Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

Parsee-Style Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Murga (Parsee)

Banoo Petit

Indian Main Meat Starter

Tandoori chicken is one of the most popular non-vegetarian dishes on an Indian menu. In restaurants it is often made with ready-made tandoori powders which include bright, artificial colours that give it a horrible red colour.

Tandoori simply means cooked in a Tandoor, a very hot oven, traditionally made of clay. It does not dictate the exact spices used or finished colour. The dish cooks just as well in any type of very hot oven. Any chicken pieces will do but my choice is small drum sticks or small thigh pieces on bone. Skin must be removed.

Also see A Collection of Barbecue Recipes and Marinades-A Collection of Marinade Recipes.

Edited October 2023


  • 1 kg. small chicken pieces, skinned, washed and drained
  • Marinade
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin or jeera powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric or huldi powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala. Use more if ready-made, because it is often bulked with cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder (or black pepper), adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder (use coriander and cumin mix, when available)
  • 2 tbsp. malt vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 bunch of green coriander/methi leaves (optional)


  1. Stab each chicken piece in a few places using a fork. This helps the marinade to penetrate into the meat. Keep aside.
  2. Measure all ingredients in a food processor and grind to a rough paste. Pour over the chicken.
  3. Mix thoroughly and leave to marinade for a minimum of a couple of hours. It is better left in the fridge overnight, in an airtight box.
  4. Heat oven to maximum.
  5. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil (this saves washing up).
  6. Place chicken pieces on the lined tray and bake in the centre of a hot oven at 250-300°C or 470°F, until nicely browned and meat begins to come off the bones a little. If using frozen chicken, you will need to turn the pieces over and drain off any excess fluid that collects in the tray halfway through the cooking process. The chicken should be nicely browned, looking crispy and slightly charred in places. Time varies in different oven but it usually takes around 20-30 minutes in a preheated oven.
  7. You may need to turn the pieces over half way through cooking.
  8. Serve hot with other curries, dals and Naan or simply as a starter.
  9. Also see: Mamta's Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori Chicken with Carom Seeds and Whole Tandoori Chicken.


  • This dish can be prepared a day in advance up to the point of marinating and kept in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Marinated chicken can also be cooked on a BBQ. Make sure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
This recipe was originally created Sep 9, 2003 and last updated May 21, 2024

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