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Tandoori Chicken Tikka

A South Asian BBQ classic. Spiced yogurt marinated chicken grilled to perfection to enjoy with a side of Tandoor Naan and Cool Yogurt, bursting your mouth with flavors out of this world. 

Tandoori Masala:

1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Ground Mace

1 tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder

1 tsp Black Clove

1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili

1 tbsp Paprika 

1 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns 

2 tbsp Coriander Seeds

1 tbsp Cumin Seeds

2 tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves

1 large Cinnamon Stick

2 Black Cardamom 

Grind all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. 

Note: Kashmiri Red Chili is not as spicy, its more for its color, more spice may be added using regular red chili powder for a spicier mix. 

Note #2: Extra color may be added if desired or beet root powder may be added for a more natural alternative. 

Note #3: To learn how I dry my Fenugreek leaves click here. 

Now onto the chicken...

You can use any cut of chicken, traditionally it's made using chicken drumsticks or a whole leg quarter. I just cut 2 to 3 diagonal slits into the flesh of the legs, pat dry and set aside. The slits insure the marinade going deep into the chicken rather than just staying on the exterior. Also it helps cut the marination time in half. 

As for the marinade, for 2 lbs of Chicken you will need: 


1/2 c. Yogurt

1 tbsp Chickpea Flour (optional) 

1/2 tsp Carom Seeds (Ajwain, optional)

1 heaped tbsp Tandoori Masala 

Salt to taste

1 tbsp Tomato Paste (helps with color)

1/2 a Lemon Juiced 

1 tbsp Melted Butter (keeps it soft and moist)

1 tbsp Garlic/Ginger Paste (recipe here)

Mix all the marinade ingredients and mix over your chicken, be sure to massage the chicken well to ensure it's coated in between the slits. 

Place your marinated chicken on a greased or parchment lined sheet tray and let it marinate for AT LEAST 1 to 2 hours or overnight. 

Brush or spray with more butter or oil and grill or bake. If baking, bake on broil for 20 to 25 minutes or until the juices run clear. 

Be sure to flip halfway through. This was after about 12 minutes. Remember those slits we made? Look at what a beautiful texture they give the chicken! 

And there you have it, Homemade Chicken Tikka or Tandoori Chicken! I love serving mine over onions on a sizzling hot cast iron with a squeeze of lemon and and extra brush of butter. Enjoy it with some delicious yogurt and warm naan for a sure treat, South Asian Street Style! 

Kick it up a notch by smoking it! Find out how to smoke the chicken at home without a charcoal grill using the same technique I use in my Chicken Bihari Boti! 

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