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half tandoori chicken

Easy Indian Half Tandoori Chicken

Indian time honored culinary delight that is chicken marinated in yogurt with warm spices of graham Marsala, cumin, cardamon, and turmeric with zesty garlic/ginger finished on the grill or in oven for crispy texture on the outside and succulent/juicy on the inside!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 50 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 3 lbs chicken (thighs/legs), without skin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder, (reserve 1 tbsp for yogurt marinade)
  • 4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup yogurt prefer Fage
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste, fresh or store-bought
  • 2 tbsp garlic, fresh or store-bought
  • 2 tbsp tandoori seasoning Penzey's Brand
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • red food coloring optional for color
  • pickled onions for garnishing optional
  • cilantro for garnishing optional
  • serve with raita (Indian style yogurt dip)


  • Score the chicken by cutting 2 diagonal slits to soak in the marinade. Make the chili paste with the 2 tbsp chili powder, half the salt, and lime juice. Mix into the chicken and let sit for 30 minutes. Make the yogurt marinade by adding the rest of the ingredients with a few drops of red food coloring to the desired color if using. Let marinate for 4 up to 24 hours.

Oven Technique

  • Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with foil and place rack on top with chicken pieces evenly spaced and bake for 30 minutes. Broil on high for 5 minutes making sure to turn chicken for even caramelization. Garnish with pickled onions/cilantro if using and serve with raita.

Grill Technique

  • Prepare your grill so that one side is quite hot over direct heat, the other side cooler, not over direct heat. If using charcoal, leave one side of the grill without coals, so you have a hot side and a cooler side. If you are using a gas grill, just turn on one-half of the burners.
  • Take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off the excess. You want the chicken coated, but not gloppy. Put the chicken pieces on the hot side of the grill and cover. Cook 2-3 minutes before checking. Turn the chicken so it is brown (even a little bit charred) on all sides
  • Move chicken to the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook for at least 20 minutes, up to 40 minutes (or longer) depending on the size of the chicken and the temperature of the grill. The chicken is done when its juices run clear. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.


  • Buy tandoori seasoning from local grocery store
Keyword indian recipes, tandoori chicken, traditional tandoori chicken