Tandoori Chicken is one of my favourite Indian dishes. These Tandoori Style Chicken Drumsticks are a quick way to have amazing tandoori flavour, even if you don’t have a tandoor oven, which most of us here, I’m thinking, do not.
I’m no expert on Indian food or cooking. I do love to eat it, though, and love to try my hand with Indian food in the kitchen. This chicken recipe is a tandoori “style”, and not authentic in any way. It is, however, a quick and simple way to get those delicious tandoori flavours in a Canadian kitchen.
Traditional Tandoor Ovens
Traditional tandoor ovens are made of clay and heated with wood or charcoal. The ovens are extremely hot (up to 900°!) This high heat seals the juices of the chicken and keeps it moist while cooking it very quickly. Check out this article on Kitchn for more info on tandoor cooking.
I used high heat for the oven to try to get some of this effect here. It worked out really well because this tandoori chicken was delicious. It’s crisp and yet saucy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Just really tandoori (style) chicken perfection.
I love the flavour, spice, and juiciness of these tandoori drumsticks, and although you can use any chicken pieces with this recipe, drumsticks are quick to cook and economical. The marinade of yogurt, garlic, ginger and spices is traditional, and lends tons of flavour to this simple dish. And, if you want to be really authentic, check out this easy recipe for Garam Masala to make your own spice mix for even more amazing flavour.
Why is Tandoori Red?
The traditional red colouring comes from annatto seed, which is a flavourless colouring used also to colour cheddar cheese, and other foods. It isn’t a common ingredient in many kitchens. Some restaurants use food colouring to get the orange/red colouring of tandoori chicken. I found that the paprika does the trick without resorting to that.
Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks – Canadian Kitchen Style
- 2 cups plain Greek or Balkan style yogurt
- 4 teaspoons ginger minced
- 4 teaspoons garlic minced
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Juice of one lime
- Salt and fresh black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
- Whisk together the yogurt, ginger, garlic, paprika, coriander, garam masala, lime juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add chicken and coat with the yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Remove drumsticks from marinade and discard the marinade.
- Put chicken drumsticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake in the center of the oven about 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink inside.