Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken is a popular Indian dish that involves marinating chicken and grilling it to perfection in a Tandoor, which is a cylindrical clay oven. As a first step, the chicken is marinated overnight in a mixture of spices, herbs, and yogurt.

This marinade tenderizes, spices, and flavors the chicken. It is then grilled in a Tandoor oven. Traditionally, a tandoor is heated by a wood fire or charcoal. The juices from the food drip onto the hot charcoal and impart a smoky flavor as it cooks in this clay oven.

The char-grilled chicken that results is the best – tender and juicy with bursting flavors.

Tandoori chicken is said to have originated during the Mughal period. Others claim Kundan Lal Gujral invented it at Moti Mahal in Peshawar before India’s partition. However, that is outside the scope of this post, so let us just enjoy making this delicious dish at home.

Do you want to know how to make Tandoori chicken without a tandoor?

To grill/roast the chicken, use any type of heat source, including an oven, stovetop, air fryer, or direct fire. One of these methods will be used to roast the chicken to perfection.

How do we impart the smoky flavor to the chicken?

You can infuse the smoky flavor by smoking the grilled chicken with a red hot wood coal or cooking it over direct fire for a few minutes near the end.

Tandoori Chicken

With this simple recipe, you can immerse yourself in the aromatic world of Tandoori Chicken. The bold flavors of Indian spices and the succulence of perfectly marinated and grilled chicken will elevate your home-cooking experience.
Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time40 minutes
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Tandoori Chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 400kcal


  • 1 Bowl For marination
  • Freezer Marination Rest
  • Pan For Pan cooking
  • Oven For Oven Cooking
  • Grill For Grill Cooking
  • Air Fryer For Less oil Cooking


  • ½ to ¾ kg 1.1 to 1.6 lbs chicken
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt hung curd
  • ¾ to 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder kashmiri or any low heat chilli
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper crushed powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder daniya powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt taste marinade & add more
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric haldi
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • tablespoon oil preferably mustard oil
  • To Grill
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • For color
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon oil preferably mustard oil


Prepare Marinade

1. Greek yogurt also known as hung curd is the key ingredient used in the marinade. It is nothing but curd that has been strained of all the whey/liquid. If you do not have Greek yogurt, please check this link to make hung curd.
2. Begin by transferring the yogurt to a large mixing bowl. Mix in all of the spice powders. Garam masala, coriander powder, pepper powder, turmeric, chili powder, and salt are all ingredients. Add the ginger garlic paste and kasuri methi as well.
3. Pour in the lemon juice. Take care not to add too much. Depending on how sour your yogurt is, use it as needed.
4. Pour in the oil as well.
5. Combine thoroughly and taste the marinade. Add any additional ingredients to taste, such as salt and chili powder. The marinade must be thick, not runny, or it will stick to the pan. If the marinade is runny, the chicken will release a lot of moisture and juices while grilling.
  1. Check for any dripping water on the chicken. Wipe dry with a kitchen tissue if necessary. Make deep gashes in the chicken next.
  1. Marinate it thoroughly so that the masala penetrates deep within. The marinade will make the chicken tender. So make certain you do it correctly.
  1. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Reduce the time because the chicken will not be cooked and tender. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.

Tandoori Chicken

Grilling in Oven - Preheat the oven to high for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature in my oven is 470 degrees Fahrenheit (240 degrees Celsius). Place a wired rack on top of a baking tray, followed by the prepared chicken. Grill for 15 minutes.
To make a spicy version, combine red chili powder and oil and baste the chicken on both sides. You can also brush the remaining marinade over the chicken.
Grill the chicken for another 6 to 10 minutes, or until fully cooked. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces, adjust the timing as needed. Set the oven to broil mode for the last 5 minutes, or move the rack to the highest level and grill until charred.

Method for grilling in a pan on the stovetop

9. Preheat a frying pan. 1 to 2 tbsp oil, spread out.
  1. Place the chicken on the tawa once the oil has heated up. Turn the heat down to medium.
  1. Flip the pieces after 3 to 4 minutes. Smear the marinade all over.
  2. After 3 to 4 minutes, flip them again.
  1. In the meantime, make a small bowl with red chili powder. Combine it with the oil. This is entirely optional. If you don't want spiced ones, skip them.
  2. Spread it on the tandoori chicken.
  1. Flip them over to the other side. Cook until soft and cooked on both sides. Smear a little soft butter on top if it looks too dry.
Tandoori Chicken Smoked
  1. If you don't want to smoke the chicken, skip this step. Light the charcoal.
  2. Place it in a cup when it becomes hot. Pour in 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee right away.
18. It will immediately start smoking.
  1. Finally, cover it and leave it to smoke for 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Before smoking the tandoori chicken, make sure it is thoroughly cooked. The meat should easily fall off the bone. With sliced onions, carrots, and lemon wedges, serve tandoori chicken with Cilantro Chutney or Mint Chutney. Serve with Turmeric Rice and Cucumber Raita to round out your meal.

Tandoori Chicken in the Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. Place the chicken in the basket and air fry for 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F.
When finished, brush the tandoori chicken with any remaining marinade or red chili paste mixed with oil. Cook for another 2 minutes in the air fryer. Brush with mustard oil or butter for authentic flavors.

Grilling in an Outdoor Grill

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
Brush the grate liberally with oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the preheated grill.
Cook for 5 to 6 minutes before turning them over. Baste the top side with the marinade and turn it over after 5 to 6 minutes. The cooking time is determined by the size of your chicken pieces.
Tandoori chicken takes about 27 to 30 minutes to fully cook. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and cook until it reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 75 degrees Celsius. Brush with butter or mustard oil to finish.

Read Also:- The Top 7 Most Common North Indian Delicacies: A Flavorful Odyssey

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