Tandoori Chicken Recipe

May 15, 2018 (Updated: April 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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An easy Instant Pot & Oven recipe for Tandoori Chicken, a popular Indian spiced roast chicken. Chicken is marinated in yogurt and toasted Indian spices, and grilled till it’s tender and juicy on the inside, and golden and crisp on the outside.

Tandoori Chicken recipe is probably one of the most flavorful and popular chicken recipes from the Indian subcontinent.   It is the Indian spiced version of barbecue chicken.

In this recipe, I marinate the chicken in yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic and commonly used Indian spices.   The yogurt and lime tenderize the chicken, and help it absorb the aroma and flavors from the spices.  Then, I cook it to a perfect crispy golden brown texture.  The result is tender, juicy and a to-die-for flavor!  If you’ve never tried it before, just trust me on this and go for it!

Tandoori Chicken tastes really good with pickled onions and some Cilantro Chutney!

Try this easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe. Chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices and cooked to perfection in the Oven or Instant Pot. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #easyrecipe #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #tasty #chicken #chickenrecipes #instantpot #bbq #indian

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or drumsticks work great for this Indian Grilled Chicken recipe.  Both can withstand the high heat required for a crisp exterior.  That being said, you can also use chicken breast.  If using chicken breast, I would recommend marinating it for 2 hours at least.  That will keep the chicken moist.

To make this popular Indian food, I start by making a marinade with yogurt, freshly ground ginger & garlic, homemade garam masala, ground coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, paprika and fresh lemon juice.

Marinate the chicken anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.  Thread it on to skewers and grill it.  Most restaurants grill it in a high-heat clay-oven called Tandoor (pronounced tun-d-oo-r).  Tandoor is typically heated with charcoals.  That is what gives the chicken a slightly smoky flavor.

Spice Mix for Tandoori Chicken recipe

But, since most of us don’t have a clay oven in our backyards, an oven broiler, or an outdoor grill can achieve a similar flavor!

How to Make Tandoori Chicken in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Try this easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe. Chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices and cooked to perfection in the Oven or Instant Pot. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #easyrecipe #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #tasty #chicken #chickenrecipes #instantpot #bbq #indian

Recently, a friend asked me to adapt my recipe for tandoori chicken for the Instant Pot, the programmable pressure cooker.

Pressure cooking the meat made it exceptionally moist and helped the chicken absorb the marinade flavors really well.  I loved how juicy and tender the chicken became after pressure cooking.  It was ready in under 30 minutes too.

My only challenge was the end texture.  The grilled, or char-broiled finish is what enhances the taste of Tandoori Chicken, so I definitely didn’t want to let go of that.

So, during testing-round#2 of this recipe, I pressure cooked it, and then popped it under the oven broiler for 2-4 minutes.  BAM!  Grilled finish accomplished!

But, if you don’t care so much about that grilled flavor, you can eat it right after the pressure cooking process.  I promise you, you will still think this was the Best Tandoori Chicken Ever!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Marinate Chicken

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Mix it well

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Refrigerate from 30 mins-overnight

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Pour water in pot, place chicken on trivet, and pressure cook it

Tandoori Chicken Recipe, with chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Optional- broil cooked chicken for 2-3 mins

Tandoori Chicken Recipe, with chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Enjoy with Cilantro Chutney 

Oven-Grilled Tandoori Chicken 

Grilling the chicken gives it a slight smoky flavor, which I just love.  Most of the time, I bake it in the oven, or, if I’m using boneless thighs or breast, I grill it under the broiler. Here’s how:

For Bone-in Chicken and Drumsticks:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
    2. Remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess and place it on the tray.  Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the chicken and bake for another 15-20 minutes on the other side, or till chicken is cooked through.  If you are using a meat thermometer, the thickest part of chicken should reach 165 degrees F.
    3. Remove from oven. Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it.  Chaat Masala is an all-purpose condiment that adds a tart-spicy kick to any savory food or fruits.

For Boneless Thighs or Breast:

    1. I slice the chicken breast in half, horizontally. That reduces the cook time and chicken cooks evenly. Line a baking tray with foil.
    2. Remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess and place it on the tray. Broil for 7 minutes on the first side (presentation side), then flip the chicken and broil for another 6-7 minutes on the other side, or till chicken is cooked through.
    3. Remove from oven. Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken on the Barbecue

Tandoori Chicken is a real crowdpleaser for BBQ parties and summer picnics!  It’s a great appetizer for game day parties too.  When making it for a crowd, I prefer using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.  The reason is that they cook faster and can stand the high-heat of the grill.  I follow this process:

  1. Grease the grill plates with some light oil.
  2. Remove chicken from the marinade, shake off excess and place it on the medium-high part of the grill. Avoid the direct heat area as the chicken will burn before it cooks.
  3. Cook the chicken 5-6 minutes on the first side, flip it and another 5 minutes, or till it is cooked through.
  4. Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it. Serve with cilantro chutney, pickled onions and store-bought Naan.

Don’t forget the Cilantro Chutney

Tandoori chicken goes really well with a condiment like homemade cilantro chutney.

Chutney served in a white spoon

Awesome Combinations with Tandoori Chicken:

Spinach rice, palak pulao, instant pot spinach pilaf

Spinach Rice

Saffron-rIce-Pilaf

Saffron Rice

 Instant pot Lemon-Rice Pressure cooker

Lemon Rice

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita

★ Have you tried this recipe? Click on the stars ★ in the recipe card to let us know your feedback!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe, with chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

An easy Instant Pot & Oven recipe for Tandoori Chicken, a popular Indian spiced roast chicken. Chicken is marinated in yogurt and toasted Indian spices, and grilled till it's tender and juicy on the inside, and golden and crisp on the outside.  
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 Drumsticks
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Spice Cravings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. chicken drumsticks skinned (or boneless chicken thighs, breast or tenders)

Ingredients for Marinade:

Garnish

  • 1 teaspoons fresh lime juice drizzled on top
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chaat Masala - sprinkle all over the chicken (optional)

Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken: In a large ziplock bag, or a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients listed under "Marinade". Add skinless drumsticks, close the bag tight and toss it well to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate the chicken anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
    Tandoori Chicken Recipe
  • Cooking using Instant Pot: Turn Instant Pot On. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot (adjust for your pot size). Place the trivet, or a steamer basket in the pot. Remove chicken, shake off the excess marinade and place on top. Stack the drumsticks on top of each other. Close the lid. Vent set to Sealing position. Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 12 minutes. If using boneless thighs, reduce time to 6 minutes, Boneless chicken breast- 8 mins; Chicken tenders- 5 mins, bone-in skinless chicken breast- 12 minutes.
    Tandoori Chicken Recipe
  • Open after NPR 10: Wait for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure naturally. To do that, turn the pressure knob from Sealing to Venting position. Remove the chicken and place it on a lined baking sheet. Place it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the chicken. This step is optional and can be skipped. Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it.
    Tandoori Chicken Recipe, with chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Oven-Grilled/Baked

    For Bone-in Chicken and Drumsticks:

    • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with foil.
    • Remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess and place it on the tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the chicken and bake for another 15-20 minutes on the other side, or till chicken is cooked through.
    • Remove from oven. Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it.

    For Boneless Thighs or Breast:

    • I slice the chicken breast in half, horizontally. That reduces the cook time and chicken cooks evenly. Line a baking tray with foil.
    • Remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess and place it on the tray. Broil for 7 minutes on the first side (presentation side), then flip the chicken and broil for another 6-7 minutes on the other side, or till chicken is cooked through.
    • Remove from oven. Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it.

    Outdoor Grill:

    • Grease the grill plates with some light oil.   Remove chicken from the marinade, shake off excess and place it on the medium-high part of the grill. Avoid the direct heat area as the chicken will burn before it cooks.
    • Cook the chicken 5-6 minutes on the first side, flip it and another 5 minutes, or till it is cooked through.
    • Drizzle some fresh lime juice, and, for an extra zing, sprinkle some Chaat Masala over it. Serve with cilantro chutney, pickled onions and store-bought Naan.

    Notes

    If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
     
    Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 514mg | Potassium: 314mg | Vitamin A: 435IU | Vitamin C: 2.9mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1.1mg
    Course: Appetizer, Main Course
    Cuisine: Indian
    Keyword: Tandoori
    Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!
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    Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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    June 18, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    […] Indian spiced roast chicken. Tender and juicy on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside! Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken – Spice […]

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