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Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

We love putting a Paleo twist on recipes, and this grilled tandoori chicken with Indian roots is no different. Instead of yogurt in the marinade, this recipe calls for coconut milk and believe it when we say that this little switch makes it just that much better. Of course, you will still be using all the traditional spices, you can even put in a pinch more of turmeric if you like, just for the color alone. And while the authentic tandoori chicken is cooked in a clay oven, you can also grill it too, with surprisingly great results.

If you are a grill fanatic, then surely you have already discovered the amazing benefits of indirect grilling, but if you haven’t done it before, don’t worry, it is incredibly easy. To make the most of your protein source and for the meat to come out moist (not dry, or too charred) you will have to control your cooking temperature on the grill, just as in the oven. Too intense heat in too short of a time leaves you with hockey puck burgers, and for chicken it is even worse. To make sure your marinated chicken gets all the respect it deserves, you will have to delve into indirect heating. Simply put, this means placing the hot charcoal to one side of the grill and cooking on the other side (for a longer period of time) to allow the meat to cook thoroughly. At the end, you can move the chicken over the direct heat for a final crisping of the skin.

With that settled, you will have plenty of time to make a grilled eggplant and sun-dried tomato salad or a cheerful pomegranate fruit salad to eat alongside the meal.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Serves: 4Prep: 2 hCook: 45 min

Protein: 94g / %

Carbs: 6g / %

Fat: 54g / %

Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.


  • 4 to 6 whole chicken legs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, and paprika; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and let cool.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and lemon juice into the skillet and stir.
  5. Place chicken in a container and pour the coconut milk sauce over the chicken. Let the chicken marinate 2 to 6 hours.
  6. Prepare grill for indirect cooking and remove chicken from marinade.
  7. Grill chicken over direct high heat 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Then place the chicken over indirect heat, and cook for another 40 to 45 minutes, covered.
  9. Finish the cooking over direct heat for another 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  10. Serve the chicken with fresh cilantro.
Photo of Ashley Noël

Hi I’m Ashley, I’m an ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach

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