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Tandoori chicken on a board from above.
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5 from 5 votes

tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken can be great. Don't let mediocre restaurant chicken put you off something wonderful. You can make it way better than they can.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: tandoori chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 620kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


Tandoori chicken

  • 1 3-4 lb chicken or a mix of chicken parts
  • tandoori marinade recipe below
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee to brush (optional)

Tandoori marinade

  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder - Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mint sauce - Google Coleman's mint sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro leaves/stems
  • 1 Tbsp Pataks tandoori paste - optional
  • 1 Tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 3 Tbsp oil - neutral oil like vegetable or canola
  • 4-6 Tbsp water - to make a runny paste
  • 1 pinch red or orange food colouring - optional


  • Combine all the ingredients in the tandoori marinade except the lemon. The lemon goes in at the end. Lemon is acidic. It "cooks" the chicken as it sits. You don't want this.
  • Cut the chicken into 10 pieces. Quarter the chicken. Cut the drumstick from the thigh. Cut the wings off the breasts. Halve the breasts. Remove the skin from the breasts, drumsticks and thighs. Leave the skin on the wings.
  • Combine tandoori marinade with chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  • Add the lemon juice right before you light the grill.
  • Light your grill. Build a two zone fire if using charcoal. Turn your gas grill to max on all the burners except one. You want high, indirect heat. If you can get your grill over 500F that's perfect.
  • If you have a kamodo grill experiment with higher temperatures. I'm not saying go to 800F and walk away though. The hotter the grill, the more you have to pay attention. Gets pretty tricky above 600F.
  • Different chicken pieces cook at different rates. Keep that in mind. Start your thighs first. Breasts and drumsticks next. Wings last. And don't just check one piece with your thermometer. Move it around. And pull your chicken pieces when they are ready. Perfect tandoori chicken means all the pieces are cooked perfectly.
  • Grill the chicken over indirect heat until almost done - around 20-25 minutes. This depends on how hot your grill is so use your instant read thermometer and cook to about 155F. Always use an instant read thermometer.
  • Move the chicken over direct (high) heat and grill an additional 2-4 minutes, turning every minute. You want a bit of char but you don't want it to burn or dry out.
  • Brush with a bit of ghee if using. Serve garnished with a bit of cilantro and thinly sliced white onion or shallot. A bit of raita works nicely too.


You can buy it but garlic ginger paste is much better when you make it yourself.

Tandoori chicken in the oven

You can make tandoori chicken in the oven. A little extra oil helps though so add an extra tablespoon or two to the marinade. Pre-heat to 450. Place your baking dish in the oven to get nice and hot. Once it's hot place the chicken in the pan. Keep some room around each piece. Don't jam them all in.
Roast as you would any other chicken. When the chicken releases from the pan flip it. Flip it a couple extra times while the chicken cooks. When an instant read thermometer reads 155F remove the tandoori chicken from the oven. 
Fire up your broiler. Once it's rip roaring hot give your chicken a bit of char. Watch it carefully and rotate the pan to ensure even browning.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 1361mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 1340IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 4mg