Chicken tandoori is simply chicken marinated in yogurt, citrus and spices, then grilled or broiled. The name comes from the cylindrical clay oven — or tandoor — in which the dish is traditionally prepared. This is my favorite version: the chicken is deliciously spiced with super-crispy skin, and the mango chutney served alongside adds fruity, tangy flavor. The chicken is best marinated overnight but if you’re in a time crunch, a few hours will do just fine. Serve with Homemade Naan, Basmati Rice Pilaf with Dried Fruits and Almonds or a refreshing Cucumber Mint Salad. Kids love this one too!
Begin by combining the spices in a small saucepan.
Toast for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant. This step really enhances the flavor.
Next, chop your fresh ginger and garlic. Both will go in a blender or food processor, but they won’t fully pulverize unless you give them a rough chop first.
Combine the toasted spices, ginger, garlic, yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, oil and salt in a mini food processor or blender.
Pulse until smooth.
Then, using a sharp knife, make slashes in the drumsticks. This increases the surface area of the chicken, so the marinade can penetrate the meat.
Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and pour the marinade over top.
Toss the drumsticks with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil and place an oven-proof rack over top. Arrange the marinated drumsticks on the rack, leaving a bit of space in between them.
Cook for 45 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked and the skin is quite crisp.
Finally, flash the chicken under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the skin is super-crisp and a bit charred. Serve with mango chutney and lime wedges on the side.
My starting point for this recipe was this recipe from Food & Wine. In addition to changing the process a bit, I increased the garlic and ginger, added marinading time to boost flavor, added cayenne pepper for a little heat, provided a specific salt measurement, replaced the fat-free yogurt with whole milk yogurt, and replaced the lemon juice with lime juice and zest. I liked the Cilantro-Shallot relish in the original recipe (definitely worth a try) but enjoyed the chicken more with mango chutney.
My Recipe Videos
Crispy Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Mango Chutney
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (substitute curry powder if you can't find it)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use 1/4 teaspoon for less heat)
- 3 tablespoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- Zest and juice from one lime (about 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 12 chicken drumsticks (about 4 pounds)
- 1 (9 ounce) jar mango chutney, for serving
- A few sprigs cilantro, optional for garnishing the platter
- Lime wedges, optional, for serving
- In a small pan over medium-low heat, combine the paprika, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until spices are fragrant.
- Add the spices to a blender or mini food processor, along with the ginger, garlic, Greek yogurt, lime zest and juice, oil and salt; process until smooth.
- Using a very sharp knife, make 2 or 3 slashes in each drumstick (be careful; they are slippery). Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and toss with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and set an oven-proof rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray or grease with vegetable oil.
- Arrange the chicken on the rack, leaving a bit of space between the pieces. Spoon any marinade left in the bowl evenly over the drumsticks. Roast for 45 minutes, turning once midway through, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through (be sure to turn on your exhaust fan as the oven will get a little smoky). Turn on the broiler and broil the chicken about 6 inches from the heat for 3-5 minutes, until lightly charred and crisp all over. Serve with mango chutney on the side.
- Serving size: 3 drumsticks (nutritional data does not include chutney)
- Calories: 807
- Fat: 53g
- Saturated fat: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Sugar: 1g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 73g
- Sodium: 1884mg
- Cholesterol: 369mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.