Uncle Bill's Barbecue Tandoori Chicken

"I had holidays in Fiji and really enjoyed the Indian style of cooking. Although the chefs would not give me the recipes for any of the food they prepared, I took great notice as to what they may have used and finally developed my own style of Indian cooking. This recipe is one of many I have developed and has been a big hit even with the East Indians in our area."
photo by C.C619 photo by C.C619
photo by C.C619
Ready In:
5hrs 25mins




  • Remove all skin and fat particles from chicken pieces and discard.
  • Using a sharp knife, make several incisions about 1/4" deep in each chicken piece.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine tomato paste, ginger, minced garlic, pepper flakes, chili pepper, yogurt, coriander, cumin, salt curry powder, saffron strands and olive oil; mix well.
  • Add chicken pieces to mixture and turn to coat on all sides.
  • Cover and marinate chicken for at least 5 hours or overnight; keep in the refrigerator.
  • Spray barbecue grill with a no-stick vegetable spray.
  • Preheat barbecue to medium-hight heat.
  • Place chicken pieces directly on grill.
  • Barbecue on medium-high heat for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once.
  • While barbecuing, baste chicken with any left over sauce.
  • To ensure that the chicken is fully cooked, take a knife and cut into the thickest piece of chicken; there should be no pink showing.
  • Serve hot or cold.
  • Saffron strands may be purchased at most super markets.
  • I do not use saffron powder.
  • If desired, leave the skin on the chicken pieces.
  • You may also make this recipe using all chicken breasts, (boneless or bone-in).

Questions & Replies

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  1. C.C619
    I loved this recipe, thanks for posting Uncle Bill.
  2. Mr Jackson
    Uncle Bill. This was pretty good. I used a cut up fryer. If I make it again, I think I will use skinless boneless breast meat. The flavor didn't penetrate the thighs or the wings very well. I think the version in the Joy of Cooking is closer in flavor to true Tandoori Chicken. Thanks again.
  3. echo echo
    I made this without saffron, which I didn't have on hand, but it was still absolutely delectable. The flavor was great and my relatives couldn't stop commenting on how tender the chicken was. There's just a subtle curry taste, which makes it a good accompaniment to Indian style dishes with a more powerful curry presence. Spicy but only mildly hot.
  4. BonnieZ
    Uncle Bill, I owe you an apology. I made this one about two weeks ago and missed reviewing it. Other than cutting back on the amount of oil and salt for diet restrictions, I followed the recipe, using skinless chicken legs and thighs. I did choose to marinate overnight, and found the chicken to be deliciously moist. The flavor was outstanding, with the saffrom being a nice touch. Thank you Uncle Bill for sharing the recipe.
  5. dale7793
    This was delicious and tender. I marinated the chicken overnight and used skinless breasts. I cooked the chicken on my sandwhich grill and it was great. Thanks!



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