Appetizers/ Entree/ Poultry

Tandoori Chicken Thigh Kabobs

This isn’t a red tandoori and can be an appetizer or main dish.

I have been wanting to make an Indian dish for a long time. After a recent visit to Chicago to visit our son, daughter-in-law and two sweet grandsons we cooked Peruvian one night, ribs another night, out for Korean, then our last night there we prepared a wonderful very scentiful Indian meal consisting of Garlic Naan, Spinach Dahl, Samosas with mango chutney and my daughter-in-law, Missy made some Indian Chicken Skewers and we enjoyed the meal with some Indian music playing in the background. We like to coordinate our music to our meal. We also found some Peruvian music to go with the Peruvian chicken thanks to Google Play.

I think I tasted my first tripe in Chicago, my first Korean BBQ, cheeks, first Harissa fish dish, and probably some foods I didn’t know what I was eating while visiting. So, when it comes to Indian food, I rely on Scott and Missy to show us the way. I have made naan and samosas before but the Spinach Dahl was a first for me.

I only had one day after returning from Chicago to prepare something for our bunco meeting and killing time at the airport waiting for a delayed plane was the perfect time to come up with a recipe. Tandoori chicken kept popping up in some of my searches and after looking at a lot of recipes, I put together my own. Didn’t want it red since I had read that restaurants usually use red dye #40 to make their’s red and I realized that all tandooris do not have to be that bright red color. Anything that artificial looking quickly becomes unappetizing to me because I know that the color doesn’t come from a natural ingredient.

If you haven’t tried Indian food before, I hope you will try this or the spinach dahl or samosas I will be posting soon. Never hurts to try something new.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Potato Dominoes would be a great side dish with this chicken or any dish. I posted this a couple of years ago and plan on doing it during Thanksgiving for the kids.


Are those spices beautiful. You probably have most of them in your pantry.


Saute the ginger and garlic in oil for about one minute then add the spices and cook about 1 minute more until fragrant.


Add the spices with the yogurt and put in blender to make a paste.


Pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken chunks and let marinate in refrigerator for 2 or more hours.


Put the chunks on skewer, maybe not this close. I grilled them then took off chicken to put on smaller skewers. Make sure you oil your grill; mine started sticking so I browned really quick then finished in oven. Next time I will put on skewer rack so they don’t actually touch the grill grates.


Our favorite smoker, the Kamoto Joe and his helper. A little music helps.


Grill until no longer pink.


I re-skewered onto these cut little heart skewers. Add a squeeze of lime.

Tandoori Chicken Thighs
Serves 12
Not the traditional red Tandoori which is dyed with food coloring.
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  1. 2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs cut in 1" cubes (or do whole thighs)
  2. 1 c. plain Greek Yogurt + 1/2 c. for dipping sauce
  3. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  4. 2 limes, zested and juiced + 1-2 quartered limes for garnish
  5. 2 tsp. garam masala
  6. 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  8. 2 Tbsp. paprika
  9. 2 tsp. cumin
  10. 1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  11. 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  12. 1/2tsp. cayenne pepper
  13. 4 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped
  14. 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  15. 1 jar mango chutney
  1. If you are using leg or thighs with bones, make a couple of slashes across the skin so the marinade can soak into the meat.
  2. Put the 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and when it is hot add the garlic and ginger, cook for one minute. Add in the garam masala, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin and coriander powder and stir for about 30-60 seconds, or until it is fragrant.
  3. Put the yogurt and spices, ginger, and garlic in blender and process to make a paste. Add in the lime zest and juice. Toss the chicken in this mixture and let marinate 2 or more hours.
  4. Grill over charcoal or on gas grill or in 450° oven for about 15-20 minutes until done. (165°)
  5. When the start to brown, brush with some of the extra chutney and bake another 5-6 minutes or run under broiler for a few minutes.
  6. To make sauce mix 1/2 c. yogurt (or more) with 1/4 tsp. paprika, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Add 1/2 cup of the mango chutney to the mixture and stir well. Serve along the kabobs.
  1. Most tandoori that you will get in restaurants or even the jar marinade you buy in the store is dyed with red food coloring. This recipe does not use the food coloring so will not be the traditional red color.
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