Copyright Chris Frost 2019 | All Rights Reserved

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken was one of the first Asian foods I tried to make in the early 1980s before I had travelled to India. At the time, using red food colouring was essential to produce something like the tandoori chicken seen in Indian restaurants. Since then, I have seen tasty chunks of chicken cooked on long skewers in tandoor ovens in India and saw no sign of red food colouring.

tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish known for its vibrant color and rich, smoky flavors. Here's a traditional tandoori chicken recipe for you: Enjoy your delicious homemade tandoori chicken! Tandoori masala is a blend of various spices that contribute to the unique and authentic flavours of tandoori dishes.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinade (min) 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 200 kcal


  • spice grinder
  • Large saucepan
  • Large bowl


Tandoori masala

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (for color)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp rock salt (to taste)


  • 1 kg free range chicken (whole or cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Tandoori masala a mix of spices including cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and more
  • ½ tbsp garlic (minced)
  • ½ tbsp ginger root (minced)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder adjust according to your spice preference
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp red food colouring (optional)
  • tsp Salt (to taste)


  • Chopped coriander
  • Lemon wedges


  • In a pan, dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fenugreek leaves until they become fragrant. Let them cool.
  • Grind the roasted spices into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.


  • Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and make 2-3 deep cuts in each piece to allow the marinade to penetrate.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, Tandoori masala, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, vegetable oil, and salt. Mix well to form a smooth marinade.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring that each piece is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C) or prepare a red-hot charcoal barbecue grill. If you have a tandoor oven, you can use that for a more authentic experience.
  • Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or place them on a wire rack set over a baking tray to allow the excess marinade to drip off.
  • Bake/grill the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred, flipping the pieces halfway through and basting with any leftover marinade.
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with lemon wedges, sliced onions, and mint chutney.

Tandoori masala


    You can store the tandoori masala in an airtight container for up to a few months, ensuring that it remains fresh and potent for use in various tandoori dishes and marinades. Adjust the spice levels according to your preference and enjoy the authentic flavors of tandoori masala in your cooking!
    Keyword chicken, colourful, spicy, tandoori

    Leave a comment

    Recipe Rating