How to make tandoori chicken without an oven or tandoor

How to make tandoori chicken without an oven or tandoor

Tandoori chicken is a very easy recipe, and very healthy too. Traditionally, this recipe is made in a clay oven, also known as tandoor. In cities, people use an oven. Our recipe doesn’t require an oven or tandoor. It can be made on a stove-top in a cast iron grilling pan. To give it an authentic tandoori flavor, we have used charcoal to smoke the chicken in the pan. But this step is entirely optional.

If you like our tandoori chicken, we are sure that you will like our chicken korma, chicken curry, and chicken biryani.

We have used very simple ingredients – ginger, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin-coriander powder, yogurt, lemon and oil or ghee. The chicken needs to be marinated for at least an hour, preferably overnight for the most flavorful chicken.

You can have tandoori chicken as an appetizer of as part of your main course. Or you can cut it in pieces and toss it in a salad or sandwich. Most places that sell tandoori chicken add a bit of red food coloring to the marinade. We have skipped the food coloring entirely. However, if you don’t wish to add any artificial coloring and still want to see a nice red color, increase the amount of Kashmiri red chili powder. This chili is bright red but milder than regular red chili powder.

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To smoke the chicken, take a charcoal briquette. Heat it directly on the flame until it’s white hot. Put in in a small fire-safe bowl and put the bowl in the pan next to your chicken. Pouring ghee on the hot briquette will infuse a nice smoky flavor in your chicken. Do note that this is an optional step.

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori chicken without an oven

Easy stove-top grilled chicken drumsticks
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 drumsticks


  • lb chicken drumsticks Roughly 4 drumsticks
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder add more as needed
  • 2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • salt to taste
  • oil or ghee for grilling
  • 1 charcoal briquette


  • Grind ginger and garlic into a fine paste and set aside.
  • Clean chicken drumsticks.
  • Add salt, juice from half a lemon, red chili powder, turmeric, cumin-coriander powder, garam masala, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, and oil.
  • Mix well and marinate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  • In a grilling pan, melt ghee or oil.
  • Place marinated chicken drumsticks on the pan.
  • Cook on high flame for 2 minutes.
  • Flip and cook on the other side.
  • Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook the chicken thoroughly. It should take about 30 minutes.
  • Add more oil or ghee as needed.
  • Once chicken is cooked, light a charcoal briquette on the stove and place in a small metal bowl. Place the bowl next to your chicken in the pan.
  • Add a teaspoon of ghee on top of the charcoal. When you see smoke, cover with a lid and cook the chicken in the smoke for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve chicken with a side salad or onions or with rice, or mint yogurt.


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