You don’t need a tandoor to make mouth-watering tandoori chicken
This is a tandoori chicken recipe without the tandoor oven. Instead, I recommend barbecuing it though it can be cooked in the oven. It’s easy and the marinade only takes minutes to make.
One of the most difficult things about barbecuing chicken is the fat from the skin dripping into the coals and flaring up. You shouldn’t have that problem with tandoori chicken as the skin is removed. In Indian cookery, the skin is usually removed which is much better for you and still tastes awesome.
No… you won’t miss the skin. This tandoori chicken recipe is succulent and full of flavour.
If you like this recipe, you might like to check out my garlic and coriander tandoori chicken recipe too.
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How to Make Easy Tandoori Chicken
I prefer cooking this recipe on the barbecue but the oven works well too. If cooking in the oven, set your oven to the highest heat. Place the chicken pieces on a rack and cook for about 25 minutes. Turn the pieces half way through the cooking time. The chicken is ready when the juices run clear when pricked with a fork and the edges are blackened slightly.
- 12 free range chicken thighs skinned and left on the bone
- Juice of two lemons
- 1 tablespoon salt
- red food colouring (optional)
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons garlic puree
- 1 tablespoon ginger puree
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 green chillies finely chopped
- 1 bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
- Remove the skin from the chicken thighs.
- Using a sharp knife, make three slits in each thigh. This is done so that the thighs marinate better.
- Squeeze the lemon juice all over the chicken thighs and sprinkle with the salt and let sit while you make the marinade. You should also add a couple drops of food colouring at this stage if using.
- Place all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine paste. Cover the chicken pieces with the marinade and rub it with your hands deep into the flesh of the chicken.
- Allow to marinaded for six hours or up to 48 hours - the longer the better.
- When ready to cook, build a log fire in a kettle barbecue for best results. The flavour of the burning wood together with the marinated chicken is phenomenal!
- You are ready to grill when you can hold your hand two inches above the grill without it being unbearably hot. On a gas barbecue, set the grill to medium high heat.
- Cook the tandoori chicken turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and the edges are blackened.
I like to serve tandoori chicken with saffron rice and a green salad. I also use it in my restaurant style (BIR) curries instead of using pre-cooked chicken done the curry house way.
Tandoori chicken is the most popular Indian barbecue recipe so enjoy and have fun!
Wednesday 12th of October 2022
Hi Dan, I have cooked this recipe many times and it's a winner,as you say best done on a barbecue but I have had good success doing it under the grill. I like to serve it with yellow slit pea dhal and basmati rice. This one will really impress your friends, just don't tell how easy it is... Thanks Dan
Thursday 13th of October 2022
Thanks for your comments and agreed it works well cooking under the grill too.
Saturday 15th of August 2015
Hi Dan, would this recipe work just as well in a tandoor oven?? Loving your recipes.
Monday 17th of August 2015
Sure would. I cook the same recipe in our tandoor oven. I just showed it on the BBQ for this recipe as most people don't have tandoor ovens. :-)
Wednesday 5th of August 2015
had the book for a fair while excellent recipes. just bought a wood burning oven for the garden just wondering if youve cooked these dishes in this type of oven
best regards Jon R
Sunday 4th of October 2015
I sure have. I build a log burning oven in my garden last year. It's perfect for tandoori recipes and much easier to use than my tandoor!
Wednesday 25th of February 2015
This turned out fantastic. I used my pellet grill and smoked the chicken for two hours before kicking up the heat high to grill the chicken. Turned out beautifully. I did add kashmiri chilli powder (one tablespoon) to give it a a little red color.
Thursday 5th of March 2015
Great to hear Joey. Really glad you liked the recipes.
Tuesday 10th of February 2015
I'm going to be giving this one a go! Love Tandoori chicken when eating out and always wondered how to make it at home. You make it look so easy. Thank you!
Friday 13th of February 2015
It is easy Megan. Hope you enjoy the recipe.