Tantalize your taste buds with this mouth-watering Grilled Tandoori Chicken – it’s bursting with flavorful spices, charred to perfection, and served hot off the grill. Grilled Tandoori chicken skewers are a delicious and easy way to enjoy this classic Indian dish.
Tandoori chicken is renowned for its unique and aromatic flavor that comes from a blend of spices and cooking techniques. The key ingredients in the marinade typically include yogurt, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. The yogurt helps tenderize the meat, while the spices infuse it with a mouth-watering blend of earthy, warm, and slightly tangy flavors. The chicken is then traditionally cooked in a tandoor clay oven, giving it a distinct smoky and slightly charred flavor that further enhances its taste – we will get that flavor from the grill. Tandoori chicken has a rich and complex flavor profile that is both bold and deliciously satisfying.
Ingredients And Tools
Tandoori sauce is a tangy and slightly spicy sauce that is often used as a marinade for grilled tandoori chicken. The tandoori sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce for grilled meats and vegetables or as a condiment for sandwiches and wraps. Feel free to adjust the spiciness and seasonings to your taste.
** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.
- Garlic, mined – fresh garlic is always more flavorful, but it you have prepared minced garlic, just add a little extra to taste.
- Ginger, grated -fresh ginger is always more flavorful, but it you have prepared minced garlic, just add a little extra to taste.
- Garam Masala Powder – it’s easy to prepare but you can purchase a prepared blend.
- Ground Cumin – this can be omitted without substitution if you do not prefer to use ground cumin.
- Kashmiri Chili Powder – see substitution list below.
- Whole Milk Greek Yogurt – the whole milk variety is best for this recipe.
- Lemon Juice, fresh – fresh lime juice may also be used.
- Salt & Pepper – to taste.
- Chicken Breast – This recipe uses breast meat but you can use thigh meat if you prefer it.
- Grill – we used a gas grill over medium-high heat
- Skewers – we used wooden but metal skewers are an acceptable alternative.
Grilled Tandoori Chicken Substitutions
Here are some substitutes for tandoori ingredients:
- Kashmiri red chili powder: If you can’t find Kashmiri red chili powder, you can substitute it with a mixture of paprika and cayenne pepper. Use 1 part paprika to 1/4 part cayenne pepper to get a similar heat level and color.
- Garam masala: Garam masala is a blend of spices commonly used in Indian cooking. If you don’t have garam masala, you can make a substitute by combining ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom in equal parts.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is used in tandoori chicken to tenderize the meat and add flavor. If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, you can use coconut milk or soy yogurt instead.
- Ginger and garlic: Fresh ginger and garlic are often used in tandoori marinades. If you don’t have them on hand, you can use ground ginger and garlic powder instead.
- Tandoori seasoning blend: If you don’t want to make your own tandoori marinade from scratch, you can use a store-bought tandoori seasoning blend. Look for one that contains similar ingredients to the homemade marinade, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and chili powder.
Remember, substituting ingredients may alter the flavor of the dish slightly, but it can still be delicious.
How to Make Grilled Tandoori Chicken
Grilled tandoori chicken has a delicious and complex flavor profile. The yogurt-based marinade, which often includes a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, infuses the chicken with a tangy, slightly sour flavor. The spices also give the chicken a warm, smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness.
The traditional use of red Kashmiri chili powder gives the tandoori chicken its distinctive reddish hue, as well as a mild heat and subtle sweetness. The chicken is often cooked in a tandoor, a traditional Indian clay oven, which imparts a unique smoky flavor and slightly charred texture.
Overall, the flavor of grilled tandoori chicken is bold, complex, and aromatic, with a perfect balance of tanginess, warmth, and smokiness.
** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.
- Prepare the Tandoori spice blend.
- Marinade the chicken in the Tandoori marinade.
- Skewer the chicken.
- Cook the chicken on the outdoor grill. Outdoor is best due to the smoke produced.
- Marinating the chicken helps to infuse the chicken with the flavors of the spices and tenderizes the meat.
- Use skinless chicken: Using skinless chicken will reduce the amount of fat and calories in the dish.
- Preheat the grill: Tandoori chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor clay oven, but you can also use a grill. Preheat the grill or oven to a high temperature before cooking to ensure that the chicken gets crispy on the outside and remains juicy on the inside.
- Use skewers: To make it easier to grill or bake the chicken, thread it onto skewers. This will also help to evenly cook the chicken.
- Baste with oil or ghee: Basting the chicken with a little bit of oil or ghee before cooking will help to keep the chicken moist and prevent it from drying out.
- Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that the chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached at least 165°F (75°C).
- Garnish with fresh herbs: Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs like cilantro or mint for added flavor and a pop of color.
By following these tips, you can create a delicious and authentic tandoori chicken that is sure to impress.
Other Uses for Tandoori Sauce:
Tandoori sauce is typically used as a marinade for meats, seafood, and vegetables before being cooked in a tandoor oven or on a grill. The sauce is a blend of yogurt and spices that give the food a distinct flavor and aroma. The key ingredients in tandoori sauce include yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garam masala.
Chicken is perhaps the most commonly used meat for tandoori sauce, resulting in the popular dish known as tandoori chicken. However, other meats such as lamb, beef, and seafood can also be marinated and cooked in tandoori sauce. Vegetables like cauliflower, eggplant, and potatoes can also be coated in the sauce and grilled for a vegetarian or vegan version of the dish.
Overall, tandoori sauce is a versatile ingredient that can add a bold and flavorful twist to a variety of dishes.
Grilled tandoori chicken is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some serving ideas to inspire you:
- Classic Indian style: Serve with basmati rice, naan bread, and raita (a yogurt-based sauce with cucumber and mint).
- Salad bowl: Top a bed of mixed greens with sliced tandoori chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and a drizzle of lemon juice.
- Wraps or sandwiches: Shred the chicken and stuff it in a pita or wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, and a dollop of tzatziki or hummus.
- Skewers: Thread the chicken onto skewers with bell peppers and onions and grill for a fun and easy appetizer or party food.
- Tacos: Fill corn tortillas with shredded tandoori chicken, diced avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
- Pizza: Use tandoori chicken as a topping on a pizza with a tomato sauce base, mozzarella cheese, red onions, and sliced bell peppers.
- Grain bowl: Serve tandoori chicken over a bed of quinoa or couscous with roasted vegetables, chickpeas , and a drizzle of tahini sauce.
These are just a few ideas – feel free to get creative and experiment with different serving styles to find your favorite way to enjoy tandoori chicken!
What to serve with Tandoori-stye Grilled chicken
Grilled Tandoori chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes that complement its bold and spicy flavor. Here are some ideas for what to serve with tandoori chicken:
- Basmati rice: Serve tandoori chicken with fragrant basmati rice for a classic Indian-inspired meal.
- Naan bread: Freshly made naan bread is perfect for scooping up the chicken and soaking up the flavorful sauce.
- Raita: A refreshing yogurt-based dip with cucumber and mint, is a perfect accompaniment to tandoori chicken.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant make a healthy and colorful side dish.
- Chutney: A variety of chutneys, such as mango or tamarind, can add a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish.
- Salad: A simple salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers dressed with lemon juice and olive oil can provide a light and refreshing contrast to the bold flavors of the chicken.
- Roasted potatoes: Roasted potatoes seasoned with herbs and spices can provide a hearty and filling side dish.
Overall, the key is to choose sides that balance and enhance the flavors of the tandoori chicken.
Grilled Tandoori Chicken
- Outdoor Grill
- 2 lbs Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 6 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
- 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 4 TBSP Lemon Juice, fresh
- 2 tsp Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt, plain
Optional Sides [See Note 1]
- Basmati Rice, cooked per package instructions
- Naan bread, warmed on the grill
- Grilled Vegetables
- Roasted Potatoes
Optional Garnishes [See Note1]
- 1 whole lemon, cut into wedges
- Parsley or Cilantro, chopped
- Sweet Onion slices
- Raita Sauce
- Chutney Sauce
Prepare the marinade
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the garlic and ginger. Cook until translucent. Add the rest of the dry marinade spices into the pan to "bloom." Stirring occasionally. Cook until fragrant; 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer into a large bowl. Add the yogurt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
Marinade the Chicken
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and add chicken into the large bowl. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Prepare the Skewers
- Preheat the grill to 325 degrees F. Oil the grate to help the chicken from sticking.
- While the grill is heating, skewer the chicken. Discard the remaining yogurt marinade.
- Grill chicken on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes or until done. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees F and the juices should be clear. Serve Immediately.
- Nutritional values were calculated for the grilled tandoori chicken skewers only. Sides and garnishes are not included in the values.