If you want to make juicy and tender chicken tandoori at home without a tandoor, you need to try out this air fryer method because the results are impressive.
In this recipe post, I will show you how to prepare and marinate tandoori chicken which has been tested in the air fryer.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised how quick and easy this recipe was, which is now my go-to method of cooking restaurant-quality tandoori chicken at home.
This recipe is very versatile because it can be enjoyed on any weeknight, whether you’re looking for something healthy or low-carb, or you can prepare it for the week-ahead with salad bowls for high protein meal preps.
What Is Air Fryer Chicken Tandoori?
Seeing as tandoori chicken gets its name from the tandoor clay oven, it can be tricky to make this recipe at home and get the same restaurant-quality flavors.
However, if you nail the tandoori masala (spice mix) recipe, you can get similar results at home by using the grill or oven.
Recently, I tried making tandoori chicken in the air fryer and got astonishing results which is why I’m sharing this recipe.
Air fryers use the circulation of hot air to cook food which means certain foods will cook and crisp up fast and evenly.
From experience, I find that chicken is my preferred cooking method for air fryers because you can cook it to perfection in little time – especially chicken thighs, legs or wings where the meat is tender and juicy.
This is very convenient for days when I’m batch cooking or if I need to prepare a quick dinner on a weeknight.
Furthermore, if you love fakeaway recipes, this chicken tandoori is right up there, and you must give this a try if you have an air fryer.
Or legs, or wings! You can use the tandoori spice mix on your preferred type of chicken, and you’ll get amazing results from the air fryer.
Chicken breasts are lean and will cook to perfection within 12 minutes which is more suitable for healthy or meal prep recipes where you can add it to salads.
Chicken thighs or legs are juicier and will take around 18-20 minutes which is more ideal for weeknights which you can eat with salads and flatbread.
2) Tandoori Spice Masala (Spice Mix)
The key to this recipe is the spice mix and this recipe tries to keep it simplified for home cooks.
Traditionally, it’s made with a mix of spices that have been toasted and blended which does require time, patience, and you’ll need to source the right spices.
In Indian restaurants, especially in the UK, the spice mix is a long list of ingredients which also includes many pastes like tandoori paste, mustard paste, and tikka paste.
To make this at home, you can keep it super simple but combining these ground spices together:
- Garam Masala
- Ground Coriander
- Ground Cumin
- Kashmir Red Chili Powder
- Ground Fenugreek
- Ground Turmeric
- Paprika Powder
Also you will need to mix this with:
- Garlic and Ginger Paste
- Natural Yogurt
- Lemon Juice
- Brown Sugar
- Mustard Oil
What about red food coloring? This is totally optional if you want to mimic the restaurant-quality look and presentation, however, it’s totally fine to avoid.
How To Make Tandoori Chicken In The Air Fryer (Photo Guide)
To your mixing bowl add the tandoori spice mix, natural yogurt, mustard oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar.
Add your chicken pieces and stir to combine. Keep it marinated and stored in the fridge for around 4 to 8 hours.
Add the marinated chicken to the air fryer basket. Cook for 20 minutes and ensure you flip the chicken halfway through.
Here are the results. As you can see, they look and taste pretty good considering I can walk away and allow it to cook.
- Keep the marinated chicken stored in the fridge for around 4 to 8 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the air fryer for around 5 minutes for best results.
- If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use this exact same recipe to grill or bake the tandoori chicken.
- Reapply the marinade halfway through cooking.
- If you don’t have mustard oil, you can use vegetable oil.
Can You Reheat Tandoori Chicken?
Yes, it’s safe to reheat once within 3-4 days after it has been cooked. You can reheat it in the air fryer, microwave, stove top, or oven.
How Long Does Chicken Tandoori Last?
It will last up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. This recipe is good for meal prep or batch cooking which you can reheat or eat cold with summer salads.
Do You Have To Flip The Chicken In An Air Fryer?
Yes, you should flip the chicken halfway through which helps the chicken crisp up and cook to perfection.
Is This Recipe Good For Low Carb Diets?
It can be good for many low-carb diets because you can eat the chicken with salads.
Related Spicy Chicken Recipes
- Peri Peri Chicken Thighs
- Cheesy Chicken Buffalo Pasta
- Healthy Chicken Shish Kebab
- Healthy Chicken Saag Curry
Air Fryer Chicken Tandoori Recipe
- 600 g (1.32 lb) chicken thighs fillet
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) ground cumin
- 2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- To prepare the tandoori masala (spice mix blend), you will need to mix together: garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin, kashmiri red chili powder, ground fenugreek, ground turmeric, and ground paprika.
- To your mixing bowl add the chicken, tandoori masala, natural yogurt, mustard oil, lemon juice, and brown sugar.
- Stir to combine and cover. Allow it to marinate and keep it in the fridge for 4 to 8 hours, or overnight.
- Pre-heat the air fryer for 5 minutes on 180°C / 350°F.
- Add the marinated chicken to the air fryer basket and cook for 20 minutes on 180°C / 350°F. Ensure you flip the chicken half way through and re-apply any leftover marinade on the chicken.
- Serve with salad or naan breads.
- You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
- Ensure chicken is piping hot when reheated.
- Best served with red onion, lettuce, lemon, tomato, mint sauce and flat breads.
Data source: USDA
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