Authentic Tandoori Chicken Recipe With Garlic and Rosemary


By Rinku Battacharya @wchestermasala & online at:

Looking for an authentic tandoori chicken recipe? 

Food Contributor

Food Contributor

I love company! There are few things I enjoy more than sipping a glass of wine, or for that matter ginger tea and eating with friends. However, more than eating with friends, I love cooking for friends. After all, let’s face it, food was created for sharing. This weekend however, I experienced the effects of a monster that I had created… Let me explain, I usually use my friends as guinea pigs, approvers of my latest culinary creations. This usually translates to my having some recipe that is new or different on the menu. This has been great for me, since it allows me to weed out what works and what does not. For the most part, my friends tend to be excited and enthusiastic about trying different things.

This past Saturday, we had some friends who came in unexpectedly and I did not think twice before adding in a couple of additional spots on the table. It comes naturally to me. All was well, until, the innocent question was asked about what was new on the table…

I was making an authentic tandoori chicken recipe, a no-fuss oven baked variety. Nothing wrong with that, well, but nothing new about that either. I peeked into the refrigerators and inspiration hit, I had some rosemary, sitting around in all its fragrant glory. This is when today’s creation was born. It is really tandoori chicken with some garlic and rosemary.

Photo courtesy: Rinku Battacharaya

Photo courtesy: Rinku Battacharaya

Who would have thought that matching two layers of classic seasoning would result in such genius!  The succulent tandoor chicken is great by itself, however mixing it up a little makes for an unusual dish that is sheer magic. If you like garlic like me, you will love the depth of flavor this roasted garlic brings to the table.

Of course, if you prefer to stick to the tested and tried, all you need to do is to eliminate the garlic and rosemary and you will still have a great tasting dish to enjoy. This marinade and flavoring can be applied to a whole chicken to offer you a roast chicken that is different for your holiday table.

If you are truly in the mood for comforting flavors, you can serve this with polenta like me. I like to use chicken legs for this, but you can use whatever suits your fancy, however since this is cooked skinless it helps to have the darker meat. You can try this with chicken wings, if you wish for a party snack.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!  I hope that you will check out my cookbook, a great gift idea for the foodie in your life too!

Tandoori Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary

Prep Time: 5 minutes plus 6 hours to marinate

Cook Time: 35 minutes (mostly unattended)



1 cup lowfat Greek Yogurt

7 pods garlic

11/2 inch piece fresh ginger

3 green chilies (optional, I leave this out for my kids)

1 tablespoon commercial tandoori masala (premade spice mix)

1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

3 pounds of skinned chicken drumsticks (allow about 2 pieces per person)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 lime or lemon


To garnish

Lime wedges or slices

Cucumber Slices

Sliced Red onions

Chopped cilantro and or mint

Photo Courtesy Rinku Battacharay

Photo Courtesy Rinku Battacharaya

Method of Preparation

Place the yogurt, 3 pods of garlic and ginger and the green chilies (if using) in the blender and puree the mixture.

  1. Place in a mixing bowl and add in the tandoori masala, salt and stir well.
  2. Stir in the tandoori masala and the salt and add the chicken and let the chicken rest for 6 hours.
  3. Slice the remaining pods of garlic and set aside.
  4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Place the chicken in a single layer on a baking dish.
  6. Drizzle with the olive oil, and the sliced garlic and bake the chicken for 25 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinade.
  7. Turn the temperature to broil and sprinkle with the rosemary and cook for a minute or two to let the chicken crisp at spots.
  8. Cut the lime or lemon and squeeze the juice over the chicken.
  9. Serve the chicken, garnished with the lime wedges, cucumber slices and the cilantro or mint.

More About Rinku:

Rinku Bhattacharya, is a teacher of Indian Cooking and the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester.  Rinku and her family are very committed to a sustainable lifestyle, and she uses mostly local produce for her recipes. She is joined in this effort by her husband who is an avid gardener and her children, Deepta and Aadi. To follow the blog and keep up with the seasons in her garden, you can follow her facebook page.

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