Tandoori Chicken – Dani Valent

ThermoStar Tim works with Indian flavours to cook juicy and flavourful drumsticks

When I write a recipe, my hopeful vision is that people will take it into their own lives and it will turn up on dining tables all over the world. I want the cook to enjoy the process and the flavours and, just as important, to surprise and delight those they are sharing their meal with. Given all that, it was a treat to film this video with Tim Dalton, winner of the ThermoStars contest. To enter, Tim had to make a home video using his Thermomix – he was voted one of two winners. The other winner, Collette created my Champagne-Poached Chicken Terrine and the prize was shooting a video with me!

Tim chose to make the Tandoori Chicken from my Entertaining cookbook. It’s a dish he’s made at home and loved, so it was a treat for me to hear about that. As he says, it’s really easy and, as you’ll see, it’s adaptable too. Please join me in my project to make ‘hot pineapple’ a craze!

The tandoor is a cylindrical oven, usually clay, and very commonly used in Punjab in northern India. There are versions of the tandoor oven with various names (tandir, tonnir, tanur) throughout northern and central Asia. Whatever it’s called, the heat source is wood or charcoal, the temperature gets up to around 500°C and dishes are cooked in a swirl of radiant heat, hot air, smoke and their own juices. A real tandoor is very special but we can get pretty close with a hot oven at home, especially when we use an authentic marinade as we do here.

One last thing! Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. They’re all easily available and the recipe is quick and easy as you’ll see in the video.

Serves: 8
Time: 45 minutes + marinating time 30 minutes–24 hours


Tandoori Chicken

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1 tsp salt flakes
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 cm piece fresh ginger (approx. 30 grams), peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 long red chillies, halved and seeds removed, if desired
  • 1 tsp mustard, any sort
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams tomato paste, unsalted
  • 160 grams Greek yoghurt
  • 50 grams lemon juice
  • 40 grams vegetable oil
  • 8-12 chicken drumsticks

Mint Dressing

  • 200 grams Greek yoghurt
  • 60 grams fresh mint, leaves only (1-2 bunches)
  • 50 grams onion
  • 100 grams tomato, halved

To Serve

  • 60 grams slivered almonds
  • 5 sprigs coriander, leaves only


Tandoori Chicken

1. Place cumin, coriander, cardamom seeds, salt and peppercorns into mixing bowl and toast 5 min/100°C/speed 1, without measuring cup. Remove lid and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then replace lid and mill 30 sec/speed 9. 

2. Add ginger, garlic, chillies, mustard, chilli powder, turmeric powder and cinnamon to mixing bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 5.

3. Add tomato paste, yoghurt, lemon juice and oil and mix 30 sec/speed 5.

4. Cut 2 deep slits in each chicken drumstick and place into a bowl and pour Tandoori Paste over chicken. Stir or massage to ensure marinade coats chicken. Cover and set aside in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

5. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray (30 cm x 40 cm) with baking paper and place a wire rack over it. Transfer marinated chicken onto wire rack and bake for 20 minutes (200°C), turning after 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Mint Dressing

6. Place all dressing ingredients into mixing bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 6. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula and, if a fine texture is desired, mix for a further 2 sec/speed 6. Transfer to a container and place in the refrigerator. Clean and dry mixing bowl.

To serve, place almonds into mixing bowl and toast 10 min/Varoma/speed 1, without measuring cup. Scatter toasted almonds and coriander over chicken and serve with mint chutney on the side.


  • Add extra chilli (fresh or dried) if you like it hot.
  • You can marinate the chicken and make the chutney the day before serving to save time.
  • Marinated chicken can be frozen.


  • Tandoori paste can also be used to marinate cauliflower, lamb (I love cutlets), fish, prawns, mushrooms and tofu.
  • And, of course, pineapple!
  • Substitute mustard with mustard powder, if desired.
  • Substitute vegetable oil with coconut oil or light olive oil, if desired.

Serving Tandoori Chicken as part of an Indian-themed dinner party? See my Indian hub for hosting tips, links to more recipes at Dani Valent Cooking plus a music playlist as vibrant as the cuisine.

Looking for more chicken recipes and ThermoStar action? Head on over here to check out ThermoStar Collette creating my delicious Champagne-Poached Chicken Terrine recipe.

Looking for another Indian inspired dish? Try my Emergency Lentil Soup – the healthy pantry meal you can get on the table in 20 minutes. Want some rice to serve with your banquet? Why not make my Cauliflower Rice, a vegan, carbohydrate-free, nutrient-rich version?

Did you know Dani Valent gift vouchers are available right here? They make the perfect present for the Thermo-lover in your life.

More about this video

I love my Nancybird Wildflower wrap dress – the print was inspired by cats’ eyes reflected along a road at night! The Elk necklace is the perfect accessory!

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