Smoky Tandoori Style Chicken made in one pan

Smoky Tandoori Style Chicken

A smoky chicken tandoori recipe you can make at home using one pan.  It’s simple to make, and the flavours will amaze you.  This recipe is prepared by marinating the chicken in a spicy tangy yoghurt mixture.  This not only flavours the meat but also tenderizes it and makes it juicy.  Traditionally chicken tandoori is made using a tandoori oven, which is a cylindrical clay oven that originated in India.  As we don’t all have tandoori ovens at home, this recipe has been simplified to give you similar results at home.  Enjoy my simple smoky chicken tandoori made in one pan.


For the marinade

1 chicken broken into 4 pieces, skin off.

½ cup Greek yogurt

4 garlic cloves

1 thumb of ginger

1 tsp mustard

1 tbsp red chilli powder (ideally Kashmiri)

2 tsp garam masala powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 lemon or lime

2 tsp salt

For the cooking

2 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 optional piece of food safe charcoal for smoky flavour, do not use briquettes.

Optional Salad




Red onion

Lime juice

Salt and pepper


Step 1

Remove any chicken skin if any,  then using a sharp knife, cut 4 to 6 parallel diagonal slits into each chicken piece.  Cut all the way to the bone.  Season with salt.

Step 2

In a mixing bowl, add the Greek yogurt, grated garlic, grated ginger, mustard, red chili powder, garam masala, vegetable oil, salt and one lemon or lime juice.  Leave to marinate 6 hours or preferably overnight.

Step 3

In a large frying pan on high heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and a little vegetable oil.  Place the chicken pieces in the hot oil and cook until brown, turn down heat to low and cover with lid.  After 15 minutes, remove lid and continue browning the other side, keep the lid off and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.  Turn off heat.

Step 4

(This step is optional but well worth the effort if you want that traditional smoky flavour.)  Place a piece of charcoal (not briquette) directly on a high flame until it becomes red hot.   Then place a small metal container in the middle of the pan with your chicken or simply shape one out of foil.  Place the hot coal in the container, add a few drops of vegetable oil to smoke it up, and cover with a lid.  Leave for ten minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove container with charcoal, turn heat back on low and reheat the chicken.  Using a pastry brush, coat chicken with a little cooking oil from the pan and any spicy residue left in the pan.  Serve immediately.

Step 5

For the optional salad, slice up the cucumber, tomato, red onion, and coriander.  Make a dressing using freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, a little garlic, salt and pepper.

Little Tips

The breasts can sometimes be a little dry, so if you have time, add them in the pan a little later, or better still, just buy the legs.



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