In a large mixing bowl or gallon-size ziplock bag, combine all ingredients listed for the marinade.
Using a sharp knife, make ½-inch deep gashes (cuts) in the fleshy part of the chicken so it can absorb the marinade. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss well to coat all over. Refrigerate the chicken anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
Cook Chicken Using ONE of the Following Methods:
Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken
Chicken Legs: Place the marinated chicken legs in the fryer basket keeping a little distance between each piece. Air fry at 360°F for 10 minutes. Chicken Thighs: Adjust time to 6 minutes.
Pull out the basket, flip the chicken and brush it with oil (avocado or olive). Secure the basket in place and cook another 5 minutes, or until the chicken cooks through and internal temperature reads 165°F.
Tandoori Chicken in Oven
Chicken Legs: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper. Place marinated chicken on the tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the chicken, brush with oil and bake for another 15-20 minutes on the other side, until chicken is cooked through and registers a thermometer reading of >165°F.
Chicken thighs: Place the baking sheet on the top rack keeping a 2.5-3 inch clearance. Turn on broil mode and cook for 8 minutes, flip and cook for another 6 minutes.
Instant Pot or MultiPot Crisplid Method
Chicken Legs: Place the tall trivet in the Instant pot or Multipot and place the mesh basket on top. Spread out the chicken legs in that. Secure the Crisplid on top and cook at 350°F for 10 minutes. After that, flip the chicken, brush with oil and cook another 10 minute,s or until the chicken cooks through.Chicken Thighs: Adjust time to 8 minutes, flip and cook another 6 minutes.
Instant Pot Steamer Method
Chicken Legs: Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot (adjust for your pot size). Place the trivet, or a steamer basket in the pot. Place chicken on top. Close the lid and pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 10 minutes, high pressure, on sealing mode. Adjust the cook time for other cuts of chicken as follows: Chicken Thighs:Adjust time to 6 minutes.
Wait for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually by following quick release instructions. Transfer the chicken to a lined baking sheet. Place it under the oven broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the chicken. This step is optional and can be skipped.
Outdoor Grill - For Best Results Use Chicken Thighs (see notes)
Grease the grill plates with some light oil. Place chicken thighs on the medium-high heat part of the grill. Avoid the direct heat area as the chicken will burn before it cooks.
Cook the chicken 6 minutes on the first side, flip, brush with oil and cook another 5-6 minutes, or until it is cooked through.
Garnish and Serve
Drizzle fresh lime juice, and for an extra zing, sprinkle chaat masala over it. Serve with cilantro chutney, pickled onions and saffron rice or naan.
Use skinless chicken drumsticks or boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Both can withstand the high heat required for a crisp exterior and each has just the right amount of meat and fat to stay tender while getting a crispy exterior.
Use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat. If using chicken breast, I would recommend marinating it for at least 2 hours to ensure the chicken stays moist.
Make ½-inch deep gashes (cuts) in the fleshy part of the chicken. This helps the chicken absorb the marinade.
Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. After the 12 hour mark, the yogurt and citrus juice will actually start to break down the meat proteins, creating a soft, mealy texture.
If using the outdoor grill method, use chicken thighs as they can stand the high heat temperature of the grill and not dry out as fast as chicken legs. I would not use chicken breasts for the grill method.
To make this recipe very mild, substitute Kashmiri red chili powder with an equal quantity of regular paprika.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.