Tantalizing Tandoori Chicken Recipes

Roasted Tandoori Chicken The Defined Dish Recipes
Roasted Tandoori Chicken The Defined Dish Recipes from thedefineddish.com

What is Tandoori Chicken?

Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish known for its vibrant flavors and distinctive red color. It is made by marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of yogurt and spices, and then cooking them in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor. The marinade typically includes ingredients such as ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala, which infuse the chicken with a delicious blend of aromatic and tangy flavors.

The name "tandoori" refers to the cooking method rather than the specific flavors of the dish. The intense heat of the tandoor oven, which can reach temperatures over 900 degrees Fahrenheit (480 degrees Celsius), creates a unique smoky flavor and gives the chicken a charred and slightly crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy.

Tandoori Chicken Indian Style Baked Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, AIP

Tandoori chicken is a favorite in Indian cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide. It is often served as an appetizer or as a main course accompanied by naan bread, rice, or a fresh salad. The bold and aromatic flavors of the spices, combined with the succulent chicken, make it a tantalizing and satisfying dish that is loved by many.

While traditionally cooked in a tandoor, it is also possible to prepare tandoori chicken using a grill, oven, or stovetop. Regardless of the cooking method, the result is a flavorful and aromatic chicken dish that is sure to impress your taste buds. Whether you enjoy it as a part of an Indian feast or as a standalone dish, tandoori chicken offers a delightful culinary experience that showcases the rich flavors of Indian cuisine.Traditional Tandoori Chicken Recipe

This traditional tandoori chicken recipe has been passed down for generations. It is made with a combination of spices, yogurt, and lemon juice and is roasted in a tandoor. The marinade is what gives the chicken its signature bright orange color. The tandoori chicken is usually served with a side of chutney, an Indian condiment made from fruits and spices.


  • 2 pounds chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon food coloring (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, ground coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, ginger, garlic powder, cinnamon, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat the tandoor to 500°F.
  5. Thread the chicken onto skewers and place in the tandoor.
  6. Roast the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the skewers often to ensure even cooking.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the tandoor and brush with food coloring (optional).
  8. Serve the tandoori chicken hot with a side of chutney.

Variations on the Traditional Recipe

For a spicy twist, add a teaspoon of chili powder to the marinade. For a sweeter flavor, add a tablespoon of honey. For a more mild flavor, reduce the amount of spices in the marinade. To make the dish vegan, substitute the chicken with tempeh or cubed tofu. You can also add vegetables to the skewers, such as bell peppers and onions.

Roasted Tandoori Chicken The Defined Dish Recipes

Tips for the Best Tandoori Chicken

For the best results, be sure to marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will ensure that the chicken is flavorful and juicy. Make sure to preheat the tandoor to 500°F before adding the chicken to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly. If you don’t have a tandoor, you can also bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes.

To achieve the best-tasting tandoori chicken, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Marination is key: Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to ensure that the flavors penetrate the meat. The yogurt-based marinade helps tenderize the chicken and infuses it with the aromatic spices. For maximum flavor, make sure to coat the chicken pieces thoroughly and evenly with the marinade.
  2. Use yogurt as a base: Yogurt is a crucial ingredient in the marinade as it not only helps tenderize the chicken but also adds a tangy and creamy flavor. Opt for full-fat plain yogurt for a richer taste and creamier texture. Greek yogurt or hung curd can also be used to achieve a thicker marinade.
  3. Get the spice balance right: Tandoori chicken is known for its robust and flavorful spice blend. Adjust the spice levels according to your preference, but be sure to include the quintessential spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala. This combination adds warmth, depth, and that distinctive red color to the dish.
  4. Don't forget the ginger and garlic: Fresh ginger and garlic play an essential role in enhancing the flavors of tandoori chicken. Use them generously in the marinade to infuse the chicken with their aromatic and pungent notes. Finely grated or minced ginger and garlic work best for even distribution of flavors.
  5. Choose the right chicken cuts: While traditionally tandoori chicken is made with bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, you can adapt the recipe to suit your preference. Chicken thighs or drumsticks tend to be more flavorful and remain moist during cooking. If using boneless chicken, be mindful of the cooking time to avoid dryness.
  6. Emulate the tandoor oven: If you don't have a tandoor oven, you can still achieve great results using a grill or oven. Preheat your grill to high heat or set your oven to the highest temperature possible to replicate the intense heat of a tandoor. For smokiness, you can add a few soaked wood chips or use a charcoal grill.
  7. Baste with oil or ghee: Brushing the chicken with oil or ghee while grilling or baking helps to keep it moist and adds a beautiful shine to the final dish. Basting also contributes to the smoky flavors and helps create a slightly charred exterior.
  8. Cook to perfection: Avoid overcooking the chicken, as it can result in dry and tough meat. Keep a close eye on the cooking time, as it may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces and the cooking method. Aim for juicy and succulent chicken with a slightly charred and crispy exterior.
  9. Rest before serving: Allow the cooked tandoori chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute and ensures a more tender and flavorful eating experience.

By following these tips, you can create a mouthwatering tandoori chicken that bursts with aromatic flavors and tender, juicy meat. Serve it with fresh lemon wedges, mint chutney, or a side of naan bread for a complete and delicious meal. Enjoy the culinary delights of tandoori chicken in the comfort of your own home.

Serving Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is best served hot and is typically accompanied by a side of chutney. It can also be served with a side of naan, Indian flatbread, or a side of sautéed vegetables. This dish can also be served as an appetizer or as a main course.

When it comes to serving tandoori chicken, there are various ways to make it a memorable and enjoyable meal. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro or mint leaves over the tandoori chicken. This adds a touch of freshness and a vibrant pop of color to the dish.
  2. Accompany with Dips and Chutneys: Serve tandoori chicken with an assortment of flavorful dips and chutneys. Mint chutney, tangy tamarind chutney, or a cooling yogurt-based raita are classic choices that complement the flavors of tandoori chicken perfectly. These dips add an extra dimension of taste and help balance the spices.
  3. Serve with Naan Bread or Roti: Tandoori chicken pairs wonderfully with freshly baked naan bread or roti. The soft and pillowy texture of naan bread is ideal for scooping up the chicken and sauces. Alternatively, you can opt for whole wheat roti for a healthier twist.
  4. Create a Tandoori Platter: For a more elaborate presentation, consider creating a tandoori platter. Arrange the tandoori chicken pieces alongside other Indian delicacies such as vegetable skewers, paneer tikka, or seekh kebabs. This allows your guests to sample a variety of flavors and textures.
  5. Include Fresh Salad or Slaw: Add a refreshing element to your tandoori chicken meal by serving a side salad or slaw. A simple cucumber and tomato salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala complements the dish well. Alternatively, a tangy cabbage slaw with yogurt dressing provides a cool contrast to the smoky flavors of the chicken.
  6. Offer Lemon Wedges: Provide lemon wedges on the side for guests to squeeze over their tandoori chicken. The fresh citrusy tang cuts through the richness and adds a zesty kick, enhancing the overall flavor.
  7. Family-Style Feast: Arrange the tandoori chicken, accompaniments, and bread on a large platter or in serving bowls. Allow everyone to assemble their own plates, creating a communal and interactive dining experience.
  8. Remember to inform your guests about the flavors and heat level of the tandoori chicken, especially if you have customized the spice levels. This ensures everyone can enjoy the meal to their liking.

Whether you're hosting a dinner party or enjoying a casual meal at home, serving tandoori chicken with complementary sides and accompaniments elevates the overall dining experience. Experiment with different combinations and let your taste buds guide you in creating a memorable and delicious meal centered around this iconic Indian dish.


Tandoori chicken is a classic Indian dish that has become increasingly popular all over the world. It is a marinated chicken that is roasted in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven. The marinade is usually made from a combination of spices, yogurt, and lemon juice and is usually a bright orange color due to the addition of food coloring. There are many variations on the traditional recipe, such as adding chili powder for a spicy twist, or honey for a sweeter flavor. It is important to marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight and to preheat the tandoor before adding the chicken. Tandoori chicken is best served hot with a side of chutney or naan.

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