tandoori chicken

Authentic Tandoori Chicken Recipe: Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish made by marinating chicken in yogurt and a blend of spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. The marinated chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven, which gives it a smoky and charred flavor. Tandoori chicken is often served with naan bread, rice, or salad, and it’s enjoyed for its tender texture and aromatic spices. It’s a favorite dish in Indian cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide.

Benefits of tandoori chicken

  1. High in Protein: Tandoori chicken is a rich source of protein due to its main ingredient, chicken. Protein is essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall health.
  2. Low in Fat: When prepared with skinless chicken, tandoori chicken is relatively low in fat compared to other cooking methods like frying. It can be a healthier option for those watching their fat intake.
  3. Rich in Spices: Tandoori chicken is seasoned with a variety of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala, which not only add flavor but also offer potential health benefits. Many of these spices have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  4. Versatile: Tandoori chicken can be enjoyed in various ways, such as served with rice, naan bread, or salads. It can also be used as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, making it a versatile dish for different meals.
  5. Cultural Experience: Making tandoori chicken at home allows you to experience the rich flavors of Indian cuisine and explore different cooking techniques. It’s a delicious way to broaden your culinary horizons and enjoy a taste of another culture.
  6. Customizable: You can adjust the level of spiciness and seasoning according to your taste preferences. Whether you prefer it mild or extra spicy, you have the flexibility to customize the recipe to suit your palate.

Overall, tandoori chicken is not only delicious but also offers several nutritional and culinary benefits.

Storing tandoori chicken

Some guidelines to ensure its freshness and safety:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover tandoori chicken, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate the chicken within 2 hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth. Properly stored, it can last in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: Tandoori chicken can also be frozen for longer-term storage. Once it has cooled, place it in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date to track its freshness. Tandoori chicken can typically be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Thawing: When ready to eat, thaw frozen tandoori chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid thawing it at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth. Once thawed, you can reheat it using a microwave, oven, or stovetop until heated through.
  4. Reheating: Reheat tandoori chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat. You can do this by using a microwave, oven, or stovetop. If using a microwave, cover the chicken with a damp paper towel to retain moisture. If using an oven, preheat it to 350°F (175°C) and place the chicken on a baking sheet, covering it with foil to prevent drying out.
  5. Quality Check: Before consuming reheated tandoori chicken, check for any signs of spoilage such as an off smell or unusual texture. If the chicken appears or smells questionable, it’s best to discard it to avoid foodborne illness.

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy leftover tandoori chicken safely and deliciously.

Tips for making delicious tandoori chicken:

Use Fresh Ingredients:

Opt for fresh chicken and spices to ensure the best flavor. Freshly ground spices will impart more aroma and taste to the dish.

Marinate Thoroughly:

Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat fully. This results in more tender and flavorful chicken.

Prick the Chicken:

Before marinating, use a fork or knife to prick the chicken pieces. This allows the marinade to penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in more flavorful chicken.

Use Greek Yogurt:

Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, which helps the marinade adhere better to the chicken. It also adds a richer flavor to the dish.

Adjust Spices to Taste:

Feel free to adjust the spices in the marinade according to your taste preferences. If you like it spicier, add more cayenne pepper or chili powder. For a milder flavor, reduce the amount of spice.

Add a Splash of Vinegar:

Adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the marinade helps tenderize the chicken and adds a hint of acidity, balancing the flavors.

Preheat the Oven or Grill:

Make sure your oven or grill is preheated before cooking the chicken. This ensures even cooking and helps achieve a nicely charred exterior.

Use a Meat Thermometer:

To ensure the chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Baste with Oil:

While cooking, baste the chicken with a little oil or melted butter to keep it moist and add extra flavor.

Rest Before Serving:

Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier chicken.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make mouthwatering tandoori chicken that’s bursting with flavor and aroma. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

(FAQs) :

1. What is tandoori chicken?

Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish made by marinating chicken in yogurt and a blend of spices, then cooking it in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven. This cooking method gives the chicken a smoky flavor and charred exterior.

2. What spices are used in tandoori chicken?

The spices typically used in tandoori chicken marinade include cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder (for color), and garam masala. Additional ingredients like ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt are also commonly used.

3. Can I make tandoori chicken without a tandoor?

Yes, you can make tandoori chicken using alternative cooking methods such as grilling, baking, or broiling in an oven. While the flavor won’t be exactly the same as cooking in a tandoor, you can still achieve delicious results.

4. Is tandoori chicken spicy?

The level of spiciness in tandoori chicken can vary depending on the recipe and personal preference. Traditional tandoori chicken can have a mild to moderate level of heat from spices like cayenne pepper or chili powder, but you can adjust the spice level to suit your taste.

5. Can I use boneless chicken for tandoori chicken?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken pieces such as chicken breasts or thighs for tandoori chicken. However, bone-in chicken is more traditional and can add extra flavor during the cooking process.

6. What can I serve with tandoori chicken?

Tandoori chicken is often served with naan bread, rice, or salad. You can also serve it with various sauces such as mint chutney or yogurt sauce for dipping.

7. Can I prepare tandoori chicken in advance?

Yes, you can marinate the chicken in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Marinating the chicken for a few hours or overnight allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful dish.


In conclusion, tandoori chicken is a delicious and aromatic dish that originates from Indian cuisine. Marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices, then cooked to perfection in a tandoor oven or using alternative methods like grilling or baking, it offers a unique combination of flavors and textures that tantalize the taste buds.

With its tender and juicy meat, infused with the warmth of spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala, tandoori chicken is a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide. Whether served with fluffy naan bread, fragrant rice, or a refreshing salad, it’s a versatile dish that suits various occasions and palates.

tandoori chicken

tandoori chicken

tandoori chicken recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal


  • Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs about 1 kg chicken pieces (skinless, bone-in)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste or minced ginger and garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder for color
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For Garnish optional:
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lemon wedges
  • Onion rings


  • Marinate the Chicken:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, tandoori masala powder, paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, and vegetable oil. Mix well to form a smooth marinade.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and coat them evenly with the mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the chicken.
  • Preheat the Oven or Grill:
  • If using an oven, preheat it to 425°F (220°C). If using a grill, preheat it to medium-high heat.
  • Skewer the Chicken (Optional):
  • If you have skewers, thread the marinated chicken pieces onto them. This is optional but can help in even cooking and gives it a traditional tandoori look.
  • Cook the Chicken:
  • If using an oven, place the chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, flipping halfway through the cooking time.
  • If using a grill, place the chicken directly on the grill grates. Grill for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through and has charred edges.
  • Serve:
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven or grill. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and lemon wedges. Serve hot with naan bread, rice, or salad. You can also serve it with onion rings on the side.


Tandoori chicken is a beloved dish in Indian cuisine, known for its vibrant flavors and tender texture. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply craving a taste of India, tandoori chicken is sure to impress. Remember to marinate the chicken for optimal flavor and tenderness, and don't forget to adjust the spice level to suit your taste preferences. Whether cooked in a traditional tandoor oven or on a backyard grill, tandoori chicken is a delicious and satisfying dish that will transport your taste buds to the streets of India. Enjoy
Keyword tandoori

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