Tandoori chicken recipe (on gas & in oven)

Tandoori chicken recipe – let’s see how simply you can make the best Indian restaurant-style tandoori chicken at home (with and without an oven), described with detailed step-by-step pictures. Tandoori chicken is one of my favorite Indian grilled chicken starter recipes I am always ready to eat. Especially its soft, tender, and moist smokey charcoal-flavored chicken catch my all attention toward this dish. Though, this dish is only prepared in a special charcoal oven called tandoor, which is only available in Indian restaurants. So, you must be thinking, without a tandoor, how to make tandoori chicken at home, right? Today I will show you how to make the chicken tandoori in 3 different and best ways – 1. On the Gas stove (in a frying pan, a grill pan), and direct gas flame, 2. In a Microwave oven 3. In OTG.

Can you recognize whether the tandoori chicken in the picture below is prepared at home (on a gas oven) or delivered by restaurants?

Tandoori chicken in the picture made at home & served in a white plate garnished with lemon wedges, whole green chillies, coriander and mint leaves served with a bowl of sour & spicy green chutney

About Chicken tandoori recipe

Chicken tandoori is an Indian-style grilled chicken starter (similar to kebab) prepared in Tandoor (a cylindrical-shaped covered clay oven). A red-colored fully roasted chicken drumsticks (along with chicken thighs) or whole chicken. In India, this tandoori chicken recipe is also named tandoori murgh, or murgh tandoor as the chicken or murgh is prepared in restaurants’ special tandoor oven. However, I prepared these in my gas stove oven.

Marinade the chicken (thighs/drumsticks/whole chicken) in two steps. First in lemon juice, red chilli powder, salt, and vegetable oil. Then use yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, and all the spices like cumin-coriander powder, kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric, pepper, black salt, chaat masala, tandoori masala (store-bought/homemade), and mustard oil for several hours. Lastly, red food color (to make it red) and roasted gram flour (for binding the spices on chicken) are added up to the marinade. In restaurants, then the chicken pieces into iron skewers and hang to drip the excess marinade. Such tandoori masala-coated whole chicken or leg pieces (thighs/drumsticks) are found hanging on skewers in the restaurants’ own tandoor zone. Then marinated chicken pieces get into the hot tandoor oven along with its skewer unless perfectly grilled or roasted. However, at home, I will prepare it in a pan on the gas stove, with no skewers or no need to hang.

Tandoori chicken is perfectly accompanied by a few lemon wedges, onion or vegetable salads, and a special dipping sauce Green Coriander-Mint Chutney (check from my website). Even the sprinkle of chaat masalas and lemon juice must enhance the taste of these hot smoky chicken starters. From kids to elders everyone loves tandoori starter, best to serve it as an appetizer or as a side dish at dinner with roti, naan, paratha, or biryani.

The red, rich texture of tandoori chicken seems to be hot and spicy. However, lots of spices are used in making this dish but it is not hot at all. That red texture comes from a compilation of red food colors and Kashmiri chilli powder added to the marinade. You can easily avoid this food color-adding step.

I was a true fan of the restaurant-style chicken tandoori recipe. Because of their soft, juicy, and flavorful chicken in tandoor. However, I used to think without using a tandoor oven how can I make it at home with the same flavor and looks. But some Facebook videos over this recipe made me wrong and I first started making this dish by following their gas stove method. After making it many times in my kitchen I rectified all of my mistakes and add my own tricks to make it perfect. Finally, now I can make it like a restaurant with authentic taste, flavor, and texture.

As in our Indian kitchen, people mostly use gas stoves for cooking food not even a microwave oven. So I decided to share the easy process of how to make tandoori chicken recipe at home on the gas stovetop. Though I discussed the microwave oven method too. Use any one of these two methods at your convenience.

Pro tips to make the best chicken tandoori recipe at home(on gas oven)

1. Choose the best chicken pieces

Generally, in Indian restaurants, skin-out chicken thighs are used for making the recipe, so I follow the same. Don’t worry, skin out chicken won’t get dry after roasting if marinated & cooked for a specific time period. Best to avoid breast pieces as after roasting those solid chicken get quite hard & dry.

However, you can use chicken with skin too, that makes the chicken juicy from the inside for sure. But don’t have a great taste if not prick or slit the chicken pieces till its bone before marinade. Otherwise, masalas could not get into each layer of chicken. So the chicken skin gets scrumptious, but the rest of the meat will be bland in taste.

2. How long marinate the chicken

Here I marinade the chicken almost for 2 hours. Though you may marinate it for 10-12 hours to keep it juicy from the inside, especially if cooking it in the oven or in an outside tandoor grill or on roti grill jali.

3. Which makes the chicken soft and juicy

  • Must use poultry chicken to get it juicy not the desi or country chicken as that will be dry through cooking.
  • Yogurt(thick/hung curd) & lemon are used to quickly tenderize the meat and makes the chicken soft and juicy. So don’t skip any of these two in the marination. However, you may replace the yogurt with one more medium lemon juice if you are allergic to dairy products.

4. Use of tandoor masala(readymade or homemade)

  • In general, store-bought or ready-made(from any local brands) tandoori chicken masala(easily available in local Indian markets or shopping stores) is used in restaurants. That is the best way to make a quick chicken tandoori recipe.
  • However, I don’t prefer to buy the packet masalas rather I use my own homemade tandoori masala made from scratch. I use it for a more intense flavor and brings great taste. That tandoor masala recipe is described below, so you may try it out as I did. Through that recipe, you can easily prepare that ready-made packet-style tandoor masala at home with the common ingredients available in your kitchen.

5. How to get authentic smokey flavor like a tandoor oven

Restaurants’ Tandoori chicken is popular for the tandoor oven’s smokey charcoal flavor too. That can not be missing in an authentic tandoor recipe. To bring that smokey flavor to chicken, a piece of burning charcoal with ghee or butter releases smoke and is placed in the bowl containing marinated chicken, and covered until smoke is infused into the chicken.

6. How long grill the chicken on the gas stove and in the oven

All total of 25 mins is required for grilling or roasting around 200 g weight chicken pieces marinated for 2 hrs. whether grilling in a gas stove or in the microwave oven or otg. Though cooking time depends on marination time, due to long hours of marination chicken may take less than 20 mins to cook. But lastly grilling time for each side must be two and a half mins for sure.

Try some other chicken kabab and starters from my website

Try this restaurant-style delicious chicken tandoori recipe at home & let me know your valuable feedback(writing in the comment section below) about this recipe.

Tandoori Chicken recipe (on gas & oven)

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Servings: 4 people

Course: Starters

Cuisine: Indian

Author: Moumita Paul

Ingredients for tandoori chicken

  • 4 full chicken legs including thighs or drumsticks (weigh 700g)
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala (homemade/store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup hung curd or thick yogurt
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1+1/4 tsp spicy red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp red food colour (optional)
  • 1+1/2 tsp mustard oil
  • 1.5 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper (kali mirch powder) 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder(jeera powder)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder(dhania powder)
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp black salt(kala namak powder)
  • 1+1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp roasted gram flour or sattu
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 4-5 tbsp butter
  • A piece of charcoal
  • salt(as per taste)

Ingredients for Chicken Tandoori Masala powder (Homemade)

  • 1 tbsp Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 black cardamom (bari elaichi)
  • 5-6 green cardamom (choti elaichi)
  • 1-inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 8 cloves (long)
  • 1/2 mace (javitri)
  • 1/4 nutmeg (jaifol)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

How to make tandoori chicken recipe at home (on gas & oven) with detailed step-by-step pictures

Preparation

How to make Chicken Tandoori Masala

  • For making chicken tandoori masala, Take 1 tbsp Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leave) + 1 black cardamom (bari elachi) + 5-6 green cardamom (choti elaichi) + 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini) + 8 cloves (long) + 1/2 mace (javitri) + 1/4 nutmeg (jaifol) + a pinch of hing (asafoetida)in a blender jar.
step wise collage to show tandoori masala ingredients in blender
  • Then grind all the spices together to make finely powdered masalas. Keep it aside for later.
showing homemade powdered tandoori masala

Marinade chicken

For making chicken tandoori recipe, try to use full chicken leg pieces along with thighs or chicken drumsticks or chicken wings. Basically, take around 700-800 g of chicken, cut into quarters or 4 equal pieces. Each chicken piece’s weight must be around 200 g whether the chicken weight is 1kg, 1.5 kg, 2kg, or 3 kg. However, a small size chicken that weighs less than 1 kg is perfect for making a whole chicken tandoor. But try to use chicken with bone pieces because boneless pieces (mainly chicken breast) get a little dry and chewy after roasting. Before marination clean the chicken with water and make a deep cut on it.

Step 1- Clean the chicken pieces in water

  • Simply clean the chicken pieces in lukewarm water, squeeze them to remove water, and make them dry. Keep it in a mixing bowl.
chicken legs or thighs are in mixing bowl

Step 2- Slit/ deep cut on the chicken

  • Then take a knife and make 4 to 5 slits on each chicken piece. As shown in the picture below.
making slits on chicken for perfect cooking

Step 3- First marinade

  • Marinade the chicken with 1 lemon juice + 3/4 tsp red chilli powder + 1/2 tsp salt + 1+1/2 tsp vegetable oil.
chicken with spices for first step marination
  • Mix it well, cover the bowl with a plate and leave it for 30 mins marination.
marinated chicken after first step marination

Step 4- Second marinade

  • After 30 mins, marinade the chicken with 1 tsp ginger- 2 tsp garlic paste + 1/2 tsp red chilli powder + 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder + 3/4 tsp pepper powder (kali mirch powder) + 1 tsp cumin powder (jeera powder) + 1 tsp coriander powder (dhania powder) + 1/2 tsp black salt (kala namak) + 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp of home-made tandoori masala, or 1+1/2 tsp store-bought tandoori masala + 1/2 tsp chaat masala + half cup hung curd or thick yogurt + 1 &1/2 tsp mustard oil (for good smokey flavor). Mix it well.
Marinating chicken with tandoori masala, curd & mustard oil for second step marination
  • Lastly, add 3 tbsp dry roasted gram flour or roasted besan or even sattu and 1/4 tsp red food colour. Again mix it well and cover the bowl and leave it to marinate for 2 hrs.
chicken after final step marination with roasted gram flour and red food colour

Charcoal smoking method of tandoori chicken

Step 1- Adding ghee to burning charcoal

  • After 2 hrs, place a small metal bowl in the marinated chicken, burn a piece of charcoal and place it on the same bowl with a teaspoon of ghee. To get the tandoor restaurant-style smokey flavor.
applying smoking method with burning charcoal & ghee used in restaurants chicken kabab recipe

Step 2- Chicken absorbed charcoal smoke

  • Once charcoal starts releasing smoke, so immediately cover the bowl with a plate and leave it for 10 mins. Within 10 mins, the chicken will absorb the smoke.
showing how smoking the chicken with charcoal & ghee to bring restaurants tandoor oven flavour
  • Just after 10 mins, take out the bowl containing burning charcoal n tandoori chicken is ready to cook.
tandoori chicken is prepared to cook

Making chicken tandoori – on gas stove

Step 1 -In a regular frying pan/Tawa

  • Heat a pan or tawa on low to medium flame, add 3 cubes of butter, and let it completely melt down.
butter in pan on gas stovebutter in pan on gas stove

Step 2- Roasting chicken in butter

  • Add the chicken tandoori pieces to the pan, cover the pan, and cook it on a slow flame for 10 mins.
making tandoori chicken frying pan
  • After 10 mins, turn the chicken pieces and again cover the pan to cook the other side of the chicken for another 10 mins
step to roast tandoori chicken at home in pan on gas stovestep to roast tandoori chicken at home in pan on gas stove
  • After this 20 mins of cooking, the chicken will be juicy and tender. Must check it with a knife or fork, if it is easily inserted into the chicken, indicates the chicken is perfectly cooked.
  • Then remove the chicken pieces to a plate. And put the rest of the uncooked chicken into the same pan and cook it in the same way described above.
step showing of half roasted tandoori chicken pic holding by thongstep showing half roasted tandoori chicken pic holding by thong

Chicken grilling method in grill pan

When all the chicken tandoori pieces are nicely cooked. Heat a grill pan (or even a tawa) on medium to high heat, add 4 small butter cubes, and grease the pan with it.

grilled pan for making tandoori chicken recipe at home without tandoor ovengrilled pan for making tandoori chicken recipe at home without tandoor oven
  • Once the butter melts down, then add the chicken pieces to it and fry it from both sides (each side for 2 and 1/2 mins) by brushing some butter till the restaurant-style grill effect comes.
grilling tandoori chicken on grill pan
  • After a total of 5 mins of grilling on both sides, restaurant-style delicious tandoori chicken is ready, just serve it with wedges of lemon, salads, and Green chutney.
tandoori chicken is readytandoori chicken is ready

How to grill chicken tandoori – on direct gas oven

  • Step 1– Grill the chicken (marinated for 10 -12 hours) directly on gas stove or gas oven flame by using a roti grill jali. While grilling often greases the butter on both sides of the chicken.
  • Step 2 – But don’t put it in the fire for a long time, that can make the chicken dry. As sometimes the same thing happens with the restaurant’s chicken grilled in tandoor oven.
  • Step 3 – Even You may first apply the first part of my pan-fried method.
  • Step 4– Then you may lastly place the chicken on the direct gas flame to get the best-grilled effect with the same charcoal burnt smoky flavor.

How to cook chicken tandoori- in Microwave Oven/ in OTG

  • Step 1 – Microwave or OTG users must preheat the oven for 15-20 mins at a 180-degree temperature.
  • Step 2 – First grease the oven’s grill rack with butter or oil, then place the chicken on it. Then you must put a microwave-proof plate under the rack to accumulate the juice coming out of the chicken during grilling. It will prevent the oven from getting messy.
  • Step 3 – Thereafter, set the oven in its grill mode and cook the chicken for 10-12 mins on each side. Then check whether the chicken is perfectly cooked or not by inserting a toothpick into it.
  • Step 4 – After 20-24 mins of grilling, lastly grease the chicken from each side with butter and grill it from both sides for 2 & 1/2 mins to get that perfect charred effect.

Important Notes of this recipe

  • Store the leftover ground chicken tandoori masala in an airtight container. You may use it for making the other tandoori items with fish, prawns, or even any meat.
  • Here I used milky mist’s probiotic curd which is thick and had no excess water. You may use unflavoured Greek yogurt too or any thick yogurt not containing much water.
  • Though you can prepare hung curd at home by keeping the curd (runny/liquid) in a strainer or hanging it in a cotton cloth for 30 mins. This procedure will help to remove the excess water from the curd to make it thick as required.

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