Tandoori Chicken Recipe
~ Authentically Indian ~

This tandoori chicken recipe originates from northern India. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices and traditionally cooked on an outdoor grill. 

I made tandoori chicken with bottled sauce until I came upon this recipe.  Using this recipe for the marinade, I grilled tandoori chicken for supper.   It was delicious!  You won't be disappointed. 

Serves 4

Serve with raita (yogurt dip), rice and vegetables. Garnish with lime wedges.


  • 2 broiler chickens, about 2½ pounds each, cut into serving pieces or an equal amount of your favorite chicken parts
  • 1½ cups plain yogurt at room temperature
  • 1½ Tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1½ Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (gives a bright yellow to orange color)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 whole cardamons, removed from pods and crushed or ½ teaspoon ground anise seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

For hotter, more traditional tandoori chicken increase:

  • cayenne pepper, red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder, to taste

Chili powder gives the fiery red color in hotter versions.  In milder versions bright colors come from turmeric powder and paprika, a sweet red pepper powder.  By adding these colorful mild spices the chicken will be brightly colored without using red and yellow food colorings.


Wash chickens and pat dry. Split the chickens in half. Remove and discard the backbones. Remove all the skin except that on the wings. Make tiny slits in several places in the flesh. Combine the remaining ingredients except for butter and lime wedges. Place the chicken in a large shallow baking dish or bowl and cover with the yogurt mixture. Marinate at least 6 hours or overnight. Turn several times.

When ready to cook arrange the chicken on a broiler rack and brush with the marinade. Broil as far away as possible from the heat about 50 minutes, turning once, or until tender. Baste several times with butter.

Tandoori is an Indian method of cooking meat or vegetables on a spit in a clay oven called a tandoor.

Note: The chicken may be cooked also on an outdoor grill over medium coals.

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