Tandoori chicken recipe – one of the world famous Indian chicken starter that has its roots from the Mughali cuisine of the Mughal era. This recipe can be used to grill drumsticks or boneless fillets to make kababs. I am sharing the recipe to grill in oven or on stove top/ gas stove.
This mouth watering delicious chicken is well known as murgh tandoor or tandoori murgh, murgh meaning chicken and tandoor is a clay oven in which the spice and yogurt marinated chicken or meat is grilled. We get to see little variations to the authentic recipes such as addition of chickpea flour or besan etc which adds aroma to the appetizer. This is done mostly to the tangri or tangdi kabab meaning the legs.
Today I am sharing an easy recipe to make a restaurant style tandoori chicken in an oven & on gas or stove top without using color or butter, making this a low fat chicken starter. I have not charred the meat, I do not suggest eating charred meat as it is dangerous to health.
This tandoori chicken recipe yields spicy chicken drumsticks or kababs that are soft and juicy with all the flavors of spices infused. These are spicy but not hot, even kids can enjoy them.
You can use store bought / ready made tandoori masala, however I have never used one to suggest. All the ingredients mentioned here for the masala will be present in most Indian kitchens, so try it from the scratch, like I did.
How to make Indian restaurant style tandoori chicken recipe in oven
1. Wash drumsticks or fillets thoroughly under running water. Drain off the water completely. You can wipe them off with disposable kitchen tissues to remove extra moisture.
2. Make 2 to 3 deep incisions into the meat to get marinated well from inside.
3. Add ground turmeric, red chili powder or paprika , salt and lemon juice and rub the drumsticks for about 3 to 4 minutes. It works great to tenderize the meat. Set this aside for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile you can prepare the other ingredients for second marination. We need hung curd or greek yogurt. If you have regular yogurt at home, you can also make hung yogurt from this post. For the marination, add to a bowl – 1/3 cup thick yogurt, 2 tbsp. Oil (any neutral oil) and the following ingredients. If using a store bought tandoori masala powder skip the following ingredients and use as mentioned on the pack.
1 tsp. kasuri methi / dried fenu greek leaves
1 tsp. coriander powder / daniya powder
½ tsp. Kashmiri chili powder or paprika
¼ tsp. pepper powder / ground pepper
1 ½ tsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tsp. garam masala powder (you can make from this masala powder post)
¼ tsp. Amchur powder / dried mango powder (optional)
5. Mix all the ingredients and marinate the drumsticks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours. This yields tender and juicy drumsticks with great flavors.
6. Preheat the oven at 240 C for at least 15 minutes. If grilling on stove, heat a pan with little oil.
7. Prepare basting oil, add 1 tsp oil to a bowl and stir in little red chili powder or paprika or tandoori masala. Mix and set aside. You can skip using red chili powder if you are using food color or ready made tandoori masala.
8. If making on stove top: add little oil to the hot pan. Place all the drumsticks on the pan after wiping off the excess marinade. On a high heat fry them, flipping often until the marinade dries up. Reduce the flame and cook on all the sides until done.
For oven method: Prepare the baking tray with foil and grease it.
9. Pick up the drumstick and hold it for a while for it to drip off the extra marination in the bowl. Place it on the tray. Place all the drumsticks.
10. Now with a basting brush apply, the red chili oil over the drumsticks and place the tray in the oven and bake.
11. Mix the chili oil with one tsp of the left over marinade.
12. After 15 minutes, bring the tray out of the oven and baste it with the chili oil and put it back to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. This prevents the chicken from drying up.
13. Bring it out again and flip the drumstick to the other side and lightly baste with the oil again. Or you can drizzle butter if you wish without using the chili oil.
14. Bake it for about 10 minutes again. These timings work well for me, but keep an eye always to prevent overcooking.
Serve hot with onion, carrot, lemon wedges and mint raita
Find complete tandoori chicken recipe below
- 4 Chicken drumsticks or ¼ kg cubed boneless chicken
- 1 tsp. Oil or butter
- ⅛ tsp. turmeric powder / haldi
- ¼ tsp. Kashmiri red chili powder / paprika
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Salt as needed
- ⅓ cup thick fresh yogurt or curd or dahi (use low fat yogurt to make it low fat)
- 2 tbsp. Oil (any neutral oil)
- 1 tsp. kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp. coriander powder / daniya powder
- ½ tsp. Kashmiri chili powder / paprika
- ¼ tsp. pepper powder
- 1 ½ tsp. ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp. garam masala powder
- ¼ tsp. Amchur powder / dried mango powder (optional)
- Wash drumsticks and wipe off with disposable kitchen tissues.
- Slit twice or thrice randomly.
- Marinate with ingredients mentioned under first marination. Rub the drumsticks with the marinade for 3 to 4 minutes to make them tender. Set this aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients mentioned under second marination, marinate the drumsticks with this. Refrigerate for overnight or 6 hours.
- Mix little red chili powder in 1 tsp oil. Keep this aside. You can skip if using food color.
- For stove top method please follow the step by step instructions above. For oven method : Preheat the oven at 240 C for at least 15 minutes. Grease a foiled baking tray.
- Pick up the drumsticks and let the extra marinade drip off to the bowl. Place them on the baking tray and baste with the prepared oil lightly.
- Grill for 15 minutes, baste again with the oil and back to the oven for 5 minutes
- Flip the drumsticks and repeat the basting and bake for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven and chicken.
- To give a real tandoori flavor, burn a char coal and place it on a plate, beside the plate place the grilled chicken and cover all these with a large utensil and leave it for about 3 to 4 minutes. You get the flavor of char coal grilled chicken.
Adjust the quantity of lemon juice, and you can skip amchur if you don’t have.
Choose a good garam masala powder
Discard the left over marination