Tandoori chicken is served with a side of lemon wedges, sliced onions and naan

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

This authentic Tandoori chicken recipe will make the most flavorful and authentic chicken that is crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside - just like it is supposed to be! The recipe includes both Instant Pot and oven version. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Authentic, Juicy, restaurant style
Method Oven, Pressure cooker
Diet Gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 323kcal
Author Anushree Shetty



  • 2 lbs chicken legs/drumsticks skinless

For the Marinade

For basting

  • 1 tablespoon oil olive/mustard

For serving


Making Tandoori Chicken using Instant Pot or Mealthy

  • Make 3-4 incisions on the chicken drumstick (or legs, if using) on both sides. These incisions allow the marinade to seep in making the chicken even more flavorful.
  • Add all the ingredients under the marinade section in a large mixing bowl and combine them using a whisk.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade and coat evenly. Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to 8-12 hours in a refrigerator.
  • Add 1 cup of water into the steel pot of Mealthy MultiPot or Instant Pot. Place the trivet inside.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on the trivet one by one - it is okay to stack them.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil to the remaining marinade - mix well and set it aside.
  • Lock the lid in place, turn steam vent handle to ‘Sealing’ and select Pressure Cook.
  • Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, turn steam valve to ‘Venting’ to quick-release pressure.
  • Use tongs to remove the chicken drumsticks and transfer them to a plate.
  • You can either serve them as is or crisp it using an Oven or Mealthy CrispLid.

Crisping it using an oven

  • Baste the chicken drumsticks with the remaining marinade.
  • Broil on low for 5 minutes to crisp them from outside.

Crisping it using Mealthy CrispLid

  • Baste the chicken drumsticks with the remaining marinade.
  • Place the air frying basket over the trivet.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on the air frying basket in a single layer. To avoid overcrowding, cook them in two batches.
  • Unplug the pressure cooker. Place the CrispLid on top of the inner pot and plug it in.
  • Lower the handle and set the temperature to 400°F (200°C ). Cook the chicken for 5 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, lift the lid and set it on the silicone trivet.
  • Flip the chicken drumsticks over. Place the CrispLid back on and cook for 5 more minutes. If you like your tandoori chicken crispy and charred, you can cook it for a few more minutes.
  • Transfer the tandoori chicken to a plate and repeat the process with the next batch of drumsticks.

Serving suggestions

  • Sprinkle the tandoori chicken with chaat masala and finely chopped cilantro for enhanced taste
  • Serve immediately with a side of lemon wedges.

Baking Tandoori chicken in the oven

  • Preheat oven to 400° degrees.
  • Grease a tray with aluminum foil and place the marinated chicken evenly across the tray.
  • Generously spray it with a nonstick cooking spray and cook it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn it once halfway through the cooking, baste it with the remaining marinade and continue to cook.
  • Broil on Low for another 5 minutes.


  1. Double marination process - In the first step, the chicken legs are marinated in lemon juice, salt, chili powder and allowed to rest for 30 minutes. During the second step, add thick yogurt along with the spice powders and coat the chicken evenly. The marinated chicken is then refrigerated overnight for up to 12 hours.
  2. Use turmeric powder - most recipes call for it but I skip it because it makes the Tandoori chicken more orangish than red. It is just my personal preference.
Note - You can discard the water the Tandoori chicken is cooked in before using the CrispLid. I just leave it in. 
  1. When you are making Tandoori chicken for a crowd, pressure cook the entire batch ahead of time and use the CrispLid for charring just before the guests arrive.
  2. Use a meat thermometer - Once the pressure cooking cycle is complete, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken leg. If the temperature is over 165°F, that means the chicken has cooked through. This step is especially important if you are using previously frozen chicken legs.
  3. For best results, use thick yogurt. To make thick yogurt, drain the whey by adding the yogurt to a strainer or a muslin cloth. This process should take about 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, use greek yogurt. 
  4. If you don't have Kashmiri chili powder, substitute it with 1.5 teaspoons of chili powder (medium-hot).
  5. Use smoked paprika to give it that fresh out of tandoor taste. You can skip it if you don't have it. 


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 1033mg | Potassium: 528mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1003IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg