This Tandoori Chicken with Rice dish is a delicious meal filled with global flavors right at your dinner table. You won’t need a passport to feel transported to another country!
I absolutely love Indian food and this Tandoori Chicken recipe is a great place to start if you are new to cooking Indian food at home. The warm, flavorful spice blend combined with the creamy yogurt and juicy chicken will inspire you to embrace more international flavors at dinner time.
What is Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori Chicken originated in India and is traditionally cooked in a clay oven called a Tandoor oven. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and a blend of spices and baked or roasted. Tandoori Chicken has been the basis for many other popular creamy Indian chicken dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala and the internet famous Butter Chicken.
Make the marinade by combining all the spices with the yogurt, ghee and lemon juice and marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours up to overnight. I like to make my marinade the night before and let the chicken soak up all the creamy flavor overnight. The blend of spices adds a punch of flavor and a beautiful bright color to the chicken. This recipe works great with chicken thighs, legs, drumsticks or even chicken breasts (you may need to adjust the cooking time for a chicken breast- be sure to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer).
You can easily adjust the recipe to be dairy free by replacing the yogurt with a dairy free plain yogurt (you can find our favorites here). Also, for grain free diets, replace the rice with cauliflower rice.Print
- 8 chicken thighs (approximately 2 lbs)
- 1 cup plain yogurt (full fat is best)
- 1 Tbsp melted ghee
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp)
- ½ tsp garam masala spice mix
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne, adjust to taste
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup basmati rice
MINT YOGURT (OPTIONAL)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup mint leaves, packed
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a large bowl, add the yogurt, melted ghee, lemon juice, grated ginger, minced garlic, garam masala, paprika, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Place the chicken thighs and marinade in a ziploc or stasher bag and keep in the refrigerator for up to 12 to 24 hours to marinate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a sheet tray with foil and place a rack on the tray.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess (reserve the marinade for basting), and place on the rack. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and brush the marinade generously on both sides.
- Return the chicken to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Again, remove the chicken from the oven and brush the top with marinade.
- Return the chicken to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Do a final baste with marinade then lightly brush with olive oil.
- Increase the oven heat to 450°. Bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until you get some nice charred spots. Internal temperature of the chicken should be 165° when fully cooked.
- While the chicken is baking, cook your rice. Add 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, 1 Tbsp olive oil and a large pinch of salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for an additional 10 minutes.
- Make the mint yogurt by adding 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup mint leaves, ½ tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp olive oil and salt & pepper to taste to a small bowl and gently whisk until combined.
Serve with the mint yogurt for a bright, creamy sauce to cool the spicy chicken.
Check out our other favorite Indian recipes from the Blog:
- Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe (Paleo + Whole30)
- Indian Red Lentil Dal (Masoor Dal) (Vegan + Vegetarian)
- Butter Chicken (Paleo + Whole30)
- Curry Chicken Salad with Raisins (Paleo + Whole30)
- Indian Spiced Burger (Paleo + Whole30)
Want to save this Tandoori Chicken and Rice recipe for later? Pin it Here!