Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kebabs/Kabobs/Skewers bring everyones favorite tandoori Indian dish into our own kitchen. So quick and easy made on the grill, the recipe also comes with an oven baked option. Serve with a side of rice and curry if you like.

A closeup of tandoori grilled chicken

Made with all natural ingredients with no food coloring.

If you love tandoori chicken from your favorite Indian restaurant you will love this recipe. The best and only way to get the authentic flavor of Indian tandoori is to cook in a tandoor oven and if you’re like me, you don’t have easy access to one.

Chicken breast pieces are marinated in yogurt and delicious Indian spices then grilled or oven baked to achieve the closest flavor you can get without a tandoor oven.

What is a tandoor oven?

If you’ve every been to an Indian restaurant, then you’ve eaten something that was cooked in the tandoor, naan bread, tandoori chicken or seafood. Tandoor is a traditionally bell shaped clay oven that is open at the top.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kebabs brings everyones favorite tandoori Indian dish into our own kitchens. Chicken is marinated in yogurt and  delicious Indian spices then grilled to achieve the closest flavor you can get without a tandoor oven. #tandoorichicken #grilled #indian

Used in Indian cuisine to get that unique cooked flavor into naan bread, chicken and seafood that is operated at a very high temperature of 900 degrees F. Not your traditional type of cooking that we know, meat and seafood are cooked on skewers, where the naan bread is stuck to the side of the oven to cook, that’s how you get that unmistakable char and flavor.

There’s no perfect way to re-create the flavors of the tandoor, but us home cooks can certainly try and the next best thing to getting the tandoori flavor is making tandoori sauce.Starting with greek yogurt, all the great Indian spices are mixed to make a marinade.

3 skewers of chicken tandoori with onion, lemon and cilantro

How do you get that recognizable tandoori color? To recreate the very recognizable red hue of the meat an Indian red chili powder (kashmiri) is used. This chili powder can be found on the internet, which is where I bought it. Or, if you’re lucky to live close to an Indian market, they should have it. Sometimes red food coloring is used, but I’m not a fan and I don’t think this recipe needs it.

The key to getting the most flavor into the chicken is the marinating.  This recipe has a 2-stage marination process. The chicken is first coated in the red chili powder. Then coated in yogurt and spices for the final marinating.

Chefs tip: Traditionally, tandoori chicken is cooked using larger pieces of chicken. The get the marinade into the chicken for more flavor, the chicken is scored and rubbed into the scores. You can do this if you like, but since these are smaller pieces you can skip this step.

Oven roasting method: This recipe can be made indoors using a stovetop grill pan or roasted in the oven. those cold winter months by roasting the skewers in the oven (I would not recommend using wooden skewers). Roast at 425°F/218°C for 8 minutes per side then broil to get a nice char. If you don’t want to use skewers, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts using the marinade and roast them whole for 20 – 30 minutes then broil.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kebabs – Step by Step

In a small bowl, mix the Indian red chili powder, salt and oil to make a paste.

Indian spices mixed in a glass bowl

Coat the chicken breast pieces with the paste mix.

Chicken breast pieces getting coated with spices

In a separate bowl, Greek yogurt, mix more Indian red chili powder, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom.

Greek yogurt and spices get mixed

Add the Greek yogurt mix to the chicken pieces and marinate for 30 minutes.

Marinade mixed with chicken pieces

Thread the chicken pieces onto metal skewers.

Chicken being threaded onto metal skewers

Grill 5-8 minutes per side until cooked through to a an internal temperature of 165°F.

4 grilled tandoori chicken kebabs/kebobs/skewers

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Yield: 4

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Skewered chicken is grilled with lots of Indian spices and yogurt then grilled for the most delicious tandoori chicken.

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons Indian red chili powder (kashmiri chili powder)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
  • 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Indian red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. To a small bowl add the red chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt, mix with oil to form a paste.
  2. To a large bowl with a lid, add the chicken and massage half of the chili paste all over the chicken pieces. Set aside.
  3. To the remaining chili paste add the rest of the ingredients, mix well. Add the mix to the chicken and coat well. Cover and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. 
  5. Grill Method:
  6. Preheat grill on high. Grill for 5-8 minutes per side until cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F/74°C.
  7. Oven Method:
  8. Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C. Place the skewers, evenly spread on a baking sheet . Bake for 5-8 minutes per side. Turn the oven to broil and broil until the tops are lightly charred, cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F/74°C.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1 skewer

Amount Per Serving Calories 285Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 103mgSodium 1230mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 39g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.

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