Chicken Tandoori


This Classic Indian dish needs no introduction, it’s as popular and loved all over the world as much as it is in India.

This juicy, succulent , delicious chicken , is a result of a wonderful marinade of yogurt and spices that is cooked in a traditional tandoor.

Here’s an interesting read regarding the history of Tandoori chicken,

Tandoor cooked chicken actually dates back to the Mughal peroid. This delicacy was a main course of the enormous Indian feasts of that day. Other stories of its origins have arisen, such as the one below:
A man named Kundan Lal Gujral ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Peshawar before the partition of India. Trying out new recipes to keep his patrons interested, Gujral tried cooking chicken in tandoors (clay ovens) used by locals until then to cook naans (bread). The tandoors are bell-shaped ovens, set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching temperatures of about 900 degrees. Gujral was able to cook the tender chickens in these ovens making them succulent inside and crispy outside.
After the partition in 1947, Punjab was partitioned with the Eastern portion joining India and the Western, Pakistan. Peshawar became part of Pakistan and Gujral found himself one among many refugees fleeing the rioting and upheaval by moving to India. He moved his restaurant to Delhi in a place called Daryagunj.
The Tandoori chicken at Moti Mahal so impressed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru that he made it a regular at official banquets. Visiting dignitaries that enjoyed Tandoori Chicken included American Presidents Richard Nixon and John Kennedy, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, the King of Nepal, and the Shah of Iran. The fame of Tandoori Chicken led to many derivatives like Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken, commonly found in menus in Indian restaurants all over the world.



2 chicken thighs

2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt to taste

Less than 1/2 cup Greek yogurt ( hung curd)

1/4 cup freshly crushed ย ginger-ย garlic paste

1 teaspoon Garam masala

2 tablespoons Mustard oil/vegetable oi

1 teaspoon Chaat masala


1. Make incisions with a sharp knife on the chicken breast, legs and thighs.

2.Apply a mixture of one teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder, one tablespoon lemon juice and salt over the chicken and set aside for half an hour.

3. Add Greek yogurt in a bowl. Add the remaining Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, remaining lemon juice, garam masala powder and two tablespoons mustard oil.
4. Rub this mixture over the chicken and marinate for three to four hours in a refrigerator. ( I prefer keeping it overnight)

5.Thread the chicken onto a skewer(Pre-soak the wooden skewers for 30 minutes before use), bake at 400 F for about 45 minutes or until cooked through. Smaller pieces will take lesser time, so keep an eye.


6. Baste chicken with a little oil and cook for another five minutes. Remove and set aside.

7. Sprinkle chaat masala powder and serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.



1. To get that charred look, I turned on the broiler during the last few minutes.

2. Source : Indiamarks

3. Recipe slightly adapted fromย here.


Freda ?


  1. Loretta says:

    Gorgeous color on that tandoori chicken, and it’s nice to learn the origins of tandoori chicken. So tell me, how do you clean your oven after baking and grilling? My self-cleaning oven takes 4 hours, I’m always reluctant to cook grilled meats in the oven, I often resort to the grill outdoors, but in the winter time that poses a problem :). I must add chaat masala to my spice cabinet. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Freda @ Aromatic essence says:

      Thanks Loretta ! When I season my cast iron Dutch oven , I usually use an aluminum foil on the lowest rack to prevent the oil from spluttering beneath , and I tend to leave the foil inside itself , that helps a bit in maintaining it. Plus I also use the foil / parchment paper in the baking dish when I bake anything , so it makes for an easy clean up. With these things the oven remains clean and any stubborn stains are removed with a scrub sponge and some dish liquid, wiped off with a tissue.

      • Loretta says:

        Would that be the same for a gas oven? Mostly when I am using the broiler, it splutters on top and that is real hard to remove. Also the glass gets stained.

  2. debyonce says:

    You are so talented.It looks so delicious,for me everything that has chicken it already became a dish of my desire.
    You said you used greek yogurt,it need to be a plain one?

  3. Freda @ Aromatic essence says:

    Hi Safina,
    Broiling involves high heat ( about 550 Degree F from a source that is close to the surface of the food.Can be used to caramelize the food that has already been cooked.
    I turned on the broiler after the chicken was almost done, just to get the charred look . You may use the bake option , I have baked the chicken and then broiled it during the last few minutes . You can totally skip the broiling thing.

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