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Indian Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken - Baked Tandoori Chicken

This recipe creates the distinctive flavor, texture, and color of this popular Indian chicken without the traditional tandoori oven. The majority of time is spent making the dish is the chicken sitting in its special yogurt marinade. The chicken pieces cook pretty quickly in a hot conventional oven or outdoor grill. Serve with roasted onions and Indian naan for a real treat.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Marinating: 20 hours
Total Time: 21 hours
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Ziplock freezer bags
  • Mini-food processor or blender
  • Baking pan lined with foil, wire rack
  • Instant read thermometer


  • 6 Whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • 6 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 3 inch Piece ginger, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp White vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • tsp Each: ground cardamom, garlic powder, cinnamon, clove, ginger.
  • 1 crumbled Bay leaves
  • 1 cup Plain yogurt
  • 6 Green Thai chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Ghee, melted
  • 1 RECIPE Roast onions


Marinade Chicken

  • Remove skin from chicken. A paper towel to grip skin helps. Cut 2-inch long, ½-inch deep slits all over chicken.
    Puree garlic, ginger, and ¼ cup water in a processor or blender. Scoop into a small bowl and add 2 tsp salt, 1½ tbsp oil, vinegar, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1 tsp each of the ground spices and 1 crumbled bay leaf. Put chicken in 1 or 2 plastic freezer bags and cover chicken with spice mixture. Massage spice mix into chicken, seal bag, and refrigerate overnight.
    Make yogurt marinade in a covered bowl by combining the yogurt, remaining ground spices, bay leaf, and ½ tsp salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    In the morning, pour yogurt marinade over the chicken pieces. Reseal the bag and massage marinade into the chicken for 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate for the rest of the day. Remove 1 hour before cooking.

I. Baking Chicken

  • Heat oven to the highest temperature possible. Line a large baking pan with foil and top with a wire baking rack. Shake marinade off chicken and arrange pieces on the baking rack. Bake until chicken is lightly charred and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Turning pan once. Remove pan from oven and brush chicken with ghee. Serve hot with roasted onions.

II. Grilling Chicken

  • Heat grill to the hottest temperature possible. Rub grates generously with oil. Remove excess marinade with paper towels. Place chicken on grill, meatier side up. Brush tops with ghee and grill 10 minutes. Turn pieces over and paint tops with ghee. Continue to flip and baste every 10 minutes until done, 165°F (74°C) on an instant instant thermometer. Place chicken on a serving platter and brush with ghee. Serve hot with roasted onions.


Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg