Classic Indian Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chickenFinally, after relishing it at several local restaurants, I dared to make it this week to surprise both my family members and my neighbors. My Sikh neighbor helped me by lending her traditional metal tandoor. She told me that the original tandoor is made from clay. If you don't have one, use a regular grill machine though you may not get the authentic taste. In tandoor, both charcoal and wood is used (not sure about proportions) for a distinct flavor. For best results, keep the marinated chicken overnight in refrigerated form. Traditionally, it is served with onion rings and lemon wedges. So, let's get started and make this spicy and extremely scrumptious chicken recipe for our friends and family.

Tandoori chicken
Classic Indian Tandoori Chicken

Spicy Indian tandoori chicken

Enjoy this mouthwatering classic Indian Tandoori chicken recipe grilled to perfection with hot and pungent spices for a unique and irresistible flavor.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 10 to 12 large chicken thighs
  • 250 gm fresh hung curd
  • 5 tsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • few drops of edible red color (available in super stores)
  • 3/4 tsp Indian garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves powder (optional)
  • 1/5 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 green chilies paste
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • oodles of butter/clarified butter (for basting)
  • salt to taste


  1. Make two or three deep cuts in chicken thighs with a sharp knife.
  2. Rub salt and lemon juice on each of the pieces and keep aside for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Take a large bowl and add hung curd, ginger & garlic paste, cayenne pepper, edible red color, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, fenugreek leaves powder, nutmeg powder, turmeric powder, green chilies paste, vegetable oil and salt in it. (Moderate salt amount as you've already applied salt on chicken pieces)
  4. Whip all the ingredients briskly to form a smooth, aromatic and spicy marinade.
  5. Add chicken pieces in it and apply the marinade well with your hands.
  6. Seal the bowl with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Overnight refrigeration is recommended)
  7. I'm assuming you do not have access to a tandoor which has comparatively much higher temperature than a regular grill.
  8. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature available in your set. It's going to be somewhere between 500 to 600 degrees.
  9. Place the baking tray right below the grill to collect juices which may release while basting and grilling.
  10. Carefully arrange all the thighs on the grill and cook till it starts turning pink.
  11. Apply butter with brush and turn the pieces on the other side.
  12. Repeat the same process once more after the second side starts turning pink.
  13. When the pieces get nice brownish red tint, take them out from the grill.
  14. Serve hot with onion rings and lemon wedges.