Indian Tandoori Chicken on the grill

Owen and I are back from our little trip to Wisconsin to see my family. He was a total travelling superstar, other than a mid-airplane ride poop explosion which was made slightly more complicated by our window seat placement on a plane with rows approximately the width of cookie sheet.

We had a really relaxing time with the fam, complete with backyard campfires, a reunion, a day at the beach, game playing, and of course, my parents’ cable TV. See, Eric and I have a TV that, from the look of it, hearkens back to 1988. It receives 4 channels, is not flat-screened, relies on a converter box (still), and is about as far away from high-def as Super Mario Brothers. On top of all of that, its home is on the second floor of our house, which during the summer, feels like the inside of a brick pizza oven. Needless to say, we don’t spend a lot of time up there watching TV.

So, every chance I got, while nursing Owen, I sat in front of the Food Network, taking in the history of the donut, homemade chocolates from Boston, dreamy looking taquitos, and several rounds of Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction.

Seriously, it was 8:15 a.m., I had just had my first cup of coffee, and I was drooling over these curry-rubbed smoked chicken thighs, wishing I could have them for breakfast.
Is this normal?

Though it’s probably for the best that we don’t have cable…seeing as our dining room table would get swallowed by unopened mail and our house would descend into gradual chaos as I watched just one more episode of Chopped…I did enjoy my little Food Network foray these past few days.

While I continue to dream about that curry-rubbed chicken, I thought I’d share a somewhat similar recipe with you…similar in the sense that it involves chicken, Indian flavors, and the grill. This recipe for tandoori chicken on the grill is super easy and satisfies your craving for Indian food without the steamy heat of a saucy curry dish, which no one wants when it’s 90* out.

I was really drawn to this tandoori recipe in the cookbook Chicken & Egg due to the simplicity and deliciousness of the marinade’s ingredients…plain yogurt livened up with fresh garlic and ginger, !cumin!, coriander, mint, and more. Though we decided not to plant our garden this year in the interest of having a baby, my mint plant powered through the mulch and now threatens to take over the world, so I was excited to use a bunch of it up in this recipe. The mint adds an ideal summery freshness to the marinade. I served the chicken with this curried rice pilaf and summer veggies sauteed with garlic, cumin, and curry powder. It was enjoyed by all…well except for these little people with little palates…and made for a good summer meal without heating up the kitchen much!

Indian Tandoori Chicken on the grill

Indian Tandoori Chicken on the grill

(recipe from the Chicken & Egg cookbook) (yields 4 servings)

This tandoori chicken recipe stays moist from a flavorful marinade and is a perfect Indian recipe for summer as it is made on the grill!


8 oz. plain yogurt (I used Greek)

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

3 tbsp. canola oil

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. ground coriander

1 tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped

additional 1/8 c. fresh mint, chopped

3 to 3 1/4 lbs. bone-in chicken (cut into 8 pieces)


Blend together all of the ingredients (except for mint and chicken) in a food processor until smooth.

Stir in 1/4 c. mint.


Remove the skin from the chicken*. Cut three 1/2-1 inch deep slits in each chicken piece to allow marinade to penetrate. Drop the chicken into a large, resealable bag and pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken. Seal the bag and massage the chicken to coat each piece with the marinade. Place bag of chicken/marinade in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. (I actually had it in there 2 nights).


Preheat grill to medium or heat coals to a medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Oil grill grate and cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes on a covered grill until chicken is slightly charred and no longer pink in the center. Turn the chicken every few minutes, moving the chicken around the grill if it becomes too hot and is browning too quickly.


Remove chicken from grill and sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint. Serve with a curried rice pilafand sauteed summer vegetables or a nice green salad. I also toasted pita bread wedges to go alongside the meal, but this would be great with real, live naan as well.


*If your chicken breast pieces are huge, cut them in half so that they cook in a similar time to the rest of your pieces.

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7 thoughts on “Indian Tandoori Chicken on the grill

  1. yum, I will have to try that out! looks nummy. we’d need to get all the indian flavors under our belt before we go! I hear another trip to ghandi mahal beckoning… :)

  2. We always head to a friends house for Indian food. I’m way to intimidated to cook it, but this doesn’t seem so bad. I was excited to see the sautéed summer veggies too… those look good!

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