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Baked Tandoori Chicken

For those who don't have a tandoor oven in their kitchen, this baked tandoori chicken recipe is a great alternative. The flavorful marinade and crispy crust make for a sensational dish.


Tandoori Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat plain yogurt

  • 2 tbsp oil (any type)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp grated ginger

  • 5 minced garlic cloves

  • 3 tsp garam masala spice mix

  • 1.5 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder (or substitute)

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 2 1/2 tsp coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp pure chili powder (not US chili)

  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1.2kg / 2.4lb bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks, thighs or Marylands (whole chicken legs)

  • Oil spray

Mint Yogurt (optional):

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves

  • Salt and pepper

  • Olive oil


  • Basmati rice or Saffron rice (see note)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken, cover and marinate for 12 to 24 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with foil and place a rack on the tray.

  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess marinade (reserve the marinade), and place on the rack. Bake for 20 minutes.

  4. Generously slather the reserved marinade on both sides of the chicken. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, then brush the top with more marinade.

  5. Bake for another 10 minutes, do a final baste with marinade, and then spray with oil.

  6. Increase the oven temperature to 220C/450F. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken has some nice charred spots.

  7. Serve with mint yogurt and basmati or saffron rice.

Minted Yogurt:

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mint is very finely chopped.

BBQ Option:

  1. Preheat a BBQ with the lid closed to medium heat and lightly brush the grills with oil.

  2. Place the bone-in, skin-on chicken on the grills with the skin side down and cook for 5 minutes until the surface is caramelized.

  3. Baste the chicken, flip it over, baste it again, and then close the lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175F/80C, basting once or twice more.

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