Air fryer Tandoori Chicken is a juicy delicious chicken appetizer. Chicken drumsticks are marinated in a range of spice powders and cooked to perfection in the air fryer.
The best thing about the tandoori chicken made in the air fryer is they are juicy, the chicken is cooked perfectly, crispy and they require very less oil. This is one of the best keto chicken or even a low carb chicken.
What is Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori chicken ( pronounced as tuhn·doo·ree) is a popular chicken dish. It is prepared by marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices and then cooked to perfection. It is cooked in the traditional tandoor oven. The dish has its origin in the Indian subcontinent and is very popular now.
We get the name Tandoori Chicken from the name of the tandoor grill that we use for cooking. It is like a cylinder and the chicken is grill cooked. This is the traditional way of cooking tandoori chicken. Tandoori chicken also has a bright red color.
In restaurants, they usually add red food color for appearance. I am using Kashmiri red chili powder for the bright red color and I am satisfied with that. You can use the same or preferably any organic edible food grade color. Or just skip it if you do not prefer.
Chicken - Use chicken drumstick pieces. These pieces are best suited for tandoori chicken. However, you may also use any chicken pieces with bones. Draw slits in the chicken and then use. This helps the masala gets deeper inside the chicken making it juicier.
Yogurt - Use thick greek yogurt for a more creamy marinade.
Ginger garlic paste- Ginger and garlic add a lot of flavor to the chicken.
Spice powders- Using a variety of spice powders and I have given the quantity in the recipe card below.
Dried fenugreek leaves - These add flavor to the chicken and they are available in all Indian groceries. You can skip it if you are not able to source.
Oil - You can use any edible cooking oil. I used peanut oil. Oil helps in binding the marinade together.
How long should you marinate the chicken?
The best time is 8 hours and not more than 12 hours. If you are pressed out of time try to leave the chicken with, marination for 30 mins. The reason behind this marination time is that the yogurt in the marinade tenderizes the meat, this, in turn, results in a juicy chicken. The chicken is beautifully cooked as they fall apart from the bones.
How do I get the char marks on my chicken?
To get the beautiful char marks on the chicken, brush the chicken with little oil and then air fry for another 2 mins.
How long to air fry tandoori chicken?
We usually air fry the chicken at 400 Deg c for 14 mins. Shake once halfway. You can cook for another 1 min for a crispy chicken. However the time may differ for different brands of air fryer.
How to make tandoori chicken in air fryer
1.In a mixing bowl add the thick yogurt.
2. Next, add in all the spice powder and ginger garlic paste.
3. Also, add 1 tbsp of oil.
4. Combine everything and prepare the marinade.
5. Now take the chicken drumsticks. Draw slits. Apply the prepared marinade generously over the chicken and let it marinate overnight or for at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat the air fryer for 5 mins. Spray the basket with oil or brush with some oil. And, then arrange the marinated chicken in the air fryer baskets. Brush in oil over the marinated chicken.
7. Airfry them at 200 Deg C (392 F) for 14 mins. Shake the chicken once halfway and then air fry. If you need more of a char you may air fry for another 2 mins. Once the chicken is cooked insert a digital thermometer to the thickest part and make sure it is 165 F.
The chicken is perfectly cooked and the delicious air fryer Tandoori Chicken is now ready.
Tips & Variations
- Depending on your air fryer brand and size the cooking time may vary a little. You will need to understand your air fryer and set the time accordingly.
- Always Preheat the air fryer and then start cooking. This is to set a uniform cooking temperature throughout the air fryer for even cooking.
- Brush the air fryer basket with oil or use a cooking spray and then start cooking.
- Shake the air fryer basket once halfway as the chicken gets cooked.
- The excess fat from the chicken might drip down in the basket. So make sure you clean the basket well and dry it completely to remove any odor if any.
How to serve
In restaurants, they serve Tandoori chicken with Cilantro Mint chutney and with Mayonnaise. You can serve them with both or any one of the above with some pickled onions, Lemon wedges too.
Store the leftover tandoori chicken in zip lock bags or in air-tight containers. They stay for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the stovetop or microwave or in the air fryer at 180 deg C for 2 mins and then serve.
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Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken
- Air Fryer
- Digital Thermometer
- 4 Chicken drumsticks
- ¼ cup Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- ½ tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ tsp Pepper Powder
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Dried fenugreek leaves ( Kasoori Methi )
- 1 tbsp Oil
- In a mixing bowl add the thick yogurt. Along with that add in the minced ginger and minced garlic.
- Next, add in all the spice powder.
- Also, add 1 tbsp of oil.
- Combine everything and prepare the marinade.
- Now take the chicken drumsticks. Draw slits. Apply the prepared marinade generously over the chicken and let it marinate overnight or for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 mins. Spray the basket with oil or brush with some oil. And, then arrange the marinated chicken in the air fryer baskets. Brush in oil over the marinated chicken.
- Airfry them at 200 Deg C( 392 F)for 14 mins. Shake the chicken once halfway and then air fry. If you need more of a char and crispy chicken ,you may air fry for another 2 mins. Once the chicken is cooked insert a digital thermometer to the thickest part and make sure it is 165 F.
- The chicken is perfectly cooked and delicious air fryer Tandoori Chicken is now ready.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, the nutrition value provided here is an estimate. It will vary based on the quantity and brands of the products used.