Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is a traditional Indian dish full of bold and spicy flavors! A 30 minute marinade and a few minutes on the grill will deliver this tasty dish! 

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

The first time I tried Indian food was in California with my sister Misty. I think I must’ve been about 12 years old and when she took me to this little hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant I thought it looked a little sketchy. But I’ve always been a lover of food and Misty swore up and down that this was some of the best food on the planet. So I tried it.

Oh m’gash. Samosas, where have you been all my life?! And just like that I was a goner. It only took about 2.7 seconds for me to be completely hooked on Indian cuisine.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

When I was working at that Chinese restaurant in high school, my best friend happened to be working at the only Indian restaurant in town. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you probably know that at the end of your shift you reek of grease and food. My hair would absorb the smells from the kitchen and Chinese-food-smelling hair is about the last thing you want when you’re going to hang out with friends. So on weekends when Kelsi and I both worked, we’d do a food-swap instead of meeting up with everyone else.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

The food swap would go something like this: (via text message)

Kelsi: Heyyyy, food swap tonight??

Me: Um, YES. I’m off at 11. What do you want?

Kelsi: Cream cheese wontons. And a bucket of sauce. You?

Me: The usual. And extra chutney.  See you in 30!

Kelsi: Yummmmmmmm!

And that’s pretty much how it went down. So we’d meet up at one of our houses and swap Chinese and Indian food. That’s how I’ve tried so many different Indian dishes and tandoori chicken is one of the top 10 on my list of favorites.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Traditionally, tandoori chicken is made in a tandoori clay oven. Oh shoot, I just lent mine out….  Lies. I don’t have a tandoori clay oven. In fact I’m not sure I know anyone personally who has a tandoori clay oven in their backyard. But it’s okay, you don’t have to dig a hole for clay in your backyard because this dish can be made on the grill and I promise it’s just as good as if you’d built yourself a clay oven. Technically you can bake it too but I think the flavor from the grill helps give it that rustic touch that you’d get in an authentic restaurant. We had it over coconut lime rice and we also grilled up some naan with mango chutney – sooooo yummy! Make this – pronto!

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

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Grilled Tandoori Chicken
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Tandoori chicken is a traditional Indian dish full of bold and spicy flavors! A 30 minute marinade and a few minutes on the grill will deliver this tasty dish!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients. Place marinade in a large zip lock bag and add chicken breasts. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Cook chicken on the grill over medium heat 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  3. Suggested serving options: cooked rice, lime wedges for drizzling, extra cilantro, indian flatbread (naan) and mango chutney
*coriander and garam masala are spices you can find at most markets, I know I've found them at Target and Harmons - if they aren't with the regular spices, try the Asian section of the market.

**recipe adapted from Jo Cooks


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I used to work at a Taco Shop when I was in high school and we do food swaps with the Chinese restaraunt that was right across from us in the mall. That was always fun.

These pictures are lovely!

I looooove Indian food especially tandoori chicken and I’m glad to hear I an make it at home without a tandoori! Thank goodness! Thanks!

So… my husband doesn’t like Indian food. ( I know – the horror!!) I think I need to make this, though, to try to convince him. It looks amazing!!

I made this tonight and it was the best chicken I have ever made! Highly recommend it. Thank you for this delicious and easy to make recipe!

Do you know if this would freeze ok? Like, put the marinade and chicken in the bag then freeze, followed by thawing before grilling.

    I haven’t tried freezing myself but I think it would do well!

Does the recipe call for fresh ginger or ground ginger?

    Ground ginger! 🙂

Can I marinate the chicken longer than overnight? I want to prep everything for a trip so that cooking is easier but it would be marinating for almost 36 hours. Is that ok?

This was okay…but the recipe called for no salt! I think I would’ve taken to it more if salt was part of the marinade. Anyway, I sprinkled some over later and it was pretty good. It’s a quick and easy one I threw onto the George Foreman (just got one for the first time!) and will probably keep. Thanks! 🙂

Oh, question for you: are we supposed to wipe all the marinade off? Or let it cling to the pieces?

    Hi Sairah! I’m glad to hear that this recipe works well with a George Foreman, my husband and I love using ours! I’ll take a look at the recipe and consider adding a bit of salt, maybe I just missed it when I was typing in the recipe! When you grill the chicken, you just let the marinade cling right to the chicken, it’s a bit messy, but makes a nice crusty outside on the chicken with lots of flavor 🙂

This recipe is also featured in our blog.Just take a look at it


Question…..could i do this recipe in a cast iron in the oven and at what temperature. .. im glad to see it can be done with the George Foreman also ……

Could this work with a broiler? We don’t have a grill or a George Foreman. How long would I have to cook it with one of those?

    I think you could broil it!

This was AMAZING !
It is so easy to prepare, even I could do it !
All ingredients are readily available at your grocery store and inexpensive.
Even thou I only had it marinating for half a hour, the flavors were fa nominal. I can only imagine hoe it would be after 24 hours.
Give this a try… will love it.