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Authentic Tandoori Chicken Recipe (in Oven)

Authentic tandoori chicken recipe is easy, super flavorful and is fabulous made into different meals. The best tandoori chicken recipe! 

cooked boneless TANDOORI CHICKEN thighs on a plate garnished with lime wedges and cilantro

Today, we are going back to basics. The basic yet classic tandoori chicken without a tandoor

I dream of owning my own tandoor oven built in the backyard where I can cook naans, kulchas, tandoori chicken, paneer tikka to my heart’s content. A girl can dream, right? 

As of now, it is the outdoor grill or oven to the rescue!! 

This has been my go to tandoori chicken recipe for as long as I can remember. It is a HUGE HIT every single time!

Why is this the best authentic tandoori chicken recipe? 

  • Easy 
  • Authentic
  • Spicy
  • Healthy
  • Moist 
  • Flavorful 
  • D-E-L-I-S-H

( This chicken recipe first appeared here. It was time for a face lift with better pictures)

What ingredients are in tandoori chicken?

Chicken – My choice of chicken is boneless skinless chicken thighs. They cook so juicy, moist and tender when compared to chicken breast. 

Yogurt – I use greek yogurt, since it so thick and delicious. But, any plain thick yogurt will work. ‘

Lime juice – Or lemon juice. The acidity is one of the main ingredients in making a tender chicken 

Spices – Coriander and cayenne pepper powder

Ginger, Garlic – The “mirepoix” of Indian cooking

Kasoori methi – Dried fenugreek leaves which contributes a unique buttery flavor and is a MUST in making an authentic tandoori chicken recipe. It can be found in all Indian grocery store and Amazon. However, if you cannot get hold of kasoori methi then here is a good substitute – 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh cilantro and 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh mint. 

Orange food color – It is used to give the tandoori chicken the iconic deep orangish – red  color. This is purely optional. 

The tandoori chicken marinade is delicious used for cauliflower or paneer as well. I always love to eat Tandoori chicken whenever we dine out, here are more take out recipes that you can make at home.

How to make authentic tandoori chicken at home?

Step-1: Make marinade – Mix all marinade ingredients together, until thoroughly combined

Step-2: Toss boneless skinless chicken thighs along with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.

Step-3: Broil in oven or cook on a outdoor grill

Done and DONE. 

How easy was that? 

Expert tips:

Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for moist, tender cooked tandoori chicken. 

Greek yogurt makes a thick marinade. If you are using regular yogurt, then try using thick variety. 

I will highly recommend using kasoori methi to make an authentic tandoori chicken in oven. However, look for substitute in the recipe notes. 

Tandoori  chicken REQUIRES the overnight marination for all the flavors to infuse into the chicken. Do not try to cut short the marination time. 

This recipe is great on the outdoor grill. Follow the instructions below to grill-

  1. Make authentic tandoori chicken marinade. Marinade chicken (follow the recipe)
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F to 425°F)
  3. Brush grill grates with oil.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill over direct heat and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill until the second side is browned, 5 minutes more, or until cooked through and internal temperature is at least 165F.
  5. Remove from grill and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.

To make ahead – Leftover cooked and cooled tandoori chicken can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen in a zip lock bag.

Serving instructions

Frequently asked questions:

Why is tandoori chicken red?

Tandoori chicken is originally made with ground deep red hued chilly pepper which gave the iconic reddish orange color. However, orange/red food color along with the red pepper are more commonly used in present times.

How healthy is tandoori chicken?

Tandoori chicken is one of the healthy chicken preparations, since it is marinated with an array of spices along with yogurt & lime juice and cooked in a tandoori oven or grill. It is very low in fat.

What is the difference between chicken tikka and tandoori chicken?

Chicken tikka is cut up smaller pieces of boneless chicken threaded into a skewer and then cooked over a charcoal grill or in oven. Whereas, tandoori chicken is made with large chunks of chicken (with or without bones).

cooked authentic TANDOORI CHICKEN recipe on a plate garnished with lime wedges and cilantro

More authentic Indian recipes:

Chicken koftas in palak gravy

Chicken and Kale curry in instant pot 

Mango Kulfi 

Easy Kulfi Recipe 

Kulfi Ice Cream Cake

Butter Chicken Pasta (Indian Chicken Pasta Recipe)

or more Indian recipes

authentic TANDOORI CHICKEN in oven
Print Recipe
3.3 from 10 votes

Authentic Tandoori Chicken in Oven

Authentic tandoori chicken recipe is easy, super flavorful and is fabulous made into different meals. Tender cooked chicken with the MOST delicious tandoori chicken marinade made with yogurt, lemon juice, spices, ginger, garlic, kasoori methi and a dash of food color for that iconic look. THE BEST TANDOORI CHICKEN RECIPE EVER!!! 
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Maria Doss

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all tandoori chicken ingredients (except chicken) in a medium bowl and mix well.
    Add chicken and toss around, to coat well with the marinade. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and let marinade in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Position an oven rack about 6 inches from heat element and turn on broil.
  • Place a oven-safe wire rack on a baking sheet ( this will allow all excess moisture drip down) and place chicken thighs on the wire rack.
    Place baking sheet in the oven (6-inches from heat element) and broil for about 20 minutes, until slightly charred and cooked. (Alternatively, you can cook chicken on an outdoor grill – refer notes)
  • Remove baking sheet from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Notes

To grill tandoori chicken: 
  1. Make authentic tandoori chicken marinade. Marinade chicken (follow the recipe)
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F to 425°F)
  3. Brush grill grates with oil.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill over direct heat and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill until the second side is browned, 5 minutes more, or until cooked through and internal temperature is at least 165F.
  5. Remove from grill and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.
Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for moist, tender cooked tandoori chicken. 
Greek yogurt makes a thick marinade. If you are using regular yogurt, then try using thick variety. 
I will highly recommend using kasoori methi to make an authentic tandoori chicken in oven. However, look for substitute in the recipe notes.
Orange food color is used to give the tandoori chicken the iconic deep orangish – red  color. This is purely optional.  
Tandoori chicken REQUIRES the overnight marination for all the flavors to infuse into the chicken. Do not try to cut short the marination time. 

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