Tandoori Chicken Legs

Tandoori chicken is the thing that absolutely catches my eye. The gorgeous red just screams ‘eat me’. Unfortunately, this gorgeous red is mostly chemical and I’m not a fan of artificial dyes. Natural dyes failed to stick to my chicken most of the time though so after many attempts at making this dish red in the least chemical ways I now conclude it is not possible to the extend of achieving a restaurant effect. I’ve read that originally the colour red was due to cayenne pepper and that’s what you can use for your chicken. Also adding turmeric will make the dish a bit yellow. And that’s what I did with mine, appropriate spice mixture gave me some yellow-reddish effect. Apparently I didn’t use a lot of cayenne pepper as I’m not a fan of hot but you can add as much as you want. If you have at home some garam masala you can also add it to your tandoori chicken. Recipe inspired by this one.


  • 4 chicken legs
  •  2 cloves of garlic
  • 3  cm ginger root
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red mild pepper
  • 1 cup of yogurt


First you need to wash the chicken legs and remove the skin. It shouldn’t be too difficult, just use your fingers to simply peel it off and cut at the end if it doesn’t want to tear off. Now slash each leg with you knife. I make three cuts on each side, this will allow the marinade to penetrate the chicken with all spicy flavours. Now prepare the marinade. Grate the garlic cloves and ginger and add all spices along with lemon juice and yogurt. Mix all well and put the chicken legs into your marinade. Make sure they are well covered in the marinade and put to fridge. Ideally it should marinate overnight.

Now take the marinated chicken legs out and scrub off the excess of the marinade. Put on a grill rack in your pre-heated oven for around 45 minutes at 250C. Turn once after half the time has passed. Make sure to put some tray lined with alufoil underneath the grill rack since quite a lot of fat will render out of those chicken legs.

If you want to present it the restaurant style and you have such cast iron pan for serving it you can slice some red onion, roll it in a bit of olive oil and spices of your choice and put into your oven for around 10 minutes at 200C. Take out and place the tandoori chicken legs on top of the onions, pop back into oven for another 2-5 minutes and that will give you a beautiful sizzling effect when you serve this meal.

4 thoughts on “Tandoori Chicken Legs

    • thanks for the tip, it sounds really interesting, never heard about beet powder before, I will be on the lookout! I even went as far as using cooked beetroot and adding it to the yogurt marinade but that didn’t give great effects. I’ll make sure to try and find this powder, thanks :)

  1. This recipe sounds amazing. I’d love to try it, but are the spoons you mention in the ingredients teaspoons or tablespoons? This might be obvious, but I’m kind of a beginner cook.


    • Hi Sue, you are right I should have specified – corrected now, these are teaspoons but in the end you can adjust the spices to your taste :)

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