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 is 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 the 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.
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.
How to 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.
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.
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 in 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.
Coat the chicken breast pieces with the paste mix.
In a separate bowl, Greek yogurt, mix more Indian red chili powder, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom.
Thread the chicken pieces onto metal skewers.
Grill 5-8 minutes per side until cooked through to a an internal temperature of 165°F.
If you’ve tried these Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kebabs or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!
- 3 teaspoons Indian red chili powder (kashmiri chili powder)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch 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
- 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
- Juice of 1 lemon
- To a small bowl add the red chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt, mix with oil to form a paste.
- To a large bowl with a lid, add the chicken and massage half of the chili paste all over the chicken pieces. Set aside.
- To the remaining chili paste add the salt, yogurt, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, curry powder, ginger, garlic and lemon juice, mix well. Add the mix to the chicken and mix to coat well. Cover and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers.
- Grill Method:
- 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.
- Oven Method:
- 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.
Serving Size:1 skewer
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209 Saturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 73mg Sodium: 1332mg Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 26g