Tandoori chicken recipe

Tandoori dishes are popular and can be found in most Indian restaurants. One of my favourite dishes at an Indian restaurant is the mixed starter which usually consists of tandoori chicken kebab, sheehk kebab with caramelised onions and a fresh mixed salad. Most restaurants use yellow, orange or red food colouring to enhance the colour of the meat, but this is not necessary. You can use this recipe with other meats such as turkey, duck, quail or pigeon.

It could be served as a starter with lettuce, rings of onion, a wedge of lemon, Indian bread and chutney. Alternatively, you could have it as the main course with rice and other accompaniments. The way to make it the tastiest is by marinating the meat overnight. From home, this can be cooked under the grill but will always taste better from real charcoal. In restaurants, it will be cooked under a traditional Tandoor clay oven with hot charcoal underneath. 


  • Chicken (1.5kg)
  • Lemon or lime (3 tbsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)


  • Yoghurt (175ml)
  • Mustard oil (2 tbsp) 
  • Garlic cloves (6)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Ground coriander (1 tsp)
  • Ground cumin (1 tsp)
  • Ground ginger (1 tsp)


Remove the skin from the chicken, then quarter it and make a few slashes on the meat. Rub the citrus juice and salt over the chicken, then leave it for 30 minutes. Mix all the marinade ingredients by hand or blitz in the blender, then rub the marinade over the chicken. Cover it, then place it in the fridge overnight. 

The next day preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (220C). Remove excess marinade, then place it directly on the oven rack with a pan underneath to catch the juices. Cook for 30 minutes or more until thoroughly cooked, then finish it under the grill for 5 minutes, or you can put it straight onto the barbecue, then serve. 

Up Next: Indian Seekh Kebab (Recipe)


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