Tandoori Chicken

Prep Time:

Cook Time:




3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup plain yogurt (can sub buttermilk)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

4 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs), or its equivalent, skinless, bone-inis done when its juices run clear

Jacoub’s Tandoori Seasoning


1. Combine 20g seasoning to 15g vegetable oil. Mix well until it becomes a paste.

2. Whisk tandoori paste into yoghurt.

3. Cut deep slashes into chicken, coat with marinade, chill: Cut deep slashes (to the bone) in 3-4 places on the leg/thigh pieces. Just make 2-3 cuts if you are using separate drumsticks and thighs. Coat the chicken in the marinade, cover and chill for at least an hour, preferably 6 hours.

4. Prepare grill: 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.

5. Use tongs to wipe the grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil.

6. Shake off excess marinade, place chicken on hot side of grill: Take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off the excess. You want the chicken coated, but not gloppy.

7. Put the chicken pieces on the hot side of the grill and cover. Cook 2-3 minutes before checking.

8. Turn the chicken so it is brown (even a little bit charred) on all sides

9. Move to cool side of grill, cover and cook: 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.

10. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. It’s also great at room temperature or even cold the next day.

11. Serve with naan, and Indian flatbread, or with Indian style rice, with yogurt-based raita on the side.

Pro Tip

Any more than 6 to 8 hours of marinating in an acidic marinade will make your meat become mushy and chalky in the exterior. The optimum texture is that of a five-hour marinade.