Tandoori Chicken made in the Air Fryer, a flavor packed spicy dish from the Indian subcontinent popular all over the world. Chicken is marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic, spices and lemon juice, then grilled in the air fryer or oven.
As you will see in the recipe video, Tandoori Chicken is ridiculously easy to make, but is still one of the best chicken dishes you will ever have! This is also a low carb or keto friendly dish, so you can enjoy it guilt free.
At any Indian restaurant, Tandoori Chicken is always on the menu. You might also see bright red colored tandoori chicken in the buffets. Okay, I kind of dislike that bright red color in the restaurants because I know it is added food coloring. However when making Tandoori Chicken at home, I can add the right ingredients and get the color naturally with spices.
Tandoori Chicken is definitely a crowd pleaser, so make it for your next get together or party. I use the oven to make this when I need to make a large quantity. But the air fryer is perfect, when I am just making for two and I don't have to heat up the entire kitchen.
What is Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori Chicken gets it's name from the tandoor, cylindrical clay oven, that it is traditionally cooked in. The chicken is added to skewers and put in the hot tandoor. With the high temperature in the tandoor, the chicken is cooked nicely and chars on the outside.
It was interesting that Tandoori Chicken came to the USA in 1960's. A recipe for it was printed in the Los Angeles Times in 1962.
You can also make this recipe for a party with wings. Check out my Tandoori Chicken Wings recipe.
Preparing Tandoori Chicken in Air Fryer
Let's start with gathering all the ingredients. The main step is to prepare the marinade. The yogurt marinade helps to make the chicken tender. We want the marinade to be relatively thick, so that it sticks well to the chicken and does not drip much when we cook. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. You can store marinated chicken in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
I use chicken drumsticks, which is how Tandoori Chicken is traditionally made. You can use chicken breasts too.
Another tip is to use kashmiri red chili powder for this recipe, as it gives the natural red color. When you eat in restaurants, they usually add food coloring to get the bright red color. So here is our natural substitute to get the perfect color to the tandoori chicken. You could use Cayenne pepper or Paprika to get the desired red color too.
Just 15 minutes to cook this spicy chicken in the air fryer. I do not preheat the air fryer and it works perfectly!
Enjoy Tandoori Chicken as an appetizer or as a main dish with a side salad. You can have it with green chutney or a mild yogurt based dip.
Check out other delicious air fryer recipe -
Tandoori Chicken - Air Fryer
- 5 Chicken Drumsticks de-skinned (about 1.6 lbs)
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 tablespoon Cilantro leaves to garnish
- 4 Lemon wedges
- ¼ cup Yogurt thick
- 1 tablespoon Garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon Ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne or Red Chili powder Kashmiri chili powder preferred
- ½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin (Jeera powder)
- 1 tablespoon Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- Make 3-4 slits on each drumstick.
- Mix together all ingredients for the marinade.
- Apply evenly to chicken drumsticks and let them marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator (you can keep it refrigerated for up to 10 hours).
- Remove marinated chicken from refrigerator when ready to cook. Arrange in a single layer in the air fryer pan or basket. Baste with some cooking oil.
- Cook in air fryer at 360°F for 10 mins. Flip over the chicken, and baste with oil. Then cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove on a serving plate. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges and sliced onion.
- This recipe makes spicy Tandoori Chicken. Adjust red chili powder to your taste.
- If you have, use kashmiri red chili powder for this recipe, as it gives the natural red color. You could use Cayenne pepper or Paprika as a substitute too.
- Oven Variation: Preheat oven at 450 F. Then bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn and cook for another 5-10 minutes until it is cooked. Follow this by 3-5 minutes of broiling to get the charred marks.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.