Tandoori Chicken with Homemade Yogurt Marinade – Baked or Grilled

Tandoori Chicken huh? So where’s the Tandoor or clay oven???

Smart question! Well, having a traditional tandoor or clay oven at home is not quite feasible. However, nowadays mini version of gas tandoor ovens which can be used at home are available in the market. I haven’t quite thought of buying that yet, but I am sure it’s definitely worth buying, so that I don’t have to rush to an Indian restaurant if I get the craving for Tandoori chicken or Naan.

Now, forget about buying tandoor and let’s make tandoori chicken in our own kitchen without an actual tandoor. If you have a grill or oven, you could make the tandoori chicken which would taste like the restaurant ones. You just have to have a good marinade for the chicken.

I am pretty confident that everyone out there must have heard of and most of you must have tasted tandoori chicken at least once. This is one of the dishes we all or at least I order without much thinking while dining in an Indian restaurant. Having said that, I felt really awful when I found that I haven’t yet posted the recipe for tandoori chicken. Also, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to post the recipe, finally the recipe is up.

Last weekend, I grilled tandoori chicken and it tasted pretty good. When you use a grill, the chicken will be cooked in direct heat and that makes it taste better. If you don’t have a grill, you could bake it in the oven, it works well too. I would say marination is the key to making flavorful and tasty tandoori chicken. The more time you marinate the chicken, the better it tastes. So I would highly recommend marinating the chicken overnight in the refrigerator and grill it the next day. The aroma from the tandoori chicken while grilling absolutely seduces your taste buds.

Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken legs or thigh-leg pieces- according to your needs, I used 5

For marnation:

  • Yogurt- 1 tbsp/chicken piece (I used 5 tbsp for 5 chicken legs)
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Chili powder- 2 tsp or according to your spice level
  • Paprika- 1/2 tsp
  • Ground pepper- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala- 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Fenugreek leaves or dried curry leaves – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice- juice of half lemon
  • Salt- to taste
  • Red food color (optional)- 1 tsp
  • Olive oil or Vegetable oil- 2 tbsp

Veggies to cook in the marinade:

  • Onion, cut thin and long- 2
  • Red peppers, cut into long stripes- 2
  • Carrot, cut into long stripes- 2

Instruction

  • You could use skinless or skin-on chicken legs, thigh-leg pieces or any other pieces with bones.
  • Wash the chicken legs thoroughly under running water, put gashes or lines over the pieces using a sharp knife.
  • The amount of yogurt added for preparing the marination is 1 tbsp yogurt/chicken piece.
  • Adding color to the marination is totally your preference, in restaurants they use red color and that’s the reason for the eye catching red color for tandoori chicken. I usually tend to avoid colors.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients mentioned for preparing the marination.
  • Or you could even combine the marination ingredients in a large ziploc bag, close the bag and mix well evenly.
  • Put the chicken pieces into the marination in the bowl or ziploc bag and coat them well with it.
  • Let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at least 4-5 hours, the more you marinate the better the chicken would taste.
  • After marinating the chicken, you can either grill it or bake it in the oven.

Grilling:

  • Turn on the grill, spray with non-stick cooking spray to avoid sticking.
  • Place the chicken legs on the grill and grill it covered over medium heat.
  • When the bottom side turns browned, flip it over and grill till it gets golden brown.
  • You could spread the chicken with little oil and grill it.
  • In just 15- 20 minutes it will be done, it will be juicy inside and crispy outside.
  • Just right before you take the chicken from the grill, sprinkle little lemon juice over it and grill for a couple more minutes.
  • If you grill for more time the chicken will turn dry. So it’s good to avoid over grilling.

Stir frying veggies:

  • After you remove all the chicken from the marinade, reserve the marinade as we are going to marinade the veggies in it.
  • Put the cut veggies into the marinade ( I used only onions) and combine well, let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat, add some oil and put the veggies onto the pan.
  • Stir fry the veggies till it starts to turn golden in color.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish the tandoori chicken with the cooked veggies and lemon wedges.
  • Believe me, the stir fried veggies tastes really delicious when combined with the marinade.

Baking:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spread the cut veggies as a layer on the aluminum foil.
  • Place the marinated chicken legs over the veggies without crowding them.
  • Spray the chicken with cooking spray or oil.
  • Bake it keeping the pan on the lower rack for 45 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes of baking, flip the chicken over and spray with cooking spray or olive oil.
  • Continue to bake for total 45 minutes or till it turns golden brown in color.
  • Before you take the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle little lemon juice over it and bake it for a couple more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve while its still hot.
  • The veggies must have turned light browned, combine it with any chicken drippings on the baking sheet.
  • Garnish the chicken with the veggies and lemon wedges.

 

Tandoori Chicken with Homemade Yogurt Marinade - Baked or Grilled
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken legs or thigh-leg pieces- according to your needs, I used 5
For marnation
  • Yogurt- 1 tbsp/chicken piece (I used 5 tbsp for 5 chicken legs)
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 1½ tbsp
  • Chili powder- 2 tsp or according to your spice level
  • Paprika- ½ tsp
  • Ground pepper- ¼ tsp
  • Garam masala- ¾ tsp
  • Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1½ tsp
  • Dried Fenugreek leaves or dried curry leaves - 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice- juice of half lemon
  • Salt- to taste
  • Red food color (optional)- 1 tsp
  • Olive oil or Vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
Veggies to cook in the marinade
  • Onion, cut thin and long- 2
  • Red peppers, cut into long stripes- 2
  • Carrot, cut into long stripes- 2
Instructions
  1. You could use skinless or skin-on chicken legs, thigh-leg pieces or any other pieces with bones.
  2. Wash the chicken legs thoroughly under running water, put gashes or lines over the pieces using a sharp knife.
  3. The amount of yogurt added for preparing the marination is 1 tbsp yogurt/chicken piece.
  4. Adding color to the marination is totally your preference, in restaurants they use red color and that's the reason for the eye catching red color for tandoori chicken. I usually tend to avoid colors.
  5. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients mentioned for preparing the marination.
  6. Or you could even combine the marination ingredients in a large ziploc bag, close the bag and mix well evenly.
  7. Put the chicken pieces into the marination in the bowl or ziploc bag and coat them well with it.
  8. Let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at least 4-5 hours, the more you marinate the better the chicken would taste.
  9. After marinating the chicken, you can either grill it or bake it in the oven.
Grilling
  1. Turn on the grill, spray with non-stick cooking spray to avoid sticking.
  2. Place the chicken legs on the grill and grill it covered over medium heat.
  3. When the bottom side turns browned, flip it over and grill till it gets golden brown.
  4. You could spread the chicken with little oil and grill it.
  5. In just 15- 20 minutes it will be done, it will be juicy inside and crispy outside.
  6. Just right before you take the chicken from the grill, sprinkle little lemon juice over it and grill for a couple more minutes.
  7. If you grill for more time the chicken will turn dry. So it's good to avoid over grilling.
Stir frying veggies
  1. After you remove all the chicken from the marinade, reserve the marinade as we are going to marinade the veggies in it.
  2. Put the cut veggies into the marinade ( I used only onions) and combine well, let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add some oil and put the veggies onto the pan.
  4. Stir fry the veggies till it starts to turn golden in color.
  5. Remove from the heat and garnish the tandoori chicken with the cooked veggies and lemon wedges.
  6. Believe me, the stir fried veggies tastes really delicious when combined with the marinade.
Baking
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Spread the cut veggies as a layer on the aluminum foil.
  4. Place the marinated chicken legs over the veggies without crowding them.
  5. Spray the chicken with cooking spray or oil.
  6. Bake it keeping the pan on the lower rack for 45 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes of baking, flip the chicken over and spray with cooking spray or olive oil.
  8. Continue to bake for total 45 minutes or till it turns golden brown in color.
  9. Before you take the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle little lemon juice over it and bake it for a couple more minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and serve while its still hot.
  11. The veggies must have turned light browned, combine it with any chicken drippings on the baking sheet.
  12. Garnish the chicken with the veggies and lemon wedges.

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