Tandoori Chicken is a naturally gluten free recipe worth saving. Although it's easy to buy pre-made gluten free sauces many of you enjoy recipes using basic ingredients and spices you have on hand.
In this recipe the meat is tenderized by a spicy yogurt marinade that gets its' red colour from both the tomato paste and the spices. Some recipes use red food colouring to intensify the colour but I prefer to skip the artificial colouring.
Authentic tandoori chicken gets its' name from the tandoor oven it is traditionally cooked in. We cook it on the barbecue in the summer and in the oven all winter. Once you've made it three times it's a quick week night dinner anytime.
Indian cooking is all about the spices and if you need to expand your collection this is the time to do it. Cumin, chili powder and cayenne are likely in your cupboard. Ground coriander and garam masala may be new but they're important for many dishes.
- Plain yogurt
- Olive oil
- Tomato paste
- Chili Powder
- Ground coriander
- Garam masala
Saffron, considered the most expensive spice in the world, is used in small amounts but it's always worth it.
See recipe card for exact quantities.
A Follower Photo
Thanks to Sue Jennett for sharing her photo of this recipe served with my Fragrant Saffron Rice. It looks delicious and I love that hibiscus blossom.
Sue is a friend and host of A Canadian Celiac Podcast. If you haven't heard it yet check it out. Listening to podcasts is the best way I know to keep up on changes in the gluten free space.
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Cook Once, Eat Twice
When I'm planning ahead I make sure I have enough chicken for two meals. Then I use the Cook Once, Eat Twice strategy in two ways.
I cook the whole recipe, serve half for dinner and freeze the rest for a second meal.
In the summer I'm more likely to freeze half of chicken raw. It marinates while it freezes and again when it thaws so it goes right into the freezer. Then one day I'll have grilled chicken on the barbecue.
Recipes Using Saffron
- Fragrant Saffron Rice, you will not believe what a bit of onion and a few threads of saffron can do to rice!
- Paella with Seafood or any version of paella you're ready to make.
Dinner Club: An East Indian Menu
My East Indian Dinner Club Menu includes this Tandoori chicken. For entertaining I cube up boneless chicken and thread it on skewers for an impressive kebab presentation of an everyday favourite.
This recipe is adapted from an old cookbook by well-known and much loved Calgary cookbook author, Noorbanu Nimji. A Spicy Touch is the first Indian cookbook I bought and it has many recipes I still enjoy.
Let me know in the comments below how your chicken turned out.
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- 12 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger root
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder (East Indian if you have it)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 8 strands of saffron (optional)
- Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour over chicken and marinate 4 hours or overnight.
- Grill chicken over low or medium heat until browned. Transfer upper rack and finish cooking over indirect heat to internal temperature is 165℉, 45-60 minutes for bone-in thighs.
- Cook in 350°F oven for 45-60 minutes until cooked through.