Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken has earned a name for itself and needs no explanation or introduction. Tandoori Chicken is just fabulous. The experience, the spices, the color, the flavor, the aroma….the combination of all this will have you coming back for more every time. So, Ladies and gentlemen here is…Tandoori Chicken……


Chicken – 6 pieces ( approx 1lb), washed & skinned drumsticks


Yogurt – 1 1/2 cups, well beaten

Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp

Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp

Red Chili Powder – 1/4 tsp

Paprika – 1/2 tsp

Tandoori Masala – 1 tbsp

Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

Red Food Color – 2 drops, optional

Green Chili – to taste, ground


Lemon Juice – 1/2 cup

Tandoori Masala – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste, optional

Red Food Color – 2 drops 


  1. Wash the skinned Chicken well and with a knife, make 1-inch slits in it.
  2. Put the chicken in a gallon size zip lock bag and add in the Lemon Juice.
  3. Give it a good mix and let it sit while getting the marinade ready.
  4. Pour all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Do a taste test for the marinade and adjust the salt and other spices as needed.
  6. Add the marinade to the chicken (in the zip lock bag) and give another good mix. Make sure all the pieces get well coated with the yogurt mixture.
  7. Store in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or minimum of 4 hours for best results.
  8. At the time of barbecuing, pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  9. Get the baste ready by mixing all the ingredients together.
  10. Once the Grill is ready, spray some cooking oil on the grill so that the chicken does not stick to the grill.
  11. With tongs, place the chicken on the grill and close the lid.  Allow it to cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Flip the chicken, coat it with the baste and allow it to cook for a few minutes.  Flip again.  Baste again. Repeat a couple of times until the chicken is fully cooked.
  13. The Chicken needs to cook for approximately 18-20 minutes total.
  14. Remove Chicken into a platter.  Always let it sit for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle in.
  15. Serve with Mint Chutney or Pickled Onions.


  1. Chicken thighs also work very well for this recipe in combination with or as an alternative to the chicken drumsticks.
  2. You can use boneless chicken for the same recipe as well.
  3. Tandoori Masala can be bought at any Indian grocery store of made at home.

Watch and learn…

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0 thoughts on “Tandoori Chicken

  1. Hi hetal. So I’m about to try out your recepie for a American fly I invited. My ques is u mentioned that v can use store bought tandoori masala& U have a few names, can u plz suggest. And 1 last thing, I’ve tried many recepies with grilling chichen, bt 1stly d yogurt leaves h2o& den I don’t get dat color or luk of the chicken, plz help

    1. Hi Ekta,

      We have used Rajah brand tandoori masala and have liked it. To prevent the water from collecting, you can strain the yogurt so that it is thicker before adding all of the spices.

  2. Hi I am really looking foward to trying this recepie and others on your website. I have an asian husband and am trying to learn many spicy dishes. Wish me luck :-). My question is..When you say 1 and 1/2 cup of yogurt, how much is that exactly. I have lots of different size cups at home. Can you be more metric with this please. Thank you. Leanne in UK

  3. You ladies are doing well……….keep on plugging
    To me, cooking is like Music
    You mix/combine/permutations/combinations the notes
    Result are ALWAYS WONDERFUL (Mostly)
    IF NOT ….You have another Wonderful Recipe
    I ain’t complain’n

    My take on ALL Cooking ??????





    Bon Petit

  4. Actually i have a problem in baking..

    I use a oven poof dish and foil it completly and apply oil on it and then only bake my dishes. Inspite of that everytime the foodstuff sticks to the foiled dish.. please help.

  5. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    First of all, you guys are so adorable. I have forwarded your website to foodie enthusiasts and they absolutely love it. My question – I love tandoori chicken, especially made with chicken legs, but I am worried about the blood I usually see in the bone. I noticed that you put the chicken legs directly in the ziploc bag – did you prep and clean the chicken beforehand? Is there a particular brand of chicken legs that is pre-cleaned. If not, how do you counter the blood issue? The sight of it makes me reevaluate my carnivorism!

    Thanks a bunch.


    1. Hi Mya,

      Thanks so much for your support! Unfortunately, there is not a good solution to the blood issue. We washed the chicken legs and patted them dry with a paper towel…this helps. You may also consider making boneless tandoori chicken.

  6. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Can you all help me out posting the recipe for something called MATLA CHICKEN its a gujarati dish I guess, My husband had it at his friends place and he liked it alot , I have been searching for the recipe online , but havent got any . I hopw yall help me out !

    Thanks !!

  7. Hi Ladies, I’ve tried this recipe numerous times and loved it every single time. We’re having a BBQ this weekend and I have a guest who doesn’t eat meat, but does eat seafood. I was thinking of making a prawn version of this tandoori. Do you have any advice for me apart from reducing the cooking time for the prawns? THanks a bunch!

  8. Pingback: Buying Spices
  9. Hi hetal And Anuja

    Tank you so much for such a wonderfull recipes
    Can you please tell me what is the diff between broil mode and normal mode? and when i am cooking in broil mode , in which rack sholud i put tandoori chicken ? please kindly tell me on which rack should cook in different modes.i think u can understand my question. thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Hyma,

      The broil mode means that the heat only comes from the top. The Bake mode means that the heat comes from the top and bottom. For Tandoori Chicken, use the broil mode but keep the chicken on the middle rack. You will need to broil it for approx 7-8 mins and then turn it over and broil for another 4-5 mins. After that, you can move it up to a higher rack to get the nice caramelized color.

  10. Hi Ladies,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. I have enjoyed every single dish I have made from your site!

    I have a question…
    One day while at a friends house her mother was making Tandoori chicken and she pulled out a mason jar filled with ground spices and it was red (almost resembled the color of ground red pepper. She mixed that with some yogart and then poured it over the chicken legs and baked before grilling. The chicken was absolutely fantastic.

    Is there a way to make a tandoori spice like that? It made the process look so much easier than what I have found this far…Any ideas??

    1. Hi Michele,

      Many Indian grocery stores sell jars of Tandoori Masala (similar to the one your friend’s mom has). This masala can be mixed with yogurt and used as the marinade. It basically has all of the ingredients we mention — ginger, garlic, tandoori masala, salt, oil, etc. It is difficult to make it at home and keep it for a long time as we don’t use preservatives. For a quick fix, the store bought jars work really well.

  11. hi, ladies
    i invited some guest for BBQ party this weekend in a park…i just want to know can i bake chicken little bit at home and then grill them it may save grilling time….but i dont know it will work or not??

    1. hmmm….interesting question. I would imagine that the chicken may dry out if you cook it in stages like that. You may be able to pre-cook it and then put in on the grill to re-heat it. You can take some baste along to re-moisten it while it’s heating.

  12. Hi Sharon,
    Sounds great. I would probably change out the white rice for any kind of pullao (Cumin-flavored Rice or Spinach-Carrots Pullao)and you can serve this with plain yogurt (raita- if you have time) and it’ll go beautifully with the Tandoori chicken and the pickled onions.
    The beauty of these dishes are that they can be made ahead of time. Enjoy!

  13. Hi there Anuja and Hetal, I am planning to serve tandoori chicken along wth pickled onions and plain white rice to some guests. I am wondering whether it would be too “dry” and should I make any other curried accompaniments. What would be a good (simple, hopefully!) accompaniment?

    P.s. : I’m gonna be cooking at my guest’s house, so I am trying to make things as simple as possible. Thanks!

  14. Awesome recipe..thanks a lot for this.

    I used my oven to cook this..
    I kept the oven at (BAKE)425 deg F. And kept the chicken in a foiled pan for around 35 mins.
    It was completely cooked by then.
    Then i turned on the Broil and cooked on the highest rack for 3 to 4 mins each side..to slightly blacken it.

    P.S. I did not use drumsticks..being a chicken lover..i used the whole leg..guess it was thigh and leg..so i guess only for legs would take less time.

  15. Hi,

    I tried to make some boneless chicken using the same method. However, the chicken came out extremely lemon tasting. I added only about a half a cup of lemon (per recipe – juice from one full lemon) for the almost 2 lbs of boneless chicken. How should I adjust the recipe to correct this?

    Thank you.


  16. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    The recipe looks simple & easy to make. I am planning to make tandoori this weekend.

  17. Yes, you can use the ‘broil’ feature in the oven to get the ‘closer to BBQ’ look…
    Broil on high and grill for 15-20 minutes, turing and basting ocacasionally, until cooked through and browned.
    If you do not have the ‘broil’ feature, here is whet you have to do…
    Preheat oven at 240 degrees C/475 degrees F and transfer the chicken pices to an oven proof dish. Cook for about 20-25 minutes till cooked and browned.
    For the oven, I would reccomend using Chicken Thighs as they do not dry up and stay moist in the oven. Basting in the oven is important as well
    G’Luck and Enjoy!

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