Tandoori-Style Grilled Chicken

I love Indian food, but because so much of it is made with yogurt I have to make it at home to enjoy it now.  The availability of lactose-free food makes it really easy to do this.  I’m calling it “Tandoori Style” chicken because is is grilled, rather than made in an actual Tandoor oven, but it has all the flavour and char you are looking for.  For summer meals, serving it with a variety of salads keeps it light and fresh.  For a heartier, winter meal, serve it with mint scented basmati rice and curried cauliflower.  Tandoori masala is the traditional spice blend, available in the International section of your local grocery store or an Indian grocery store.  

Marinate: 4 hours-overnight

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Grill Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-1/2 cups Plain yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp Tandoori masala

Preparation

  1. Slice deep cuts in the meat of the chicken breasts.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix yogurt and masala, smoothing out any lumps of spice blend.  Put chicken breasts in yogurt mix, coating well all over, making sure the yogurt gets well into the cuts in the meat.  Marinate at least 4 hours; over night is ideal, but the longer the better for best flavour and juiciness.
  3. Preheat grill.  Remove chicken breasts from marinade and remove excess yogurt with paper towels. Oil grills and place chicken breasts, meat side down, over direct heat for 5 minutes to get some nice char and grill marks going.  Turn chicken breasts over and turn heat off underneath them.  Close grill lid and cook for an additional 30-35 minutes over indirect heat, until juices run clear when pierced or to an internal temperature of 165F.

Tips

  • When it comes to Tandoori, char is good.  Don’t worry about letting it get black in spots.  It still tastes great.
  • As I mentioned in the intro, we serve it with a variety of csalads in summer, and heartier rice and veggies in the winter months.  But some nice naan always goes with it, along with some Raita.  You can adapt the Tzatziki recipe into a Raita by omitting the oregano and garlic.

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