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Tandoori Chicken with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

This Tandoori Chicken is not only incomparably juicy and exploding with flavor, it is shockingly quick and easy to make as well and going straight to your “favorite” file. It makes a fabulous easy weeknight meal that can go directly on the grill once marinated or is tasty enough for prep ahead entertaining. 
Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 chicken leg quarters



  • 4-5 leg quarters skin removed (drumsticks and thighs)


  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt nonfat is fine
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tsps EACH ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp EACH ground coriander, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, onion powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring optional

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Reserved marinade (in directions)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Cut 4 deep slits evenly spaced on the top side of each piece of chicken (see photo).
  • Whisk all the Marinade ingredients together in a large shallow dish or large Ziploc bag. Remove 1 1/2 tablespoons Marinade and add to a small bowl along with all Cilantro Yogurt Dip ingredients. Whisk, cover and refrigerate.
  • To the remaining marinade, add chicken and turn to coat. Cover/seal and marinate in the refrigerator 8-24 hours.
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before cooking.


  • Grease and heat grill to high heat. Let excess marinade drip off or dab off so it still has some marinade but is not goopy. Add chicken to hot grill and sear for 5 minutes. Flip chicken over and sear 5 minutes.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low so that the heat stays around 350 degrees F when the lid is closed. Grill with the lid closed for 12 minutes. Flip chicken over, cover and grill and additional 12 minutes. Check chicken temperature. It should register 165 degrees F. If chicken is not cooked to this temperature yet, flip and repeat steps until chicken is fully cooked through.


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet lined with lightly greased foil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes OR until the chicken registers 165 degrees F at the thickest part. Broil if desired for more golden chicken.