This Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry recipe is so simple yet tastes like you spent hours on it. Easy and authentic, this recipe requires only 20 minutes of prep time!
If you’re like me, you have your reliable, ‘go-to’ recipes for company. These are recipes that you’re familiar with, can prepare in advance, and can whip up with comfort and ease.
This baked tandoori chicken curry has been one of mine for years. Originally adapted from Fauzia’s Saucy Baked Chicken, it’s one of those recipes that I used to make when I was just starting to host guests, when I wasn’t as comfortable with elaborate dinners but still wanted the meal to feel special.
How to make Tandoori Baked Chicken Curry
This baked tandoori chicken curry is a breeze to make. You just throw all the ingredients in a food processor, chop them up to form a smooth paste, then marinate the chicken (overnight is ideal), cover, and bake!
Remove the foil and give it a little broil at the end for the full tandoori effect. Like the original recipe suggests, I use the leftovers as a filling or topping for Tandoori Chicken Pizza (a great next-day meal for overnight guests).
Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- Whole Chicken – I buy this pre-cut. You can also substitute bone-in chicken thighs or boneless chicken, though it’ll require a shorter cook time.
- Red Onion – Red onion is less pungent than yellow, which works well here since the onions are not being sautéed.
- Yogurt – An essential ingredient here. Coconut milk would be a great dairy-free substitute.
- Tomato Paste – Tomatoes have too much water content so tomato paste is ideal here.
- Oil – Any oil will work here.
- Crushed garlic + ginger – I add a small amount to get the flavor without being overpowering.
- Tandoori Masala Powder – This is what gives it the Tandoori taste. See FAQ if you’d like to skip it.
- Spices – I use a handful of curry spices to enhance the flavor.
- Green Chili Pepper – Omit if you don’t want the extra heat.
- Cilantro & Lemon juice – These are meant to balance and enhance the flavors.
Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry FAQs
Many ovens have a broil function set to a high temperature (up to 550F). The broil just adds the char (tandoori) effect. If you’re using boneless chicken and are afraid it’ll dry out, feel free to skip this step.
First of all, increase salt because Tandoori Masala generally includes salt in the ingredients. I’d also suggest increasing the other spices and substituting 2 tbsp of the tandoori masala with 1 tbsp of a garam masala that you like. Taste the mixture and adjust as needed. Note that the raw curry will be sharp-tasting before cooking.
It would bake in less time. I’d say 30-40 minutes total would be sufficient.
As always, if you have any questions or if you try this recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments!
More Chicken Curry recipes:
Leftovers? Shred the chicken off the bones and use them in this Tandoori Chicken Pizza!
Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry (Easy & Authentic)
- Roasting Pan or Baking Dish
- 1 whole chicken cut up, skinless, around 2.5 lbs
- 1 medium to large red onion cut into eighths
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp neutral oil I use avocado or grapeseed
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp crushed ginger
- 2 tbsp tandoori masala powder*
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp each turmeric powder, cumin powder, & coriander powder optional
- 1/4 tsp Asian red chilli powder or cayenne or to taste
- 2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 small green chili pepper cut in half
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- ½-1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Use a knife to cut 2-3 slits into each chicken piece and place in a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients listed in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture onto the chicken and mix to ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
- If possible, remove the chicken from the fridge to allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken pieces side by side (with its marinade) in a 9" x 13" oven-safe pan or roaster. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place the baking dish on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and use a tong to turn over the chicken pieces. Cover with foil again and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the foil, turn your broiler on to high, and let the chicken broil for about 2-3 minutes. Then, turn the pieces over and broil again for 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken has a nice charred finish.
- Serve with naan or baked French fries and a salad.