Tandoori Chicken is probably one the most loved Pakistani BBQ items. I remember those late summer nights back in Pakistan when my dinner was only a good juicy tandoori chicken from Ambala foods. I would wait in the car outside the storefront with my sisters and watch the guy in his sweaty kurta effortlessly flip the birds on the grill often with tongs, but sometimes with his bare hands. The hot to-go container exudes that strong, charred smell mingled with the most aromatic blend of Pakistani spices that instantly makes your mouth water. It hits your nostrils so hard you almost start crying. OK, maybe not. But you know where I’m headed, don’t you?

Tandoori Chicken

 

Pakistani Tandoori Chicken



Now I’m 8000 miles away trying to replicate those flavors and smells of those nights back home when dinner was a family affair and meals were always taken at the table. Now I chow down everything right at the counter. But let me tell you I come so darn close to the restaurant-quality tandoori chicken that my brother (and yes, yet again I’m treating my brother’s word like it’s the holy word) said that I outdid myself with the roast! And because I make it in the oven, I’m not wasting time getting a grill going (I’d love to only if I had one). I give this Tandoori Chicken that smoky punch that we know a good tandoori chicken must have by placing a lit charcoal in the center of large pan, surrounding it with the oven-baked chicken, and finally “anointing” that coal with some vegetable oil. This is where the magic happens. As soon as the trickle of oil hits the burning coal, the smoke that materializes will seep into the chicken. So, pop the lid on and let the smoke penetrate and flavor the chicken. This Tandoori chicken with my Seekh Kebab is a duo that cannot be beat!

Pakistani Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken
Print Recipe
4.72 from 7 votes

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Learn how to make the best tandoori chicken in the comfort of your kitchen with all that smoky goodness!
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: Tandoori Chicken
Servings: 6
Author: Rookie With A Cookie

Ingredients

  • 6 Chicken Leg Quarters

Tandoori Chicken Marinade

  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chickpea/gram flour
  • 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice approx. juice of half a lemon

For the Smoke

  • 1 charcoal
  • 1-2 tbsp oil

Instructions

  • Wash and pat dry the chicken really well. With a knife make cuts on the surface of the chicken at an angle.
  • Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Rub the marinade onto the chicken working it into the slits.
  • Cover with foil and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).
  • When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Line a baking tray with foil and grease it with a little oil. Place your chicken face up on the foil and bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 400 and let the chicken bake for another 30 minutes flipping once during the baking time. (At this point you will not need to brush it with oil because unlike the open grill on which the chicken does not steam, the oven creates a lot of steam so the chicken will cook in its own juices. We're basically waiting for the juices to fully evaporate.)
  • To create the charred texture, place the grill on the top rack and turn on the broiler. Let the chicken broil for 10-15 minutes (flipping once). If you don't have the broiler option, just put the grill on the top rack and turn up the temperature to the highest setting on your oven. At this point you should notice the chicken start to crisp up so brush it will a little oil if needed. (Although it's a little dangerous, but I try to hold up the chicken to the flame of the oven to get the black spots on the chicken but don't do this please!)
  • Total baking time is around 60 minutes.
  • Final step is to smoke the chicken. For this, light up a charcoal on the stove. Nestle the lit coal in a foil blanket.
  • Next place the foil in the center of a large pan. Carefully place the chicken leg quarters around the coal.
  • Next, pour a little oil (about a 2-3 tbsp) right on top of the burning coal.
  • The smoke would release instantly. Pop the lid on and let the chicken smoke for 5-10 minutes. You are not turning on the stove at all, just smoking the chicken.
  • Serve with my Coriander and Mint Raita and serve hot!

 

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8 months ago

[…] 15. TANDOORI CHICKEN BY ROOKIEIWITHACOOKIE I don’t know what I couldn’t handle more, Izza’s Tandoori Chicken description or the juicy pictures. I love a good restaurant-style chicken roast and this chicken is making my mouth water. […]

trackback
9 months ago

[…] 15. TANDOORI CHICKEN BY ROOKIEIWITHACOOKIE I don’t know what I couldn’t handle more, Izza’s Tandoori Chicken description or the juicy pictures. I love a good restaurant-style chicken roast and this chicken is making my mouth water. […]

Tana
Tana
1 year ago

What is served with this as a side?

Tana
Tana
Reply to  Rookie With A Cookie
11 months ago

5 stars
It turned out delicious, I served it with rice and lentils, used it as a sandwich filling and also as pizza topping.
Tastes great with everything, I only adjusted the spice level.
Thank you so much ????

Naresh Mulchandani
Naresh Mulchandani
1 year ago

5 stars
Will try yours, but what do you think of this guy? –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuVHriqJJJE&t=12m24s
How do we make that tandoori chicken at home?

Siddharth
Siddharth
3 years ago

4 stars
Sahi h..

Amina
Amina
3 years ago

5 stars
Hi from the U.K.

I came across your website accidentally a few weeks ago and your Pakistani tandoori chicken is the first one I have made which my family said is the best tandoori recipe – ever!! I was initially sceptical to add the chana flour but it worked!!! To give it more of a restaurant colour though, I also added some red colour powder. Also, instead of grilling I put all the pieces in a frying pan on the stove and charred them off on top with some oil spray. Good as.
One suggestion any chance of giving ounces and pounds or grams conversions please to make it easier for us internationals?Thank you for sharing. Iā€™m sure I will try be back soon to try the other recipes.

Anitha
Anitha
3 years ago

I don’t have charcoal so can skip that part and make chicken . Will that taste good ?

sobia zehri
sobia zehri
3 years ago

Made this yesterday and it was really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe šŸ™‚

Waseem
Waseem
3 years ago

Well, I googled a recipe for this and chose your recipe.
Wife and kids said, it was the best ever. I modified it a bit, skipping the flour and cooking over a barbecue
Thanks !! Keep it up. Cookup more karachi recipes please !

Hinna
Hinna
4 years ago

4 stars
This is the second recipe of yours I have tried. This time I cooked for my family. Everyone absolutely loved it. My sister ate the chicken till the bone was visible (normally she just shreds off the top) total complement. Thank you once again!!

(For some reason The website would not allow me to rate this 5 stars šŸ™ )

Hinna
Hinna
4 years ago

This is the second recipe of yours I have tried. This time I cooked for my family. Everyone absolutely loved it. My sister ate the chicken till the bone was visible (normally she just shreds off the top) total complement. Thank you once again!!

Manaal
Manaal
4 years ago

Hey! Should the chicken be covered with foil when in the oven?

Sara
Sara
4 years ago

5 stars
What kind a marinate are you using, Thanks

Farah
Farah
4 years ago

You sure about half a lemon being almost 4 tbsp? Or you meant 4 tsp?

Jannat
Jannat
4 years ago

5 stars
hi, i really like this recipe. i was first introduced to it and the technique of smoking the chicken by a Pakistani friend of mine. But i have few questions about the smoking part. i always wondered if it was safe (the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning) and what precautions should i be taking, like how long can i leave the coal in there. I did taste a bit of gasoline-like aftertaste so that’s what concerned me and after a little research i found a chef on youtube who adviced to use ghee along with clove and a bit of cinnamon stick instead of oil on the coal (unfortunately i can’t seem to find that video now). Is there a name to this type of smoking and does it originate in pakistan? please do let me know. Thanks loads. šŸ˜€

Saima
Saima
Reply to  Jannat
4 years ago

Yes I suppose its safe providing you don’t do this often or even bbq that often. Also I too felt a difference in taste when i used ghee instead of oil. Quality of oil differs, especially the heavily refined oils will tend to have that kind of aftertaste…so ghee would be a safe route in my opinion.

Charqui
Charqui
5 years ago

Amazing, the best Tandoori Chicken ever!!! – thanks for sharing

Welcome To My Food Blog!

Iā€™m Izza, the Rookie behind and in front of the camera. Here, you will find all the delicious recipes Iā€™m whipping up in my cozy apartment in downtown Seattle while juggling my 9-5 in tech.

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