Best Tandoori Chicken Recipe without Yogurt

Let’s spice up our chicken with a tangy, flavorful Tandoori marinade in this Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt recipe.

Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt

Tandoori chicken, usually made with yogurt, is a beloved Indian dish. It has a vibrant red color and a unique combination of spicy, smoky, and tangy flavors.

But what if you’re lactose intolerant or avoiding dairy?

No worries! This recipe will show you how to make delicious Tandoori Chicken without the need for yogurt.

This Tandoori Chicken recipe uses a flavorful spice paste to prepare the chicken before applying the mouthwatering Tandoori marinade.

And trust us, the absence of yogurt won’t impact the taste at all!

Let’s dive into it.

Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt

The fantastic thing about this Tandoori Chicken recipe is its simplicity.

We’ll start by preparing a spice paste, then apply it to the chicken. After that, it’s all about the Tandoori marinade.

This marinade is what will give your chicken its beautiful, vibrant red color and amazing flavors. Finally, the chicken is cooked to perfection.

It’s a straightforward process, and the results are incredible.

Now, let’s see what ingredients we’ll need for this fantastic Tandoori Chicken.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the chicken:

  • 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks (skin removed)

For the spice paste:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

And for the Tandoori marinade:

  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut milk (ideally, use the cream from the top of a can of refrigerated full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (adjust to taste)

These ingredients will create a flavorful, aromatic chicken bursting with spices.

You’ll find the exact measurements in the recipe card below.

How to Make Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt

Making yogurt-free Tandoori Chicken involves three steps:

  1. Preparing the chicken
  2. Preparing the spice paste
  3. Preparing the Tandoori Marinade and cooking the chicken

Here’s a summary of what you’ll do:

Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

Begin by removing the chicken skin and making few shallow slashes on each piece. This allows the spices and marinade to penetrate the chicken better.

Step 2: Preparing the Spice Paste

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Next, prepare your spice paste. In a small bowl, mix the salt, paprika, and lime juice.

Apply this paste all over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Set aside the chicken for around 30 minutes to let the flavors seep in.

Step 3: Preparing the Tandoori Marinade and Cooking the Chicken

Now it’s time to create your Tandoori marinade. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, lime juice, coconut milk, and all the spices. Blend until everything is well combined and you have a smooth paste.

Coat the chicken with this vibrant Tandoori marinade, making sure each piece is coated evenly.

Cover the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or preferably overnight.

To cook the chicken, you have a couple of options. You can grill it on a barbecue, bake it in the oven, or use an air fryer.

Once cooked, the chicken will have a fantastic red color and a tantalizing smell.

For the complete cooking times and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

Note: Remember, chicken drumsticks might take longer to cook than other chicken parts. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Tips for the Best Tandoori Chicken

Now, here are a few tips to make your Tandoori Chicken truly fantastic:

  1. Marinate it overnight – For the most flavor, marinate the chicken overnight. If you’re short on time, aim for at least 4 hours.
  2. Don’t skip the spice paste – Although it’s optional, I highly recommend the spice paste. It enhances the chicken’s flavor and complements the Tandoori marinade.
  3. Adjust spices to your liking – The spice quantities in the recipe are a starting point. You can adjust them according to your preference for spiciness.
  4. Use a meat thermometer – This is especially important if you’re baking the chicken. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Remember these tips while making your Tandoori Chicken, and prepare for a mouthwatering experience!

What to Serve With Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is a versatile dish that you can pair with various sides. Here are a few popular options:

  • Naan bread – It’s a classic accompaniment. Soft, fluffy Naan bread perfectly complements the spiciness of the chicken.
  • Rice pilaf – A flavorful, fragrant rice pilaf is an excellent choice. The mildness of the rice contrasts nicely with the chicken’s robust flavors.
  • Cucumber and mint raita – Although the chicken itself doesn’t contain yogurt, you can still serve a delicious cucumber and mint raita on the side. It provides a refreshing balance.
  • Mixed greens salad – A light, fresh salad works well if you want something cooling alongside the chicken.
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Of course, you can enjoy Tandoori Chicken on its own as a protein-rich main course. It’s equally delicious!

Variations

You can modify this recipe to suit your preferences:

  • Chicken cut preference – If you’re not a fan of drumsticks, you can use other cuts like chicken breast or thigh. However, remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Make it spicier – If you love heat, increase the cayenne powder quantity or add some chopped green chilies to the marinade.
  • Make it milder – Reduce the cayenne powder or omit it altogether for a milder version.
  • Make it smokier – You can add a few drops of liquid smoke for that authentic smoky tandoor flavor, especially if you’re baking the chicken.
  • Make it creamier – If you’re not avoiding dairy, you can replace the coconut milk with yogurt for a creamy texture.
  • Add a splash of lemon – Some people prefer lemon juice over lime. You can make that switch if you like.
  • Make it nuttier – You can add a tablespoon of almond powder or ground cashews for a richer, nutty flavor.

Feel free to experiment with these variations and make your Tandoori Chicken truly yours!

Storage Tips

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftover Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt should last 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

You can also freeze the leftovers. Place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and store them for up to 3 months.

Remember to thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Reheat refrigerated or thawed chicken in the microwave until it’s hot all the way through.

While the chicken remains safe to eat beyond 4 days in the fridge, its quality may deteriorate. Always check for any signs of spoilage before consuming leftover chicken.

What to Do with Leftover Tandoori Chicken

If you find yourself with leftover chicken, don’t worry. There are plenty of delicious ways to use it:

  • Chicken Wrap or Sandwich – Shred the leftover chicken and use it as a filling for wraps or sandwiches. Add some veggies and a sauce for a satisfying lunch.
  • Chicken Fried Rice – Chop the chicken into small pieces and use it to make a delectable chicken fried rice.
  • Chicken Salad – Shred or chop the chicken and toss it with some mayonnaise, chopped veggies, and seasonings for a tasty chicken salad.
  • Chicken Pizza – Use the leftover chicken as a pizza topping for a unique, flavorful pizza.
  • Chicken Quesadilla – Create a mouthwatering chicken quesadilla by combining your leftover chicken with cheese in a tortilla.
  • Chicken Soup – Simmer the leftover chicken with some chicken broth, vegetables, and spices for a comforting, hearty chicken soup.
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These ideas should get you started, but feel free to get creative with your leftovers. Tandoori Chicken’s strong flavors work well in a variety of dishes.

Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt

Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of Tandoori Chicken without the use of yogurt. This recipe features a spice paste and a Tandoori marinade that infuses the chicken with aromatic spices. Whether grilled, baked, or air fried, this Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt is a flavorful and delicious option for any occasion.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 411 kcal

Ingredients
  

For The Chicken

  • 4 pounds chicken drumsticks (skin removed)

For the spice paste

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ lime juiced

For the Tandoori marinade

  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk (ideally, use the cream from the top of a can of refrigerated full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika (adjust to taste)
  • ½ tsp cayenne powder (adjust to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Start by preparing the chicken. Remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks and make shallow slashes on each piece.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, paprika, and lime juice to prepare the spice paste.
  • Apply the spice paste to the chicken, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic cloves, ginger, lime juice, coconut milk, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, salt, paprika, and cayenne powder. Blend until a smooth paste forms.
  • Coat the chicken with the Tandoori marinade, making sure each piece is evenly coated. Cover the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or preferably overnight.
  • To cook the chicken, you have multiple options. You can grill it on a barbecue, bake it in the oven, or use an air fryer. Follow the appropriate cooking method and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Once cooked, the Tandoori Chicken without Yogurt is ready to be served. Enjoy it alongside naan bread, rice pilaf, cucumber and mint raita, or a mixed greens salad.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.