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Chicken Tandoori
with cucumber and tomato salsa and basmati rice

Active: 30 min Total: 50 min
Chicken Tandoori is a traditional Indian dish that produces fragrant and tender chicken thanks to a marinade of spices and yogurt. Enjoy with a fresh cucumber and tomato salsa to round out the dish.
Smarts: This is an easy meal to scale, so double and save some in the freezer.


Chicken Tandoori:
  • Coriander - 1 tsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Curry powder - 1 tsp
  • Ginger, ground - 1 tsp
  • Paprika - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , minced
  • Yogurt, plain - 6 Tbsp
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
  • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Water - 4 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Limes - 1 , sliced into wedges
  • Cilantro - for serving , leaves of
Cucumber and Tomato Salsa:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz , diced
  • Tomatoes, roma - 16 oz , diced
  • Cilantro - 3 Tbsp , chopped
  • Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
Basmati Rice:
  • Water - 1 3/4 cups
  • Rice, basmati - 1 cup


  1. Make spice mix - Combine coriander, cumin, curry powder, ginger, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. (Can be done ahead at anytime)
  2. (Optional step) Toast spices: Heat a frying pan over medium heat and warm up / toast spices until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  3. Garlic - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  4. Make yogurt marinade - Mix together spices with garlic, yogurt, and oil. Divide in half.
  5. Marinate chicken - Cut slits into the chicken (to increase surface area for marinade). Cover in half of the marinade, sprinkle on some salt, and then tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and ideally overnight. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  6. Cook rice - Fill a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then add rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat down to low and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes.
  7. Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Cilantro - If prepping right before dinner, get chicken in the oven before returning to this prep step. Prep as directed and combine.

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  1. If cooking in the oven: Turn on broiler and situate top oven rack so that it’s about 5” to 6” (13 to 15 cm) from the heat source. Line a sheet pan with foil. Brush off excess marinade from chicken (you want to leave some on but not too much) and arrange chicken in sheet pan. Broil for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through to 165F / 74C.
  2. If cooking on the grill: Preheat grill to 450F / 232C degrees. Clean grates and brush with some oil. Brush off excess marinade from chicken (you want to leave some on but not too much) and place chicken onto grill grates. Grill for ~2 minutes on each side with the cover closed. Turn down heat to medium, close cover and cook for for another 6 to 12 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165F / 74C.
  3. Make salsa by combining tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Whisk water, tomato paste, and honey into remainder of marinade. Heat up over low heat until sauce is warmed up.
  5. Enjoy chicken with sauce, lime wedges and cilantro leaves, plus basmati rice and salsa on the side.



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