What is Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken (tandoori murgh) is an iconic Indian grilled chicken that is marinated in a yogurt spice sauce and usually baked in a tandoor oven. A tandoor oven is a traditional Indian earthenware cylindrical clay oven. This tandoori chicken recipe is for most of us who don’t have that option. The tandoori chicken is oven baked, tender and incredibly delicious!
This smoky red grilled chicken is perfect to also bake in an air fryer and on the grill or barbecue. To add smokiness to oven baked chicken, turn up the temperature for the last few minutes or grill/barbecue the chicken over an open flame before baking. The char will add smokiness to the dish for a more authentic Punjab tandoori chicken.
Why We Love This Recipe
Flavour-packed! The best part of making your own tandoori or masala chicken is being able to adjust the flavour. Make it spicier or as mild as you like.
Low in carbs – at only 2g net carbs this healthy Indian Chicken Tandoori recipe is low carb and keto-friendly.
Family Friendly – this chicken dinner is very family friendly. Not too hot or spicy. Add as much or as little as you like to flavour your favourite curry recipes.
Freezer Friendly -make ahead, and freeze in portions for easy healthy freezer meals.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the quantity of each ingredient used in our low carb recipe for roasted tandoori chicken.
Chicken – you can bake a whole tandoori chicken if you like. I have made this tandoori with drumsticks and thigh cutlets, but a whole chicken or spatchcock tandoori chicken will be awesome too. For a chicken tikka, use whole chicken breast fillets or thigh fillets left whole or cut into cubes.
Tandoori Paste – I use my own homemade tandoori paste. You can use store-bought like Patak’s if you prefer or use my recipe for tandoori paste. A Tandoori paste uses traditional spices like red chili powder, garam masala, ground cumin and coriander, turmeric, and paprika. You can add a tandoori spice powder if you prefer and 2-3 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste for a cheats version if you don’t have a paste made.
Greek Yoghurt – is perfect to make the tandoori marinade. It helps tenderise the chicken and make it nice and succulent.
Lemon juice – use fresh lemon juice in the tandoori marinade. It also helps to tenderise the chicken pieces and balance the tikka sauce.
How to Make It
Step 1. Combine the yoghurt, tandoori paste and lemon juice until it makes a smooth tandoori sauce. Coat the chicken with the tandoori marinade and chill for at least 1-2 hours or overnight. Note: Reserve some of the tandoori sauce if you would like extra to serve with the chicken.
Step 2. After marinating, place the chicken onto a baking tray and bake in a hot oven until an internal temperature of 75°C / 165°F is reached. Baste with the leftover marinade halfway through cooking time. You can bake tandoori chicken in the air fryer too, if preferred. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C and bake the chicken until cooked through turning after the first 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Serve with extra Greek yogurt, tikka sauce, raita, sour cream or coconut yoghurt. I like leafy greens with mine. I have added some extra serving suggestions in the recipe card below.
The spices do a lot to make a natural red tandoori chicken. You can use a small amount of powdered red tandoori colour (red food coloring) that is available from Asian markets if you like.
It uses a spice, but I wouldn’t say it is spicy or hot. You can add hotter chilli powder if you prefer to the tandoori paste. Personally, I season the chicken with extra chilli flakes when I roast it in the oven. You can add some extra Huy Fong chili garlic sauce if you like or fresh hot chili to give it a spicier kick.
Chicken tikka is usually made with diced or cubed boneless chicken. Masala is basically a gravy, so a saucy tandoori sauce chicken. Tandoori chicken is usually made with whole chicken or chicken pieces still on the bone. It is then baked in a Tandoor oven (traditionally), barbecued, grilled or baked.
Recipes To try Next
- Rougaille Sausages – devilishly good African Creole sausages
- Easy San Choy Bow (Yuk Sung) – quick, simple, and so damn tasty!
- Kafta (Lebanese Beef Kebabs) – some seriously good kebabs. A must-try recipe!
Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken
- 1/2 cup (0.5 cup) Tandoori Paste
- 1/2 cup (0.5 cup) Greek yoghurt
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 kg (4.79 cups) chicken drumsticks see notes
- Combine Tandoori paste, Greek yoghurt, zest and lemon juice in a large bowl until a smooth sauce.
- Add the chicken to the tandoori sauce and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 200°C fan/220°C static/ 425°F.
- Transfer chicken pieces to a baking tray, shake off any excess marinade. (see notes)
- Bake 40-50 minutes, baste with the remaining marinade halfway through cooking time. Roast until an internal temperature of 75°C/165°F is reached. Serve with lemon juice, gremolata and a salsa or kachumber salad.
- Place Tandoori paste, Greek yoghurt, zest and lemon juice into mixer; mix 15 sec/speed 5. Scrape into a large bowl.
- Add the chicken to the tandoori sauce and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 1-2 hours or overnight. Follow from step 3 above.
Your Own Notes
31 responses to “Baked Tandoori Chicken”
My mouth is watering. Love the sliced crust on the surface. I bet inside it is so moist, And tender! Yummy!
This Tandoori Chicken recipe was so flavorful and satisfying! My husband loved it, and so did I!
So much flavor! And the colors are spectacular! If you’re a fan of really flavorful and richly spiced food then you need to make this! Seriously so good!
Okay, this chicken was the perfect dinner for a Friday night!! Pinned to make over and over, thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂
This chicken was amazing! Especially with your homemade tandoori paste I made the other day. We’re definitely adding this dish to our rotation.
I love your idea of serving this Tandoori Chicken recipe with extra Greek yogurt! So delicious!
Here in Italy, Indian restaurants are few. But I love Indian food and cook it at home. I have just bought some tandoori paste online to make this recipe when it arrives. It looks fantastic!
Tandoori Chicken is yummy. Thanks for a reminder. Will go with all your detailing to making a perfect one.
I love Indian food, so I was happy when I found your recipe to make it at home. And the best about it is the option to make my own tandoori paste. So much better than store-bought.Thank you.
Such a good chicken! It’s amazing how much flavor was packed in with just four ingredients. So flavorful and easy!
This was packed with flavor! I am so glad I doubled the recipe; we enjoyed the leftovers with salad. Everyone loved it!
I love this Indian recipe made easy. Thanks for helping me nail this at home
We unfortunately don’t live near an Indian food restaurant any more so this was such a great recipe to make at home for our Indian cravings!!
I’m a fan of Tandoori chicken, but baked in the oven sounds heavenly! I will try it out right away!
What an excellent dish! I usually order Tandori when at an Indian restaurant so it is nice I can finally make it myself (without a special oven!).
This is a really delicious chicken Tandori! Worked great with bone-inn skin-on chicken thighs.