This easy Tandoori Chicken recipe may become your go to when you want the spice of Indian Food but not all of the carbs that fill the rest of your plate at a traditional Indian restaurant.
Traditional Tandoori Chicken is charred on high heat in a clay oven.
I don't happen to have a clay oven and I doubt very many of you do either. So I adapted the recipe for MY regular oven.
This Tandoori Chicken recipe is a gluten free, low carb dinner that will make your taste buds dance.
The longer you let the chicken sit in the yogurt marinade, the fuller the flavor. The next day you just need to bake the chicken in a preheated oven and voila...you have quick and easy week night meal.
You can serve this chicken in a variety of ways and it's best to decide BEFORE you start cooking if you want to make flatbread...
Since this dish is traditionally served with Naan bread I would like to remind you that we have a low carb option for that here...
It doesn't take long.
- The flatbread has been served on the side traditionally.
The teen likes to put the chicken, cucumber sauce, lettuce & tomatoes in the flatbread like an Indian Taco.
Thom likes to eat the chicken off of the bone like and have the veggies in the bread....it's up to you.
- If you are into the lettuce leaf wrap thing ( I think it's good) than you can wrap the chicken in lettuce leaves and dip in the cucumber sauce too...
- Or, this chicken makes a fantastic salad ( I DO NOT SAY THIS ABOUT SALAD VERY OFTEN). I consider salad a side dish most of the time.
Okay...I think that covers it. Onto the spices and making the chicken!
A word about store bought Tandoori Spices:
There are plenty of prepackaged Tandoori pastes on the market. Tandoori chicken is a world renowned dish loved by millions of people so of course there are products to make it easier to make.
But beware: Most store bought pastes are full of artificial ingredients, stabilizers, sugars and hormone disruptive artificial coloring (ewwww).
If you do decide to go this route to save time make sure you check the labels closely.
There is a simple recipe for homemade Garam Masala after the Tandoori recipe if you want to save some money as well. This spice can be used in a number of traditional Indian Dishes.
In traditional Tandoori marinades many people choose to add lemon juice or lime juice to the mix. I like to drizzle fresh lime over the chicken once it's cooked instead.
There are two reasons for this:
- If I am marinading overnight I find that the lime juice and yogurt have too much of a softening effect on the meat. You want the meat tender but you don't want it mushy. The enzymes in the yogurt do a fine job tenderizing the meat on their own.
- I don't the baked lime flavor. To me, the fresh lime flavor better than the cooked version ( I find it bitter)...but you can add it before baking if you want for an all over twang.
Overly uniform flavors are not my thang because I like my taste buds to be surprised with each bite.
The cooling cucumber sauce listed in the recipe notes drizzled over the finished product is fantastic.This chicken is spicy and the cooling cucumber and mint are delectable.
I also recommend sprinkling with green onions and cilantro for something simple that tastes really special.
This sauce and chicken will keep in the fridge for several days after if you want to make it ahead for super easy weeknight dinners.
Traditionalists call for a whole fryer chicken cut up. I prefer chicken thighs because they tend to come out much juicier and I buy them skinned and boneless to save time.
If you only like the chicken breast, feel free to adapt the cooking time as to not end up with a dry piece of shoe leather. I would also suggest that you brine the breast for about thirty minutes before adding to the yogurt marinade if you decide to go this route.
Make sure to cut slits in the chicken before marinating. ( This gets all of the deliciousness deep inside of the meat)
If you like this easy low carb Tandoori Chicken recipe you can mix the spices ahead of time so you can just pour it in when you are in a rush.
The Garam Masala recipe mix is listed below the Tandoori Chicken recipe in case you don't have any on had. It is much less expensive to make your own and it is easier than you think.
More healthy Recipes to Love:
- Perfectly Juicy Baked Chicken Breast
- Easy Butter Chicken
- Green Curry Chicken
- Easy Keto Tortilla Chips
Easy Keto Tandoori Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, no skin and deboned if desired 8 thighs
- 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon paprika (Smoked is best)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala Recipe for Garam Masala posted below the recipe if you dont have any.
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cut very shallow little lines into the skinless chicken thighs and add them to a gallon sized zipper bag or a bowl.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add yogurt to make a paste.Add mixture to the zipper bag or bowl. I like using a zipper bag because I can massage the spices deep into the chicken this way.
- Let marinade in the refrigerator for at LEAST 8 hours, 24 hours is best. You can do this before bed one night and pop it in the oven after work the next night.
- Remove the majority of the marinade before cooking the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook on a sheet pan for 35-40 minutes. Or until it is 165F and has a dark finish.
Cooling Cucumber Sauce to Drizzle Chicken (Optional)
- Blend 1 cup yogurt, 1 med cucumber and a few mint leaves until smooth. Drizzle over chicken as desired before eating.
Readers' Favorite Categories:
The recipe for Garam Masala makes one serving...You can double, triple or octuple it if you want to save it for other recipes. Just make sure to mix well and store it in an airtight jar away from light.
Garam Masala Spice Mix:
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon cardamom
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
If you are looking for a side dish to go with the Tandoori Chicken, rice or lentils are USUALLY served with it BUT those are not very Keto Friendly.
I served this meal with cauliflower rice, spiced with turmeric and cayenne pepper. You can add some tomato paste to make it zippy, just make sure it is sugar free so that you don't blow your carb intake for the day.
Add a side salad and you have a complete Keto Meal that tastes like you spent hours preparing. It does take some work on the front end if you need to make the Garam Masala but it's worth it.
The most important aspect of staying on track with ANY diet is to keep yourself from being bored.
Mixing it up takes some effort but you won't be able to keep it up eating the same old thing everyday unless you are way more dedicated than anyone I know. Check out the other Keto Dinner Recipes that have become favorites at our house...
The Ketogenic diet has taught me to be a lot more discerning about what I feed my body and my family. Food is slowly but surely becoming fuel instead of a reward.
Sure, I enjoy treats but they are no longer on my mind like they used to be. And, my tastes for "treats" are changing. Now a bowl of berries with homemade whipped cream sounds heavenly.
Whereas, before Keto I would have just thought of it as an okay snack. I know that I go on and on about the virtues of this diet.
But as an example: I love chocolate, have always loved chocolate and never thought I would go a day without it.
I wouldn't lie to you about it because I know so many people feel the same way....But, the truth is that I just don't crave it like I used to.
Does that seem weird? It's definitely weird for me...
Do you still have cravings? If so, what are they?
Let us know in the comments below...