How to Make Tandoori Chicken at Home without a Tandoor

Easy tandoori chicken recipe for chicken lovers

Tandoori chicken is one of the most loved chicken dishes. The fiery red-coloured dish is prepared by marinating chicken pieces in a mix of yoghurt and spices and then roasting the marinated chicken pieces in a tandoor. This popular chicken dish with its trademark bright red colour is attributed to Mokha Singh and Kundan Lal Gujral who first served tandoori chicken at their restaurant in Peshawar, Pakistan. After the Partition, Gujral came to Delhi and founded the Moti Mahal chain of restaurants, which became famous for serving the clay-oven tandoor cooked chicken. Soon the popularity of tandoori chicken spread to rest of the country. By 1960, tandoori chicken had started appearing on the menus of popular restaurants in the United States after which the chicken dish achieved global fame.

Traditionally, the chicken pieces are cooked in a cylindrical clay oven which is locally called a tandoor. Cooking the chicken in a tandoor is what lends the unique smoky flavor and taste to tandoori chicken. But you don’t always need to go to a restaurant to enjoy tandoori chicken. Even if you don’t have a metal or clay tandoor at home, the tandoori chicken recipe can easily be recreated at home without a tandoor.

Chicken Tandoori Recipe 
1 kg chicken leg and breast 
40 grams garlic paste
30 grams ginger paste
200 grams Kashmiri chili paste
12 grams green chili paste
3 grams garam masala
3 grams coriander powder
13 grams cumin powder
4 grams kasuri methi
4 grams tandoori chicken masala
5 grams black salt
140 ml mustard oil
300 grams hung curd 
Salt to taste


1. The first step in the tandoori chicken recipe is marinating the chicken pieces. For this, add curd in a bowl and mix all the spices mentioned in the ingredients list. Add the chicken pieces to this marinade and mix well to coat all the pieces. Leave the pieces to marinate for about 20 minutes. 

2. Take a pan and heat some oil and butter in it. Add the marinated chicken pieces to the pan. Pour the leftover marinade all over the chicken pieces.

3. Cover and cook the chicken for 10 minutes on a low flame. Flip the chicken pieces and let the other side cook for another 10 minutes. Keep flipping the chicken pieces at intervals until both the sides are cooked well.

4. Once cooked, remove the chicken pieces from the pan and serve.

Tip: Whether your tandoori chicken recipe will turn out well or not, largely depends on how well the chicken pieces are cooked. To check whether the chicken pieces have cooked properly, insert a fork or knife in the chicken pieces. If it is cooked, the knife or fork will go in easily and the juices will run clear. Be careful not to overcook the chicken pieces or else the tandoori chicken will turn out dry.

To perfect the tandoori chicken recipe at home, read more expert tips.

Must watch: Tandoori chicken with goat cheese and herb filling by Rakhee Vaswani

How to Make Tandoori Chicken at Home without a Tandoor

Tandoori Chicken Recipe with Smoky Flavour 

Making the tandoori chicken recipe using a pan instead of the tandoor is a convenient way to make the tandoori chicken recipe at home. But if you want to achieve the same restaurant-style smoky flavor in your tandoori chicken recipe at home, chef Mikhail Shahani of Charcoal Eats shares a hack that doesn’t need a tandoor.

The chef suggests using a flower pot as a makeshift sigri to make the tandoori chicken recipe at home. All you have to do is take an earthen flowerpot and fill it half-way with sand. Place it on a saucer to keep the sand from pouring out of the hole at the bottom. Take 12 to 14 burning standard charcoal briquettes and put them in the pot. You will need something to light the charcoal and also a way to move the hot briquettes to the pot. You can use your oven grill and place it on top of the flower pot. Marinate the chicken pieces with the curd and spice mix for enough time. Brush the grill placed over the earthen pot with some butter and then cook the marinated chicken on it in tandoor style.

Must watch: Tandoori chicken lollipop by Gurdip Kohli Punj

How to Make Tandoori Chicken at Home without a Tandoor

In most eateries, tandoori chicken is cooked using a tandoor on top of charcoal. However, to combat the rising level of air pollution, the Delhi government has asked the restaurants in the city to find alternate methods. As part of the 'green budget' initiative, the Delhi government has announced a subsidy of Rs 5,000 to popular restaurants to replace coal tandoors with gas-based cooking equipment.

With inputs from chef Mikhail Shahani, Charcoal Eats
Image: Shutterstock


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