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Recipe: Tandoori chicken with a healthy spin

In case you’re stuck in a recipe rut this month, here’s a fail-safe favourite to add to your repertoire. Happy cooking and eating!

Serves 4

From: Namita Mehra, Author of Cooking with Indian


healthy tandoori chicken recipe
Try this easy, flavourful, gluten-free chicken dish!

“This dish rules because it’s delicious, flavourful, healthy, and super easy to make. While the restaurant versions are a bright red, this recipe skips the toxic food coloring and promises you only succulent, juicy goodness.”


  • 2 heaped tablespoons (40 ml) plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 4 skinless whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander, for garnish
  • 1 lime or lemon cut into wedges, for garnish
  • Masala onions

Ingredients for the masala onions:

  • 1 medium or large onion, red or white
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder) or chaat masala (optional)
  • ½ lime or lemon

Directions for the masala onions:

  1. Peel the onion, cut it in half, and thinly slice in lengthwise.
  2. Soak the sliced onion in a large bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Drain off the water and add the salt, chili powder, cumin, and amchur or chaat masala.
  4. Squeeze on some lime or lemon juice, mix well, and serve!

Directions for the tandoori chicken:

  1. In a non-reactive bowl (metal or glass), whisk the yogurt, lime or lemon juice, ginger and garlic pastes, salt, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, and turmeric into a smooth paste. (If you have any other spices lying around such as tandoori powder or jerk spice, feel free to shake in a little of each as well.)
  2. Taste the marinade, and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Clean the chicken and pat it dry. Cut deep slits into the fleshy parts. Coat the chicken thoroughly in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate it for anywhere between one and 12 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you’re going to cook it so that it comes to room temperature. Preheat the oven to its highest temperature setting. Place the chicken pieces on a lightly greased, foil-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning over once halfway. At the halfway point, reduce the heat to 180°C. A little charring is good, but don’t dry out the meat.
  6. Arrange the chicken legs on a platter, and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish withfresh coriander and lime wedges. Serve with masala onions on the side.



We have loads more great recipes for some dinner party inspiration!