Tandoori Roast Chicken

Servings : Serves 4-5

A roast chicken recipe that has a distinctive desi-twist to it. It is flavourful and spicy, without compromising on the authentic ‘roast chicken’ feel of crispy skin, tender and moist meat and a heart-warming appearance.

By far my favourite weekend roast chicken recipe!

I have served it with masala chips, but as with all roast chicken dishes, you can serve it with whatever you like best! Mashed or roast potatoes, veggies or rice, salad…etc etc…


  • 1 whole chicken, approx 1.5kg - wash the chicken well, then blot it dry using some kitchen towels. Prepare the marinade with ingredients below.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste/puree
  • 4 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp. coriander with stems
  • 2 green chillies
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp. tandoori masala
  • some red food coloring (optional)


Blend the marinade into a paste, then smear it all over the chicken. Run your fingers under the skin, between the flesh and the skin and gently create some gap. Rub marinade in there and make sure you get all the nooks and crannies. Rub some marinade in the cavity as well. Truss the chicken by tying the legs together with some kitchen twine or string. Put the chicken in a bowl with the remainder of the marinade, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before baking so that it comes to room temperature. Chop 1 onion, 1 inch piece of ginger and 2 cloves of garlic. Place them on the roasting dish. Squeeze 1 lemon into the onion/garlic/ginger, instead of discarding the peel of the lemon just dump it in there as well. Also put some coriander stems if you have any and pour 1 cup of water into the dish. Now place a roasting rack on the baking dish. Place the chicken breast-side down on a rack. Leave the remaining marinade in the bowl for now (if there’s any extra marinade). Drizzle 2 tbsp. of oil all over the chicken. Preheat the oven to 220 C, bake the chicken for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 180 C and turn the chicken over so breast side is now up. Bake again for 30-35 minutes more.

Check if chicken is ready. If you’re using a meat thermometer, it should read about 175 C when poked in the thigh meat.

Remove the chicken and place it on a plate. Cover loosely with a foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, scrape all the onions/garlic/ginger from the roasting dish (discard the lemon peels), put it in a processor or blender. Add 1 big tomato (chopped), 1 green chilli, any remaining marinade and 1 tsp. tandoori masala. Blend, then cook this gravy until it is thick. Use it as a sauce when serving your chicken.

Enjoy with roast potatoes or masala chips!

43 thoughts on “Tandoori Roast Chicken
43 Replies

Leave a Reply