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Easy Charcoal Grilled Tandoori Chicken Legs

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x


A recipe for vibrant Indian Tandoori chicken legs, made at home on your charcoal grill, without any food colors!


Units Scale
  • 3 skinless chicken leg quarters (approx. 0.751 lb each) (see FAQs & Notes and Variations)
  • 46 sprigs of cilantro, leaves and tender parts of stem, roughly chopped, for garnishing
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced, for garnishing
  • 1/2 lemon cut into wedges, for serving
  • tandoori naan or roti, for serving
  • mint-yogurt chutney, for serving

The Marinade

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil or a neutral oil of your choice
  • Juice of a 1/2 medium lemon
  • 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder or as needed
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder


  • Using a sharp knife, make 3-4 slits across each of the chicken legs, about 1.5-2 inches apart. Set side until you’re ready to use.
  • Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl.
  • Using a whisk or a spatula, stir to combine all the ingredients well.
  • Using your hands (you can wear gloves if you want), add the chicken to the mixed marinade and massage the marinade, ensuring it gets into the slits and the crevices.
  • Make sure all the chicken legs are coated evenly.
  • Cover and let it marinate on the counter for 30 minutes – 1 hour. If you have time, you can marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours or overnight.
  • While the chicken marinates, preheat the charcoal grill to about 400°F (200 °C).
  • Place the marinated chicken leg quarters skin side up on the grill.
  • Grill covered for 18-20 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken legs to grill the other side.
  • Continue cooking covered for another 18-20 minutes .
  • Chicken is ready when the internal temperature of the chicken on a thermometer reads 165°F or 75°C.
  • Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves and sliced onions. Serve immediately with tandoori naan or roti, lemon wedges, green chilies and cooling mint-yogurt chutney.