let me know how it turns out Hari

      reply

  • Mark Harvey

    Mark Harvey

    17 January 2017 at 15:55 |
    Top recipe !
    Going for it again on Thursday !

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      17 January 2017 at 20:28 |
      Hi Mark - Brilliant so please yo love this one it's always a winner!!

      reply

  • Dominique Van Vaerenbergh

    Dominique Van Vaerenbergh

    14 August 2016 at 11:27 |
    This is a wonderful recipe, great on a BBQ, it has been one of our favourites this summer that friends and family who have visited us here in France have enjoyed, and any left overs have been used in a wrap the next day with a bit of soured cream dressing. Wonderful.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      15 August 2016 at 09:21 |
      Hi Dominique Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on this dish - I love it too and I'm thrilled that you do as well. Thank you so much for using the website and cooking the dishes. Hari

      reply

  • Janet

    Janet

    06 August 2016 at 01:12 |
    It turned out really well. I'd marinaded in the first ingredients for a couple of hours (before I got your reply) and then added the yogurt mix before I went to bed. Cooked the chicken for dinner tonight - absolutely delicious. I used boneless chicken thighs and cooked them in a convection oven on a rack so the heat circulated all around. Temperature was 375f and they were done in 25 minutes.

    reply

  • Janet

    Janet

    05 August 2016 at 00:58 |
    Hi Hari, how long do you marinade the meat in the lemon mixture before adding the yogurt marinade? Thanks, Janet

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      05 August 2016 at 08:28 |
      Hi Janet I usually just leave it for as long as it takes me to mske the yoghurt marinade but up to half hour is plenty of time. Let me know how it comes out. Thanks for using the site. Hari

      reply

  • Stefan

    Stefan

    05 June 2016 at 19:38 |
    Looks tasty! Is there a reason for applying the blended garlic, ginger, etc. first and then applying the yogurt marinade as a separate layer?

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      07 June 2016 at 06:57 |
      Hi Stefan The tandoori marinade is usually a 2 stage process - it just gives a little time for the ginger, lemon etc to start to tenderise the meat before adding the spices and the yoghurt. In a tandoor the yoghurt would act to protect the meat from the high temperatures as well. Hope this has helped. Hari

      reply

  • lee

    lee

    04 February 2016 at 14:44 |
    I keep coming back to this recipe as there is always chicken in the freezer always youghurt in the fridge and spices in the cupboard.My family loves it even my 5 year old,we usually do wedges and salad to sereve, it just tastes so authentic and no need for a tandoor oven.Fabulous.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      04 February 2016 at 23:04 |
      Hi Lee it's just wonderful to hear that you are getting your little one used to new flavours and that this dish has become a favourite in your home. Thank you so much for coming to the website and taking time to tell me what you think about the recipe. I have to say I love tandoori - simple, healthy and really tasty just the way food should be. Do let me know if you try anything else and please do leave a star rating if you get a chance. Thanks again Hari

      reply

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