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Quick Tandoori Chicken Thighs

Scott Phillips

Servings: four to six.

Fire up your grill for this Indian-inspired dinner. While the grill heats, the chicken soaks in a yogurt-and-spice marinade which helps tenderize the meat and brings lots of tangy flavor to the dish.


  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Vegetable oil for the grill

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 210
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 120
  • Fat (g): 13
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 105
  • Carbohydrates (g): 1
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 21


  • In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, 1/2 tsp. salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and turn to coat them thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate while you heat the grill.
  • Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. If you are using a charcoal grill, spread the hot coals across two-thirds of the bottom grate and leave the remaining portion clear. If you are using gas, turn one of the burners to low to create a cooler zone. Scrub the grill grate with a wire brush and then use a paper towel to wipe it with oil.
  • Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and wipe off the excess (don’t worry if some remains). Put the chicken, skin side down, directly over the hot part of the grill and grill, covered, until the skin is browned, 3 to 4 minutes (don’t leave the grill at this point because flare-ups may occur; if they do, move the chicken away from the flame).
  • Flip the chicken and grill until well browned on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes. Move the thighs to the cooler part of the grill and continue to grill, covered, until their internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Serve with basmati rice and Cabbage & Carrot Stir-Fry. For dessert, try Mango Lassi Parfaits or simply sliced mango drizzled with sweetened coconut milk.


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Reviews (8 reviews)

  • CUParent | 05/13/2011

    I thought this was excellent. I followed another reviewers suggestion and doubled the spices. I did marinate overnight. I tried both thighs (excellent) and a boneless and skinless breast (didn't like, too bland and tough). I would definitely make again. LOVED the Cabbage and Carrot stir fry and Mango Lassi Parfait.

  • thecrazygourmand | 04/08/2011

    These were very good, although I did make a couple changes. First off, I used whole milk greek yogurt as that is what I had, and I increased all of the spices and salt by double at least. My recommendation is to keep adding spices and salt until it reaches your liking. I agree that marinating at least an hour would make them even better, but I did a 20 minute marinade and they were still delicious.I paired mine with spiced Basmati rice with golden raisins and pistachios and for dessert, I made the Mango Lassi Parfaits, also on this site, and they were fabulous! A perfect ending to the meal! The chicken and parfaits will now be added to the regular rotation!

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