Tandoori Chicken – Air Fryer

Tandoori Chicken Air Fryer

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.

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.

Tandoori Chicken Air Fryer

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.

I use a grill pan to make this in my Philips Air Fryer. However you can make this in the air fryer basket if you don’t have a grill pan. I just find the cleanup easier with the grill pan.

Tandoori Chicken Air Fryer

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.

Tandoori Chicken Air Fryer

Here is a quick 1 minute video to share how easy it is to make this dish in the air fryer:

Tandoori Chicken Air Fryer
Tandoori Chicken - Air Fryer
Prep Time
1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins

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. Low carb and keto friendly. 

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 231 kcal
Author: Piping Pot Curry
  • 5 Chicken Drumsticks de-skinned (about 1.6 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • 4 Lemon wedges
For Marinade
  1. Make 3-4 slits on each drumstick.  

  2. Mix together all ingredients for the marinade. 

  3. 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). 

  4. 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. 

  5. Cook in air fryer at 360°F for 10 mins. Flip over the chicken, and baste with oil. Then cook for another 5 minutes. 

  6. Remove on a serving plate. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges and sliced onion.

Recipe Notes
  • 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, followed by 3 minutes of broiling to get the charred marks. 
Nutrition Facts
Tandoori Chicken - Air Fryer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.7g 20%
Saturated Fat 3.2g 16%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 957mg 40%
Potassium 101mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 4.3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 22.6g 45%
Calcium 3%
Iron 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

If you make this recipe, leave a comment, share your creation on our facebook page or on instagram with #pipingpotcurry.

Check out other delicious air fryer recipe – Tandoori Gobi, Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Frittata.


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Tandoori Chicken Air Fryer Oven


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2 thoughts on “Tandoori Chicken – Air Fryer

    1. Hey Neha – I would start with 5 minutes, then turn and add 3 minutes depending on how much it is cooked. Let me know if you try it!

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