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This Tandoori Chicken recipe is the ultimate fakeaway recipe that can be made in the air fryer, oven, under the grill or on a barbecue too.

A blue plate with rice and tandoori chicken chunks with a fork and surrounded by lime, coriander and other small pots.

My Chicken Kebab recipe has been the most popular on my site for the past 12 years, and I really wanted to come up with a tandoori version that was just as easy and delicious, and would work for the air fryer, oven, grill or BBQ.

Here is my adapted Tandoori Chicken version! 

Make a simple marinade and cook on skewers for 20 minutes and you’re done. OR learn how to make this with larger cuts of chicken, such as legs or full breasts if you’d prefer it that way.

Serve with rice, flatbreads, naans or any choice of side dishes.


Why you’ll love this Tandoori Chicken recipe

⭐️ Cheaper than a takeaway 

⭐️ Quick and super easy method

⭐️  Mouthwateringly delicious!


Cooked chunks of Tandoori Chicken on wooden skewers, on a plate.

What is Tandoori Chicken?

This traditional Indian dish, which originated in the Punjab, has been popularised in the UK and around the world for its depth of flavour and spice, the meat having been tenderised with a yoghurt marinade and then cooked in a tandoor oven that scorches the edges for a blackened, chargrilled flavour.

Sadly, I don’t own a tandoor oven (shame!), instead I’ve created my own simplified version that’s been designed for speed and convenience (but still totally delicious).

It’s not uncommon for authentic Tandoori Chicken to be marinated for many hours, even overnight, so give that a go if you have time.

If you would like a more authentic, in depth recipe, try Swasthi’s Recipes Tandoori Chicken.


Tandoori Chicken Ingredients Notes

The ingredients for Tandoori Chicken skewers laid out on a counter top.
  • Chicken – You can make this with diced chicken breast on skewers OR you can also make it with skinless legs or breasts (see info below).
  • Spices – This is a mixture of ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, garlic granules and optional chilli powder. 
  • Red food colouring – This is optional but adds a fantastic takeaway redness if you’re cooking for guests. How much you need will depend on which brand you have, so add a little at a time. Gel food colouring is better if you have it, you’ll only need a tiny amount.
  • Marinade – This is made up of natural yoghurt, tomato puree and the juice of a lemon.

WhicH Chicken?

Here I’ve used diced chicken breast cooked on skewers, however, feel free to use full chicken breasts OR skinless chicken legs which is traditional for tandoori chicken.

Scoring them a few times deeply, as shown in the image below, helps the tandoori spices to penetrate the meat and fully flavour it.

Three plates of raw chicken. One with a skinless chicken leg, one with diced chicken breast, and another with two scored chicken breasts for the recipe Tandoori Chicken.

How to make Tandoori Chicken

A glass bowl filled with chunks of raw chicken in a tandoori marinade for step 1 in the recipe.

1. Make the marinade by mixing the spices and yoghurt mix in a bowl, then add your chicken chunks and coat well.

An air fryer tray from above with rows of tandoor chicken on skewers.

2. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and place inside the air fryer tray. Cook as per the recipe below.


Other cooking options

✅ BBQ – Fire up the barbecue and cook them over the fire (or gas 😆)

✅ Grill – Heat up a hot grill on rainy days (or broiler if you’re not in the UK)

✅ Oven – Place on a baking tray at 180C.

NB. Whichever way you choose to cook these, check the cooking times as they do vary, also the larger the chicken chunks the longer the cook time will be, always make sure there’s no pink meat in the middle before serving and check with a thermometer to be absolutely sure. 


Leftovers

In the fridge These are delicious cold for a picnic or in a salad the following day.

In the freezer If you want to freeze them for another day, they are best frozen uncooked. However, if you have cooked leftovers, it’s fine too, but they may be a little dry once they’ve been defrosted. Reheat them thoroughly.

Top tipS

Skewers

You can use bamboo skewers but be sure to soak them in water for at least an hour before using them or they could burn. 

I sometimes like to use a set of metal skewers from Amazon like these ones: Kitchen Craft Metal Skewers. They are reusable, so money saving long term and also won’t get burned on the BBQ.

What to serve with Tandoori Chicken 
  • Rice – I use a pouch of microwave rice if I’m in a mega rush during the week
  • Raita – I cheat and mix natural yoghurt with some mint sauce and a little water for an easy dip. I add cucumber cubes for extra veg
  • Naan breads – Serve in a naan bread or wrap as a delicious alternative sandwich

More kebab style recipes…

FAQs

Is this a spicy dish?

This is only spicy if you choose to add the chilli powder, which is an optional extra. I would say if you like a bit of heat, definitely add it, but if you’re cooking for young children, leave it out.

Do I need to marinate the chicken before cooking?

Traditionally tandoori chicken is left to marinate as it helps to tenderise the meat, so if you have time to leave it even for a little while, then do (2 hours would be ideal).

That said, I rarely have time, especially if it’s during the week, so don’t worry if you can’t.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes. Actually making up the skewers and leaving to marinate in the fridge the day before would make these even tastier, as well as save you time on the day of cooking.

Do you have any other air fryer chicken recipes?

I sure do! Try out my delicious tray bake style dishes, like my Air Fryer Garlic Butter Chicken, Air Fryer Greek Chicken, Air Fryer Spanish Chicken, Air Fryer Mexican Chicken and Air Fryer Cajun Chicken.

You can also make my Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken Tikka Burgers in the air fryer, and I have a basic Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe that is perfect every time!

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 1 vote

Tandoori Chicken {Air Fryer, Grill, Oven & BBQ}

This Tandoori Chicken recipe is honestly SO good. Delicious, tender chicken in a mouthwatering marinade, make this in the air fryer, oven, grill or BBQ in less than 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 650 g Chicken breast, Approx x4 breasts | Diced

For the spice mix:

  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder, Optional
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red food colouring, See notes

To marinate:

  • 1 Lemon, Juice only
  • 1 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 50 g Natural yoghurt

Instructions 

  • Make the marinade by mixing the spices and yoghurt mix in a bowl, then add your chicken chunks and coat well.
  • Leave to marinate covered in the fridge until it’s time to cook (see notes).
  • Thread the chicken chunks onto your skewers.

To cook in the Air Fryer:

  • Carefully add the chicken kebab skewers in to the air fryer basket.
  • Spray the tops with a little oil.
  • Air Fry at 200c for 15-20 minutes (the timings will depend on how thick the chicken pieces are, always check with a thermometer to be sure). You may want to turn halfway through cooking.

To cook in the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 180c fan.
  • Put the chicken kebab skewers on to a baking sheet or tray (if you can – rest a grill rack on your tray and put the skewers on this, it helps to cook all sides evenly).
  • Spray the tops with a little oil.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (again check with a thermometer to be sure).

To cook on the BBQ:

  • Put the chicken kebab skewers directly on to the BBQ rack.
  • Spray the tops with a little oil.
  • BBQ for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, these cooking times will vary depending on the heat of your bbq – there should be no pink left in the centre of the meat and any juices should run clear – check with a thermometer to be sure.
  • Turn halfway through cooking.

To cook on the Grill:

  • Put the chicken kebab skewers on to the grill tray.
  • Grill under a HIGH heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Turn halfway through cooking.

Notes

Cooking time: Whichever way you choose to cook these, check the cooking times as they do vary, also the larger the chicken chunks the longer the cook time will be, always make sure there’s no pink meat in the middle before serving and check with a thermometer to be absolutely sure. 
Marinating: Traditionally tandoori chicken is left to marinate as it helps to tenderise the meat, so if you have time to leave it even for a little while, then do (2 hours would be ideal). That said, don’t worry if you can’t, just cook immediately
Skewers: You can use bamboo skewers but be sure to soak them in water for at least an hour before using them or they could burn or use metal skewers.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 36gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 1074mgPotassium: 710mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 659IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

5 from 1 vote

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