3 Step Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is hugely popular; grown-ups and kiddies alike. There is a layer of attitude on the outside as it hits you with heavy-handed spice and flesh that crackles and chars.Yet the inside is juicy with a murmur of its sharp exterior flavors of cumin, coriander and ginger.

This recipe is a step-by step process to gob-smacking tandoori chicken. The best part: visits to your local specialty store are UNREQUIRED. Unlike most tandoori chicken dishes that use pre-made tandoori seasoning mixes, for this dish we will make our own. Something smoky is key here, so feel free to reach for smoked paprika or ground chipotle powder.

Now, for suggestions to gob-smacking Tandoori Chicken

Ideally it’s best to marinade the chicken for 3-4 hours. There is a tendency to over marinade chicken and some will allow chicken to sit in a rub or marinade for hours on end. The result is often a chicken that is tight and stringy and not very appealing.

Secondly, it is best to use chicken on the bone for maximum juiciness and not small, boneless pieces that shrivel like a prune on grill- contact.

Thirdly, marinating is a quick 2 step process. Open the chickens pours so it can fully absorb flavors by rubbing with salt, ginger and garlic. After an hour, add in the remaining handful of ingredients.

Lastly, when the chicken is ready to be cooked on a hot BBQ/ grill, make sure the surface is well oiled. Shake off the excess marinade as you place on to the rack to avoid excess burning and baste frequently.

*For additional tips on BBQ, reference Josh Ozersky

* Photo by Alpha

Recipe for 3 Step Tandoori Chicken


2lbs leg and thighs on the bone, skinless


1 tbsp. ginger and garlic, grated


1 teaspoon coriander powder

¾ teaspoon smoked paprika or ground chipotle seasoning (available in the spice aisle)

1 tablepoon oil

1 tablespoon full fat yoghurt or sour cream

Lemon wedges, to serve


1)Marinade chicken in salt, ginger and garlic. Allow to sit for 1 hour

2)Combine with remaining ingredients and set aside for 2 hours

3)Throw on to hot grill, rotating frequently and basting. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until juices run clear.Serve with lemon wedges

Saira Malhotra, is of British–Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. Raised in Hounslow, U.K, or rather ‘Little India’, where the air is aromatic with roasted spices, little did Saira know these moments would follow her from being a student in France and Italy to residing in NYC with her husband and kids and parlay themselves unexpectedly in to a culinary career. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: where she shares approachable and international recipes

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