Tandoori Chicken

By Michael

Updated May 12, 2022

Early in the Coronavirus pandemic, I discovered an amazing spice company called Spicewalla.

Spicewalla is based in Asheville, North Carolina and they have collaborated with some very well-known restaurants there. I found them from one such restaurant's Instagram account, and started down an amazing path to cooking great food at home.

One of the things that captivated me on their site was their wide selection of spice blends representing various Indian cuisines and dishes. As someone who loves grilling, my first order had to contain their Tandoori Masala spice blend.

What I received was a spice blend that smells like the best tandoori grilled meats you can imagine.

Spicewalla has a lot of example recipes on their website for how to use their spices, and I drew on one of these for inspiration here, adapting for my own home-cooking use case - tandoori chicken using breasts and thighs!

This recipe is so easy and strongly replicates the acetic twang and aromatic experience of tandoori chicken.

This is adapted from Spicewalla's Tandoori Masala Roasted Cornish Hens recipe. All credit to them for their amazing spices and recipes.

I've grilled this chicken and also baked it. For baking, I prefer using a ceramic baking dish because I know it's neutral and won't react with the acid in the marinade.

If you're grilling, the marinade that clings to the chicken soaks up charcoal and smoke flavor, so I would definitely recommend using a charcoal grill if you have one!

The first time I grilled chicken like this, my stainless steel grill grates actually ended up rusting! Definitely clean them up fully ASAP after grilling, as letting this marinade sit on metal is a recipe for trouble.

The Spicewalla recipe mentions salt in the list of ingredients, take caution to not mix that into the marinade like we did this morning, it will be way too salty and you'll have to make another batch of the marinade. Do salt the chicken a reasonable amount for you before marinating; this will control the salt level.

Tandoori Chicken Breasts or Thighs


  • 1 to 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Spicewalla's Tandoori Masala spice blend
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt


  1. If using chicken breasts, pound them to a uniform flatness.
  2. Mix the yogurt, Tandoori Masala spice, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a big bowl that will fit all your chicken.
  3. Put your chicken in the bowl and mix to cover with the yogurt marinade from step 1.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, 4-5 if you can swing it.


If you are cooking in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Put chicken into baking dish, lightly shaking with tongs to remove excessive marinade before placing down.

  3. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, until chicken is almost cooked through.

  4. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 10 minutes.

  5. Flip chicken and cook until it looks awesome.

    Baked tandoori chicken thighs Tandoori chicken thigh over rice

If you are cooking on the grill:

  1. Put chicken onto grill grates, lightly shaking with tongs to remove excessive marinade before placing down over indirect heat.

  2. Grill covered over indirect heat until the chicken is almost cooked through.

  3. Finish over direct high heat.

    Grilling over indirect heat Grilled tandoori chicken

Originally published on October 17, 2021