This tandoori chicken recipe is inspired by our love for this South Asian staple and our even deeper love for make-ahead, weeknight dinners. Though neither of us has the pleasure of owning a tandoor in our tiny New York apartments, we put our ovens to work and behold—an unbelievably juicy and flavor-packed roasted chicken, paired with a cooling and tangy buttermilk raita to bring it home. Receiving fresh, halal chicken from Boxed Halal made this recipe all the more convenient!
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2 lbs chicken quarters, patted dry
1 tsp garam masala
2-3 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, depending on your spice tolerance
½ Tbsp smoked paprika, or regular paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp fenugreek leaves, optional1
½ Tbsp garlic paste or 7 cloves, grated
2 ½ tsp ginger paste or a 1” knob, grated
½ cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced, about 3 tablespoons
2 Tbsp canola oil, or any neutral oil
1 medium red onion, sliced, for serving
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Cilantro, roughly chopped, for serving
⅓ cup buttermilk
¼ tsp chaat masala or ground cumin
¼ cup grated cucumber
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
¼ tsp kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Toast the spices in a dry pan over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.
In a large bowl or resealable bag, combine the garlic, ginger, buttermilk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and toasted spices. Score the chicken by cutting shallow, one-inch slices in the skin, then add the chicken pieces and mix ensuring each piece of chicken is well coated in the marinade. Marinate for 2-6 hours in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 425℉ and line a sheet pan with foil. Transfer the marinated chicken to the prepared sheet pan and drizzle over the oil. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until nicely charred and a digital thermometer registers at least 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to retain the juices.
While the chicken rests, prepare the raita by combining the buttermilk, chaat masala or cumin, cucumber, cilantro, kosher salt, and black pepper. Taste and adjust quantities to your flavor preference.
Garnish the chicken with thinly sliced red onion, lemon wedges, and more fresh cilantro alongside warm buttery naan, basmati rice, and a generous drizzle of raita.
A sour cream, any yogurt, or just no yogurt will be ok! It won’t be as tangy if there’s no yogurt, so add a bit more lemon juice to compensate.
Fry whatever nut you got in some garlicky goodness! Also, add any desired crunchy topping you have.
Most greens and herbs will do!
Direct any questions or comments you have to my instagram at: @reeniekarim