Traditional recipes

Barbecued tandoori chicken thighs recipe

Barbecued tandoori chicken thighs recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken thigh

Tandoori chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay oven, called a tandoor. As most of us don't have a tandoor, barbecuing the chicken is the next best thing!

23 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tandoori spice mix
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:15min ›Extra time:2hr marinating › Ready in:2hr20min

  1. Whisk lime juice, yoghurt, tandoori mix, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour mixture into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken; coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat an outdoor barbecue for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  3. Remove chicken from the bag and transfer to a plate or baking dish lined with kitchen paper. Pat chicken dry with more kitchen paper.
  4. Cook chicken on the preheated barbecue with lid open for 2 minutes. Close lid and continue to BBQ chicken for 6 minutes. Turn chicken, close lid and barbecue until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the centre, about 6 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 82 degrees C.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(32)

Reviews in English (21)

by Tom Sobieski

if you, like me, can't buy the tandoori masala powder :1 tsp Garlic (Lasun) Powder1 tsp ground Ginger (Adrak)1 tsp Cloves (Lavang) Powder1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg (Jaiphal)1 tsp Mace Powder (Javitri)11/2 tblsp Cumin (Jeera) Powder2 tblsp ground Corriander (Dhania)1 tsp Fenugreek (Methi) Powder1 tsp ground Cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper (Kalimirchi)1 tsp ground brown Cardamom (Elaichi) Seeds2 tsp Red Food colouringmix together and store in an air tight container.-22 Jun 2012

by Vicki

It's all in the spice blend. I used Penzey's Spices tandoori mix with plain greek yogurt & key limes. Mix 1-2 TB. with 1 Cup plain yogurt and the juice of ½ lime or lemon. Pour over a cut-up skinless chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from marinade, bake 45 minutes uncovered at 325°, turning and basting every 15 minutes. If I cook this in my terra cotta CLAY roaster I bake it at 350 for 1 hour no basting. Moist & delicious!-21 Aug 2012

by TheBritishBaker

Love it, love it, love it!!! Just the right amount of flavoring without being over powering. I followed this recipe exactly although I did use vanilla yogurt. This recipe will certainly be used time and time again. Thank you for sharing.-24 May 2012

Barbecued tandoori chicken with a yogurt mint dressing

A couple of years ago I went through a big curry eating and curry making phase. It was a great experience not only for the eating aspect but also learning about different methods of cooking and about the use of spices to enhance the flavour of meats and vegetables. Whilst I still enjoy a good curry my barbecue, sorry, barbecues get more attention these days so I thought I’d combine the best of both worlds here and barbecue some tandoori chicken.

This recipe forms the basis of a butter chicken recipe (stay tuned!) but also tastes great served with a mint and coriander yogurt dressing and some poppadoms. The added char from the barbecue really kicks the flavour along and the use of tandoori food colouring gives the chicken a wonderful colour.

Grilled Chicken Thighs – Tandoori Style

Enjoy this tandoori-inspired grilled chicken thighs recipe using skin on and bone in thighs.To marinate the chicken, it is immersed in a mixture of yogurt, cloves, ginger, garlic and spices.

The yogurt is a natural tenderizer, and the longer you let the chicken marinate the more tender it will be.

The chicken cooks first over high heat to get the skin crispy, then is moved away from the heat to cook gently on the other side of the grill.

All the moisture is preserved and the flavors are perfectly balanced. This is a wonderful representation of the cuisine of India.

Be sure to Follow Foodgasm Recipes on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Yogurt and spices gives this dish the flavors of India. Prep time includes 8 hours marinating time.

  • 16 chicken thighs skin on and bone in
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 containers 6 ounces each plain yogurt, regular or reduced fat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated or finely minced
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Good To Know – This recipe can also be oven baked with great success.

Line the thighs up on a sheet pan and bake at 400F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the meat is no longer showing pink by the bones.

Food For Thought – You can grill this chicken without the skin – it’s best to remove it before marinating it.

The yogurt makes the chicken look rather unappetizing when you first remove it – make sure you wipe off as much of the yogurt as possible so that the chicken can be evenly coated with the cooking spray.

Barbecued Tandoori Chicken with Saffron Rice

There used to be a wonderful Indian restaurant in Ghirardelli Square on the wharf in San Francisco, where my friends and I would gather after a hard week of work. Filling our bellies with exotic fare and enjoying the luxurious surroundings, we would relax, laugh, and tell stories. This is where I discovered the tandoori method of cooking.

Even if you think you hate Indian food, I will lay odds that you will love Tandoori! This is not curry, it isn’t very spicy, and it has flavors that you will find in many other cuisines. Friends who swear they can’t stand Indian food ask me for this recipe!

A selection of Indian spices

Tandoori cooking is actually named for the Tandoor Oven that is used to cook in. It is essentially a clay oven large enough to hold a very hot fire then marinated meats on long metal skewers are lowered into the heat for cooking. You wind up with a slightly smoky, tender, and moist meat, perfectly cooked and always delicious.

A big part of the flavor comes from the marinade. Marinating is an ancient method of infusing flavors into meats. You can do this with a wet or dry technique. Traditional marinades are wet, but more recently dry rubs have become the rage. In tandoori cooking, the meats are marinated in a seasoned yogurt which is thick enough to stick to the meat and the flavors migrate into the interior. The natural acid in the yogurt also acts as a mild meat tenderizer. If you have had tandoori at Indian restaurants, you probably are used to seeing bright red meats. If you want to do the same, you can add red food coloring to the marinade. I prefer the natural yellow from the saffron and turmeric.

Since Tandoor ovens are hard to find, you can use your outdoor barbecue just as effectively. Build as hot a fire as you can and keep the lid on to trap the heat. To mimic the heat source of the oven, bank your hardwood charcoal fire on one side of the barbecue (or heat only one side of an electric grill) creating a 2-tiered fire. This allows you to sear the meat over the direct heat and finish cooking over indirect heat. It is much easier to control the cooking by moving your food around and turning it often. Use a chimney starter to light your charcoal so you can avoid using lighter fluid. It makes your food taste foul and is unhealthy for the environment!

If you prefer, you can also make this with boneless meats (chicken, turkey, pork, beef, or fish are all great) threaded onto metal skewers. Cut up the meat, marinate it, and then thread it onto the skewers. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and cover with plastic. Hold them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. When they are done cooking, slide them off the skewers and serve on a pile of saffron rice.

So take a leap of faith and try this method of marinating and cooking. Add more heat if you like spicy food or leave it fairly mild. Serve it with the cooling Cucumber Yogurt sauce and you’ll have the traditional flavors of Indian tandoori foods. And once you discover how much you love this chicken, you’ll know exactly what to order the next time your friends want to go to dinner at an Indian restaurant!

Jane’s Tips and Hints:

When grilling chicken, always leave the skin on. It helps protect the meat from drying out and burning. If you are watching your weight, you can remove it before serving. You will lose some of the flavor, but the benefits far outweigh cooking the chicken skinless.

Kitchen Skill: Marinating Meats

Why: To infuse flavors and moisture into meats

How: Combine seasonings and aromatics in either a wet or dry application. Wet marinades often combine an acid (wine, vinegar, or lemon juice for example) with a neutral liquid (water, chicken stock, etc.) and seasonings. A dry marinade is also known as a dry rub. In both cases the meat is immersed or rubbed with the marinade, covered, and kept in the refrigerator. Depending on the type of protein, this can take 10 minutes to several days. The end result is a fully flavored protein that is tender, moist, and better able to withstand the rigors of cooking without becoming dry.


Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli in a wet grinder and blend to a smooth paste. Mix the yoghurt with the gram flour in a bowl to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Add the ginger, garlic chilli paste, paprika, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Also mix in the ground cinnamon, saffron and salt. Stir well and tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate for a few hours or even overnight if you prefer.

Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill on medium. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes & baste with melted butter until the juices run clear and they are cooked through slightly charred around the edges.

Serve warm over roti or parathas sprinkled with chaat masala and lemon juice along with mint chutney and salad

Honey Balsamic Grilled Chicken Thighs

Listen, we here at Delish have nothing against chicken breasts. But sometimes we are looking something with a little bit more flavor and richness. Chicken thighs inherently have just a bit more flavor than chicken breast&mdashespecially if you leave the skin-on. To grill skin-on chicken thighs, we recommend salting the thighs at least an hour ahead of cooking. This step is almost like a dry brine. It enhances the flavor of your meat and ensures the crispiest results possible. After liberally seasoning your chicken with salt, leave it uncovered in the fridge.

When it's time to cook, preheat your grill or grill pan for a good 10 to 15 minutes, until the grates are extremely cook. Then cook for about 10 minutes per side. Time will vary based on the size of the thighs. Your golden number when it comes to poultry: an internal temperature of 165°F.

Pro tip! Because of the honey and the sugar content in the balsamic vinegar, the glaze can burn if left to caramelize on the grill for too long. To avoid this, we recommend moving your chicken around occasionally so that different parts of the thighs are hitting the grates.

If you have any leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. This chicken tastes fantastic reheated on its own but can also be great chopped up and added to things like fried rice or salad.

Have you made this recipe? Let us know how you liked it in the comments below!

    1. Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl. Transfer to airtight container. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Store at room temperature.

    I just made a half batch but added 1/4 tsp of Kashmir chili powder (had it soooo) and a 1/8 tsp ground cloves. wish me luck, im a veggie making tandoori beef (whaaattttt?!) for my wife and kids tonight. i will add a bit of yoghurt and marinate it reallll good, yeah. then slow and reaaallll low for two hours, served on basmati (veggie stock) and home made rhita, rhata?, awesome greenish sauce. oh, and i kinda rock the unlevened breads so. yeah, gonna be a hit. happy kids = "now clean the kitchen my drunkin monkeys"

    Absolutely delicious - the fiance could not stop raving about it. I used it on some baked chicken legs (about an hour at 375F on an oiled cookie sheet, turning once). Fabulous!

    Delicious! I made this rub but substituted 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric for the saffron. The combination of the spices was fantastic. I borrowed a cooking option from another recipe on the Epi site, and used 3 tablespoons of the rub in 3/4 cup of yogurt to marinate about 1-1/2 pounds of chicken thighs cut into fork-size bits for 4 hours. Then baked the chicken in a hot (450 degree) oven for about 35 minutes. The flavor was mild but rich. Such a nice difference from the packaged tandoori seasonings that (to me) taste bitter.

    Haven't gotten to cook with it yet (that's tomorrow night), but I just put it together and did a fingertip-taste test. Fantastic. I did accidentally double the black pepper, so I doubled the sugar and left the Cayenne out. Still wonderful, and I'm sure it'll be even better the next time I make it and get my measurements right. ^_^

    This is a great spice rub to have around the house premade. I have used it on several different occasions. For a roasted chicken, I combine about 2 tablespoons of the rub, with 2 tablespoons butter and rubbed it under the skin of a chicken. I have also made a paste with the rub and yogurt to marinate chicken breasts. Yum!

    Tandoori rub is great for vegetable , being a vegetarian I use it a lot for eggplant, zucchini, potatoes. I am cook for my friends so i have found that it also works great on seafood of your choice.The way I do it is I add a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt and mix it with the rub and let your seafood, poultry, meat or vegetable marinate in it for at least 2 hours. Enjoy.

    I received this rub as a gift, and tried it last night on a roast turkey. WOW. It was wonderful. What an aroma, and delicious flavor! I am so glad I located the recipe!

    Tandoori chicken - whole chicken

    One of my ultimate favourite chicken has always been tandoori chicken, I love how the beautiful Indian flavours come together and when grilled the charred bits is what gives it the delicious taste.

    The secret lies in the marination, one such ingredient is yogurt, it penetrates the chicken and makes it soft and juicy even after it is grilled.

    In India we order tandoori chicken in a restaurant or a takeaway, since not all of us have tandoor (clay oven) at home, but with an oven you can get the same deliciousness keeping in mind few tips.

    1. Remove the skin -I know it’s a tedious process but this step is crucial, the spices will not be absorbed by the raw meat if the skin is still on. If you could get your butcher to de-skin your chicken then you will not have to worry about removing the skin from an entire chicken, but if I can do it I’m sure you can too.
    2. Marination - The more time the chicken stays marinated the more tender and juicy the meat. It’s better if you can marinated the chicken overnight, so you have it ready for the next day. If not it has to be marinated for an hour at least.
    3. Grilling or BBQ - If you are making this in the oven it takes about an hour to 1.15 mins, but why making it on a BBQ it will be done in few mins, so keep an eye on it. Also each oven temperature varies.
    4. Spices - Always make sure you have good quality of Indian spices, preferably bought from an Asian store. You can alter the spices as per your taste and liking, I like mine spicy but if you can’t handle it, you can always reduce the amount of chilli or use paprika instead. can check the level of heat before you add the marination to the chicken to see how you like it.
    5. Replacing ingredients- If you do not have chickpeas flour you can skip it, but it does help the spices bind together and gives a great texture to your cooked chicken but I know not every household has this, so if you don’t have don’t worry, make sure you add it your next shopping.
    6. Using drumsticks or wings - The marination is the same if using any other parts of the chicken, if using drumsticks or wings please make sure to remove the skin, as mentioned above it does help in absorbing the spices., however the cooking time may vary.

    If you liked this, you might even like this delicious Tandoori chicken skewers

    I hope you like it, let me know if you try this and please do remember to use my hashtag #soulfulandhealthy

    If you liked what you see here, please feel free to share it with family and friends. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest


    • Mix the cumin, curry powder, salt, garlic powder, ginger, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Heat the oil in an 8-inch skillet over low heat. Stir the spices into the oil and heat until they bubble and become fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Return the spice blend to the bowl and stir in the vinegar and then the yogurt. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Let sit 10 min. or cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
    • When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill with all burners on medium high for 10 min. Clean the hot grate with a wire brush and then lubricate it with an oil-soaked paper towel. Put the chicken on the grate and grill (covered on a gas grill or uncovered over a charcoal fire) until one side has dark grill marks, 5 to 6 min. for large thighs or 4 to 5 min. for medium and small thighs. Turn and continue to grill until well marked on the other sides and cooked through, 5 to 6 min. longer for large thighs or 4 to 5 min. for medium and small thighs. Move the thighs to a platter and let rest 4 to 5 min. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.

    To prepare as kebabs: Trim the thighs and then slice them lengthwise into 1-1/2- to 2-inch-wide strips. Toss with the flavorings then thread the chicken onto six 8- or 12-inch skewers (soak wood skewers in water for at least 20 min. first), folding each strip in half as you skewer it. If some strips are very thick, cut them in half crosswise rather than folding them so that all the pieces of chicken are roughly the same size. Grill the kebabs, turning them every 4 to 5 min. as dark grill marks form, until cooked through, 12 to 15 min. total

    Reviews ( 11 )

    I suspect that the powdered ginger and pickled garlic, both of which taste very different from their fresh versions, were a big part of the recipe's lack of success for you. I once made an otherwise very traditional Thanksgiving side dish of peas and tiny onions using cocktail (pickled) onions because I didn't know you could GET tiny onions that weren't pickled - I rinsed them a bunch, but my husband's family still couldn't quite hide the surprise and, let's face it, dismay they felt when they tasted my dish!

    Made marinade a day ahead then added the bone in thigh chicken the next day. It marinated for 10 hours. Used powdered ginger but everything else as written. I grated the cucumber so the raita was a bit saucy. Cooked faster than recipe said. Served with grilled eggplant with Moroccan spices. Everyone LOVED it. will make twice as much next time!

    I used boneless, skinless thighs and the meat was so tender it fell apart! I shredded the cucumber, instead of chopping, and it made the riata more of a sauce. which worked perfectly since we cut the chicken and stuffed it into pitas with rice. Even my 2.5 year old daughter loved this. I will definitely be making this again. (Oh, and a previous poster commented about pickled ginger. don't use that! Use fresh ginger!)

    I loved this recipe. I made it as written except that I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. As a result they grilled much faster - like only 15 minutes compared to the 90 minutes as written! Everything was very easy to put together since it all went in a blender then marinaded. How easy is that? Great bold flavors! So delicious that I will definitely be making this again!

    Used powdered ginger instead of fresh, pickled garlic instead of fresh, breasts instead of legs, and broiled instead of grilled. However, everything was measured and mixed appropriately, and it was marinaded for 24 hours. It didn't seem to do it any justice. It tastes like there's too much of something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. To date, I've eaten at 3 authentic Indian restaurants, and have had Tandoori and Masala at each of them. This recipe doesn't come close to what I'm used to in a good Tandoori or Masala. Even the Raita seemed to be lacking something. I added another 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to try and help it, though it still remained almost flat in flavor beyond the mint. Perhaps perforating the meat to have the marinade soak in better, and grilling instead of broiling, is what really brings the flavor out of this recipe. Perhaps the yogurt was just too thick to really seep into the meat. Kinda at a loss for all the prep that went into this recipe!