tandoori chicken recipe


  • 8-pieces of thigh, skinned and boneless or 10-12 pieces of drumsticks
  • 1/2-cup full fat plain yogurt*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger and garlic paste or 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled and finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons Tandoori Masala
  • 1 teaspoons Coriander/ Cumin Masala*
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt or add according to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Indian chili powder or cayenne powder* or according to your taste
  • 1/2 teaspoons of Hungarian Paprika for extra richness*
  • 1/3-cup melted butter
  • 1/2-cup chopped green onion for garnish
  • Few lemon slices to garnish
  • Few Lettuce leafs for placing chicken pieces on it

The word ‘Tandoor” originated from Persia, modern day Iran. The meats cooked in a tandoor generally more moist, and tender. This dish has a distinctive flavor , color and texture. Most popular of all Northern cuisine. The recipe I am sharing here is designed for your conventional oven and should be served right after it is taken out of the oven.


Make 4-5 slits in each of thighs or legs pieces. In a large bowl add yogurt, ginger and garlic paste, lemon juice, Coriander/Cumin Masala, Tandoori Masala, Hungarian Paprika, Red Indian chili powder and the salt. Mix it throughly and add the chicken pieces. Mix it again so the spices yogurt gets well into the slits. Cover and it stand at the room temperature of over 3 hrs. if you like to make it a night before, make sure it is well covered in a air tight container and put it the refrigerator.

Pre-heat the oven too 450 degrees temperature. In a roasting pan add the chicken pieces and drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Roast the chicken for 15-20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees now and continue to roast for another 25-30 minutes and in between drizzle with more melted butter until chicken is fully cooked and no longer is pink, bit on dryer side. It should be moist and tender. If there is excess water, drain some out making sure chicken is fully cooked (yogurt tends to leave some water), but making sure that there is enough moisture so chicken does not burn. Chicken pieces should be dry though.

Arrange the chicken pieces on a lettuce bed and garnish with lemon slices and freshly chopped green onion. Serve with Naan, Saffron Rice Pilaf or Cranberry and Walnut Pilaf.

Notes: Hungarian Paprika* gives extra rich flavor and Coriander/Cumin Masala* gives extra richness. Red chili powder* is optional if you do not want any heat. Do not use low fat or fatless yogurt* contains lot more water.
Serves 4