Aarti's Easy Tandoori Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups Aarti's Tandoori Marinade, recipe follows, divided

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon honey

4 cups mixed salad greens

Olive oil, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Aarti's Tandoori Marinade:

2 chiles de arbol

3 tablespoons fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

5 cloves

Seeds from 4 green cardamom pods

Seeds from 1 black cardamom pod

3 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 cloves garlic

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled

4 cups plain yogurt (recommended: full fat)

1/2 cup peanut oil

Juice of 2 limes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toss the chicken breasts in 1 cup tandoori marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.
  2. In a saute pan, heat the vegetable oil, and cook the chicken for about 7 minutes per side, until cooked through. Alternately, you can also grill the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour the remaining 1 cup of marinade into the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the honey and turn off the heat. Toss the salad greens with some olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice and salt, and pepper, to taste. Serve each chicken breast over a bed of greens and top with the heated tandoori sauce.

Aarti's Tandoori Marinade:

  1. To make the Marinade: 
  2. Put the chiles, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, seeds from cardamom pods (Cook's Note: Crush the pods to open, remove the seeds and throw away the hulls.), paprika, and cinnamon in a saute pan over medium heat until fragrant and toasty, about 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning. Pour the mixture into a coffee or spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. 
  3. Throw the garlic and ginger into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely minced, then add the yogurt, oil, and lime juice. Process the mixture until as smooth as possible. Add the spice powder and process again. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper, to taste. Keep the marinade in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cook’s Note

If you are going to use the marinade immediately include the lime juice. If you are using the marinade at a later time, use lime zest instead so that the yogurt doesn't curdle.