These bright, tasty Indian Tandoori Chicken Kebabs are easy to prepare and filled with flavor! They include traditional aromatic Indian spices such as turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, tandoori and more. Serve this mouth-watering chicken skewer main alongside, yellow rice, salad and naan bread for a delicious dinner.
About this Recipe
Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian chicken recipe. It is traditionally made by roasting chicken which has been marinated in yogurt and spices in a tandoor oven. Although the dish originates from India, it has become very popular in many parts of the world.
The spice mix used for tandoori chicken is called tandoori masala and it contains red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, Kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves), garam masala, garlic, ginger and onion powder. You can purchase the ready-made tandoori masala from the store or you can make your own tandoori masala by grinding the spices in a mortar and pestle.
It is really easy to prepare this dish, it’s simply a matter of cubing chicken fillets and leaving them to sit in a homemade marinade for a minimum of 1 hour for optimal flavor. This recipe features grilled tandoori chicken skewers but the chicken tandoori skewers can also be air fried or made in the oven, it’s really up to you.
These delicious chicken skewers can be served for dinner, Iftar and special occasions with naan bread, rice or cucumber salad.
Tandoori Chicken Kebabs Ingredients
- Chicken fillets: Use fresh chicken fillets or frozen fillets for this recipe. If you are using frozen filets, defrost them thoroughly before marinating the chicken.
- Yogurt/Curd: Yogurt or curd is the base of the marinade and it makes the chicken tender and juicy, plus it adds a delicious sour flavor to the marinade. Use Greek yogurt, natural yogurt or good quality curd.
- Tandoori Masala: This is a ready-made spice mix that can be purchased online or at supermarkets. It is a combination of popular Indian spices and is used to season food. If you don’t have tandoori masala then you can create your own using a combination of easy-to-find spices.
- Turmeric: Add good quality turmeric to the marinade.
- Chili powder: Ground chili powder is bright red and has a spicy flavor. It adds some heat to the marinade. Feel free to alter the amount of heat depending on how spicy you like the dish.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic works best in this recipe. However, if you don’t have fresh garlic then you can use ground garlic instead.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger adds sweet and spicy notes to the chicken skewers but, feel free to use ginger powder if you don’t have any to hand.
- Lemon: Use fresh lemon juice for this recipe.
- Oil: Any flavorless oil such as canola, vegetable or sunflower oil will be perfect for this recipe.
How to Make Tandoori Chicken Kebabs
1.Cut the chicken fillet into cubes and add them to a medium-sized bowl. Then, marinate the chicken with grated garlic, grated ginger, salt and pepper to taste, pour in the lemon juice and mix well.
2. Next, combine yogurt/curd, tandoori masala, turmeric, chili powder, salt to taste, red food coloring (optional) and oil in a separate bowl and mix well.
3. Then, pour the tandoori marinade into the chicken and mix well. Coat each chicken cube with the marinade. Then leave the chicken cubes to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Leave the chicken to marinate for up to 4 hours for more flavor.
4. While the chicken marinates prepare the skewers. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from breaking when cooking.
Once the chicken has finished marinating, add cubes of chicken to each skewer.
5. To make the chicken on the grill, heat a grill or grill pan on the stove. Spray each chicken tandoori skewer with oil and cook on both sides on low/medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
If you prefer to make the chicken in the oven then place the chicken on a lined baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 180C/360F.
To make your chicken in an air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 175C/350F. Lightly grease the basket with cooking oil. Place the marinated chicken in the basket and air fry for 15 minutes or until done.
6. Finally, serve these tasty Tandoori Chicken Skewers with turmeric rice, flatbread and salad during special occasions, large gatherings or Iftar.
Tips and Tricks
- Salt: Be mindful when adding salt. Taste as you season and marinate the chicken to check the salt content.
- Substitutions: If you cannot find fresh ginger or garlic, you can substitute for powdered garlic or ginger.
- Skewers: Soak the skewers in water for about 10-15 minutes before using them to prevent them from burning on the grill.
Tandoori chicken is a popular chicken dish originating from India. It is marinated in a blend of spices, tandoori masala and yogurt before being cooked in a tandoor oven.
The red color in tandoori chicken comes from the use of Kashmiri red chilies. Kashmiri chilies are a very popular type of chili used in Indian cooking. It is used mainly for color rather than taste or pungency and is used in powder form as it blends with other ingredients easily in its powdered state. You can also add red food coloring to the marinade to make the tandoori chicken even redder!
Yes, chicken tikka is made in a tandoor oven. Chicken tikka refers to small pieces of chicken marinated in a spicy-based yogurt mixture and cooked in a tandoor oven.
Tandoori style is a method of Indian cooking where food is cooked over a charcoal fire in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven.
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Indian Tandoori Chicken Kebabs
- 3 Chicken fillets
- 6 tbsp Yoghurt or curd
- 3.5 tsp Tandoori masala
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp of chili powder Kashmiri
- 1-2 garlic cloves grated
- Ginger grated
- 1/4 Lemon juice
- Red food coloring optional
- Cut the chicken fillet into cubes and add them to a medium sized bowl. Then, marinate the chicken with grated garlic, grated ginger, salt and pepper to taste, pour in the lemon juice and mix well.
- Next, combine youghurt/curd, tandoori masala, turmeric, chilli powder, salt to taste, red food coloring (optional) and oil in a separate bowl and mix well.
- Pour the tandoori marinade into the chicken and mix well. Make sure each chicken cube is coated in the marinade. Then leave the chicken cubes to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. The chicken cubes can be marinated for up to 4 hours for more flavor.
- While the chicken marinates prepare the skewers. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from breaking when cooking.
- Once the chicken has finished marinating, add cubes of chicken to each skewer. Then heat a grill or grill pan on the stove (see notes for oven or air fryer instructions). Spray each chicken tandoori skewer with oil and cook on both sides on a low/medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
I grilled these tandoori chicken kebabs over wood charcoal in my ceramic grill and they were so perfectly smoked and charred. I served them with some naan and steamed basmati rice. So good!
Sounds like a mouth-watering combination. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Haven’t made Indian food in awhile and it was so nice to stumble on this recipe. It was super easy to make and really good too! Will be in my rotation for meal prep!
I got some pre made spice mix and threw these in the air fryer and they came out amazing. Came together with some rice and salad for a quick, easy and super tasty dinner that everyone loved.
The flavor of these kebabs is perfect! I served them with saffron rice and green salad and it has become a family favorite meal already.
These kebabs are better than my favorite takeout spot! I didn’t realize how easy they are to make too, thanks for this amazing recipe!
I’ve always found Indian food to be difficult to make at home. Fortunately, this recipe was easy to follow and tasted just as good as restaurant-quality Indian food!
How long would you cook in the oven for?
Hi Shiji, bake them for 25-30 minutes.