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Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken – Spicy Indian Chicken

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I call tandoori chicken India’s best-loved grilled chicken. The secret is in the spices and the marinade which makes the chicken super moist and flavorful. Traditionally tandoori chicken is made in a clay oven (tandoor) and is very popular in restaurants. Even though I am making this in the Air Fryer I am still calling it tandoori chicken…rather Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken – Spicy Indian Chicken. It is still grilled and marinated with the same spices. I cant recreate a tandoor at home, however, the taste of this is not far from chicken cooked in a tandoor.

Different chicken dinner ideas that are delicious but easy to make are definitely my idea of WEEKNIGHT SUCCESS.

This is definitely one of my favorite things to make in the air fryer. I find that the chicken does not dry out and it cooks in less time than a regular oven.

What ingredients to I need to make Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken – Spicy Indian Chicken?

Greek yogurt forms the marinade base. It makes the chicken tender and the spices make it flavorful.

In order to avoid dryness, I put some oil in the marinade as well as coat the chicken with some oil when it is air fried.

Chicken drumsticks with the skin peeled. Using a sharp knife, cut about 2 to 4 slits across the chicken drumsticks about 2 to 3 inches wide and deep. This will enable the marinade to penetrate the chicken. I used 7 drumsticks for this recipe.

Wings or smaller pieces: If you use wings, thighs or breasts then you can air fry at 360°F for 15 minutes. Toss and flip the chicken at the 7 minute mark. That is enough time to cook smaller pieces of chicken.

Other ingredients: Oil, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, ground pepper, red chili powderkashmiri chili powder, ground turmericgaram masala, ground coriander, and ground cumin).

What do I serve this Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken – Spicy Indian Chicken with?

  • It can we served as an appetizer with cilantro chutney. 
  • It can be served with naan (Indian flat bread) as a part of a meal.
  • Served as a side dish.
  • It can also be served in lettuce as a low carb wrap.

How am I going to make Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken – Spicy Indian Chicken?

Step 1: Cut 2 to 4 slits on the drumsticks about 2 to 3 inches wide and deep.

Mix all the ingredients except chicken with 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl. The remaining oil will be used for greasing. When the marinade is mixed well add the drumsticks in the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Ideally a marinade time of 6 hours works great for all the spices to soak in. But if you are in a rush you can do 30 minutes.

Step 2: When you are ready to cook, grease the air fryer basket with oil. I grease mine by rubbing, brushing, or spraying, a little bit of oil on the bottom grate. Then, follow your air fryer directions for preheating to 350°F for 5 minutes. When it’s preheated, working in batches, place the chicken in a single layer. 

Cook the chicken at 360°F for 10 minutes. Turn and cook for another 10 minutes. Finally increase the temperature to 370°F and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp. Check after the final 5 minute mark (25 minutes) and turn it around for the last 5 minutes.

Tried this recipe yet? Give us a rating, comment below in the reply section and let us know what you think.

Also, try some of our other recipes:

Air Fryer Fish Tikka

Air Fryer Tandoori Mushrooms

Air Fryer Paneer Tikka


Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken – Spicy Indian Chicken

Let’s replicate the clay oven cooked chicken in the air fryer.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinade time included in prep time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4



  • Mix 2 tbsp oil with all the other ingredients except chicken. Stir well.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut about 2 to 4 slits across the chicken drumsticks about 2 to 3 inches wide and deep.
  • Add chicken in the marinade and coat it well. Let it sit in the marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Ideally 6 hours marinade time is perfect but in a time bind 30 minutes is good too.
  • When you are ready to cook, rub inside of air fryer basket with oil. Keep some left over oil for the chicken.
  • Preheat the air fryer at 350°F for 5 minutes.
  • Once it is preheated, add chicken and place it in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Discard the left over extra marinade. Do not overcoat the chicken with it.
  • Air fry at 360°F for 10 minutes. Add some oil to the chicken, flip the chicken, and air fry for another 10 minutes. 
  • Then up the temperature to 370°F for 10 minutes. Check at the 5 minute mark and flip it if you like it to be over crispy. I cook mine for full 30 minutes but you could do 25 minutes if you’d like.
  • Serve with cilantro chutney, Indian flatbread or with lettuce wraps.


  • Ground cayenne pepper and red chili powder can be used interchangeably as both of them make the dish spicy. So if you don’t have red chili powder you can use cayenne pepper instead.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, the spice levels in this recipe would be at level 3.5. So if you don’t like very spicy food you can reduce the amount of red chili powder.
5 2 votes
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Vidya Wazir
Vidya Wazir
May 4, 2019 5:58 pm

I tried this today and it came out super delicious. It was gone in minutes!!
Thanks fastcurries!!

Vidya Wazir
Vidya Wazir
October 20, 2019 4:34 pm

5 stars
My in-laws were visiting and I tried this recipe. Man oh man it was a huge hit! Actually tastes just like a restaurant and obviously so much healthier!
Really enjoyed it!
Mouth watering and juicy and the chicken marinade was to perfection.
Cooking is not one of my hobbies but this recipe made me sure look good!
Loved it !
This will surely be my go to recipe when I need to impress ! Very easy too

Faizah S
Faizah S
December 29, 2020 5:15 pm

5 stars
Tried this recipe for the picky eaters in my house, was quick, easy to make and delicious!

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