Tandoori Chicken Oven Baked
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.
Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken
- 1/2 cup Tandoori Paste
- 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 kg 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.