Tandoori Murgh

Tandoori Chicken is a classic Indian dish. The chicken is marinated in yogurt spiced with ginger garlic and other aromatic spices and some edible food colour. It is left to marinate for minimum 6-8 hours, or for best flavor~overnight, in the refrigerator. During Ramadhan, you can marinate the chicken pieces a day ahead, and just before the iftaar time, you will have to grill them up, and keep them warm in an oven.

Tandoori Murgh – Chicken Marinated in a mixture of Yogurt seasoned with Spices

Traditionally the Tandoori chicken is made in a Tandoor(Indian clay oven) but today I prepared it in the oven. During summer I prepare it in a Charcoal BBQ Grill for a delicious smoky flavor.

Tandoori Murgh – Chicken Marinated in a mixture of Yogurt seasoned with Spices


Chicken – 1, skin removed, cut into big 8 pieces (approx)
Lemon juice – 6 tbsp
Salt – 3 tsp
Yellow Onion – 1, large, roughly chopped
Ginger-garlic paste – 3 tsp
Saffron threads – 1 big pinch
Milk – 1 tbsp
Butter – 2 tbsp
Roasted Coriander seed powder – 2 tsp
Roasted Cumin seed powder – 2 tsp
Thick Yogurt – 1 cup
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Kasuri Methi – 2 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Butter – for basting the chicken


1. Wash and pat dry the chicken with paper towels, then make incisions on the chicken pieces at the thick parts. Soak Chicken in lemon juice and salt for 2 hours. This is the first marination.
2. Meanwhile prepare the second marination mixture. Grind the roughly chopped onion into a smooth paste and keep aside. Warm the milk slightly and add the saffron threads to it. Let them steep into the milk for again two hours, till the chicken has marinated in the first marination mixture. Now, in a bowl, mix the processed onion paste, thick yogurt, saffron threads with milk, and all the other ingredients except the last one, with the chicken marinating in salt and lemon juice. Rub the mixture well into the chicken. Cover and put the bowl in the refrigerator for 8 hours or preferably overnight, for a great taste.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Preheat the charcoal BBQ and grill the chicken pieces, turning and basting them with butter as needed. Grill and cook chicken for 25 minutes till done and but still tender. Alternatively, you can grill/broil/bake it in the oven at low heat again turning and basting them with the butter as needed. Bake it in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes at 400°F turning them once after 15 minutes and basting them with butter. Pierce the chicken with fork to check if it is done. Garnish with onion rings, lemon wedges, sliced green chillies and serve.

Note: 1. The tempetarures and time used to cook chicken depends entirely on the size of the chicken pieces and the type of oven used. So, it varies. Keep a check on the chicken and make sure you not burn it or do not under cook it.
2. Usually for Tandoori chicken an edible red food color is used during marination for appeal, but I have avoided using it.
3. You can also use a whole skinned chicken to prepare a whole roasted tandoori chicken. For this purpose, make incisions on the chicken on the breast part, thighs and legs. Then let marinate covered in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bake in a roasting pan with rack uncovered at 400°F for 30-45 minutes, turning the chicken once in the middle. Once done, carve and serve along with salad.


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15 Responses to “Tandoori Murgh”

  1. Hehe I agree with you… thank god for chicken… 🙂 The recipe sounds super delicious.

  2. the recipe is very nice n god has been v couteous and genraous in craeting millions of chickens. This is a MUST try recioe n also ASAP.

  3. I completely agree about chicken! It’s pretty much my staple meat around here…I cook it all the time! There’s so much that can be done with such a simple meat…and this recipe is a great example!!! Sounds great, I am missing your appetizing pictures though 🙂

  4. My kids flip ,do acrobats and everything for Chicken Tikka masala or anything with Chicken!:D
    Tandoori murgh sounds great.

  5. This sounds great..will try this definitely one day instead of my regular recipe.

  6. Chicken is so versatile and is always a go-to ingredient for me as I’m sure it is for you 🙂

  7. hi Mona,
    tandoori Murgh sounds Nice.waiting for the mouthwatering Pic:)

  8. thanks for the tip on marinating the chicken first in lemon juice and salt. Must try that; and also the overnight marinade!
    I confess, I have been using the ready made oack and mixing it with yogurt. Also I gather an important tip to strain the water!

    Glad you did not post the chicken pics! 🙂
    and when are you moving to Boston?

  9. HI mona! lovely recipe…must try it soon 🙂

  10. Hey Mona what a great recipe I love any meat that has been marinated but sometimes I just want to cook straight away without waiting……..but tandoori chicken is well worth the wait! Can’t wait to see your picture Mona I bet it tasted very very nice! Great post. 🙂

  11. Even without the pic,I am drooling Mona,Your recipes are wonderful.

  12. it looks awesome!!!!!!!!cant wait to try it, looks delicious!!!!!!

  13. Monaji,

    Nowadays, in some places one may buy Greek yoghurt, either in delis or under commercial brands such as Total/Phage. There is the full fat and lower fat versions, and they are the equivalent of our hung yoghurt, saving time & hassle. Where there are Lebanese or Palestinian delis, e.g. Detroit, labneh is sold, and that too is hung yoghurt.

    Second point: when basting with butter, towards the end, if one mixes in some kasuri methi leaves and is careful, the leaf-butter mixture will char beautifully on the chicken and leave a delicate smoky flavor. This is very useful when using the oven broiler or gas grills. One needs to repeat the basting a few times.

    Third: in the tandoori garam masala, or for any chunky kabab that is being broiled, a tiny addition of kababchini can be delicious. That, plus a touch of shahzeera [the Indian one being different from the American caraway] and black cardamom, in very tiny amounts.

    Gautam, Thanks for your tips. ~Mona

  14. I made it last night 🙂 mashaAllah it was amazing. jazakAllah khayr Mona.

  15. Aslkm
    I tried thia recipe yday..it was so awesome and mouthwatering.
    Thank you so much
    Jazakallah khair

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