Grilled Tandoori Chicken Recipe

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This grilled Tandoori chicken recipe is a bit different than my other barbecue chicken recipes. Why? Because it’s almost exactly like making mud pies as a kid. Equally squishy and equally dirty. But MAN is this good chicken!!!!

I was at a local Indian market the other day and was looking at their sauces. Not one of them came close to being clean, and many had red food dye added. It dawned on me that the Tandoori Chicken I’ve seen in restaurants always has a red tint. I’m not sure if all Tandoori sauces have red food coloring in them, but it’s something I definitely avoid. So I copied down the ingredient list on the bottle and came home to create my own sauce recipe without the not-so-clean ingredients.

Clean Eating BBQ Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Having never worked with Tamarind before, I got a big surprise when I found a lump of sticky, tar-like stuff in my bowl. It wouldn’t even completely mix with the oil I had added. Frustrated, I took a taste and wow. It was good!

So instead of tossing the whole thing in the garbage, I decided to get creative. I tenderized my chicken so that it would hold on to the “sauce” a little better and got to work giving those birdies a good massage with that spicy tar.

They must have been very relaxed birdies when I got done because I used up all the spice mixture. It took a little work, but I knew it would be worth it when I was done, and I was right. This was crazy good!

 

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GRILLED TANDOORI CHICKEN RECIPE:

Clean Eating BBQ Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

This wonderful Indian-inspired chicken recipe is an amazing dish to serve with rice and veggies.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 229kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. coriander
  • 2 tbsp. tamarind
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 lb. chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

Instructions

  • Mix all sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl. You will end up with a tar-like substance in the bottom of the bowl and not all the oil will mix in. Don't panic.
  • Using both hands, scoop up a small amount of the mixture along with a little oil and massage it vigorously into the chicken like your life depends on that bird being relaxed.
  • Grill until fully cooked and serve.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breast | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 22.4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3.2mg

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26 Comments

  1. Denise GC says:

    mix the tamarind with a little hot water and it softens up pretty quickly. The stuff you buy in the package is the dried fruit. You just have to rehydrate it. Also, traditional tandoori chicken used yogurt as the tenderizer. You can reduce or skip the oil and replace it with yogurt. I usually use non-fat greek yogurt.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Denise – Fantastic! Thank you so much! I may have to try a second recipe with your suggestions. 🙂

  2. This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  3. FYI…..sometimes the liberal use of turmeric….a great anti-oxident …gives that bright color.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Reddgjz – Interesting!! Thank you so much!

  4. I made this tonite. Used Tumeric instead of Tamarind and Olive Oil instead if Safflower Oil since it was what I had on hand. It was awesome!! I halved the recipe and used it on 3 large breast that I flattened. I marinated it in the fridge for only about 15 minutes. Great flavor! Will definitely make again!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Awesome!!! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Are you using tamarind paste? or the actual tamarind fruit still in the shell?

  6. I always love reading your posts even if I don’t use the recipe just because you always have something funny to say. And this sounds delicious! I will have to try it! I love Tamarind!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Thanks! I hope you’ll enjoy the chicken!

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  8. Do you use fresh corriander??? Or dried???

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  10. Radhika Chandorkar says:

    You can add 1 tsp paste of sweet red peppers to give it natural red colour, using some oil in the marinade/rub helps the birdies absorb the flavour of the spices

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Awesome! Thank you! 🙂

  11. Denise Passero says:

    I want to try this recipe. I see some of you mentioning using tumeric instead of tamarind. I don’t have access to tamarind so is tumeric a good substitute?? Is the taste similar??

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Denise – I haven’t tried, but hopefully somebody else here will comment.

  12. I HAVE TAMARIND! I got it for Christmas when my sister gave me an Indian food package for Christmas, otherwise I’d be out if luck. This with naan bread!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kelli – Absolutely!!! I hope you enjoy it! 😀

  13. I never heard of tamarind. Where do you find it in the store? Also, have you tried baking it as I am not a “griller”.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Carol – I got mine at an Indian food store. But if you can’t find it locally, amazon usually sells it. Also try the ethnic section of your local grocery store. It’s actually pretty common. And yes, baking is fine. Enjoy!

    2. I found it at Whole Foods. I had to ask someone where it was.

  14. Patricia Santoro says:

    After searching local stores with no luck, I ordered tamarind paste from Amazon. I massaged the “tar” on the chicken until they were so relaxed!!! I found as my hands warmed the mixture so that it coated the chicken pieces really nicely. The results were delicious. Will do this recipe again.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Patricia – Yay!!! There’s nothing tastier than totally relaxed chicken!! I’m so happy it enjoyed it’s massage! 😀

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