Recipe: Tandoori Chicken

by JJ Virgin on March 8, 2017

No Indian feast would be complete without this heavily spiced, tender chicken. The secret is the overnight marinade in seasoned coconut milk, which leaves the meat especially tender and flavorful.

Not only does this dish taste delicious, but cayenne and cumin are also cleansing, while the coconut milk has a host of health benefits. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, use the chicken to make yummy wraps for lunch with fresh spinach, hummus, and sliced red bell pepper.

Tandoori Chicken joins Roasted Spiced Chickpeas; Curried Lentils; and Mom’s Apple Chai Shake in our Indian Influence menu.  

Tandoori Chicken


March 8, 2017

This tender chicken dish gets its name from traditional Indian tandoor ovens. Remember to leave time to refrigerate overnight so the spicy marinade can do its delicious work.

Virgin Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3
Sugar Impact Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3

  • Prep: 12 hrs
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 4 Servings


1 cup cultured unsweetened coconut milk

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp saffron threads, crushed

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (21/4 pounds), trimmed

olive oil for the pan

3/4 tsp sea salt


1NOTE: This dish will need to be refrigerated overnight before cooking. If you do prefer to grill the chicken, grill over indirect medium-high heat (400 to 450°F) for 25 to 28 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.

2Combine the coconut milk, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, saffron, cinnamon, and cayenne in a large bowl.

3Add the chicken and toss well to coat.; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

4Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly dampen a paper towel with a small amount of olive oil and wipe a large rimmed baking sheet with it.

5Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with the salt. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

6Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 25 to 28 minutes. Enjoy!

Tandoori Chicken joins Roasted Spiced Chickpeas, Curried Lentils and Mom’s Apple Chai Shake on our Indian Influence menu.  Take a trip to far-off India, using these four delicious dishes as your passport.

Originally published in JJ Virgin's Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook, Grand Central Life & Style, 2015

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Nutrition Facts

Sodium560 mg
Protein27 grams
Sugar2 grams
Total Fat7 grams
Saturated Fat2.5 grams
Total Carbohydrates4 grams
Dietary Fiber1 gram

Not only are we putting together a delicious, healthy menu for you, but you’ll also get some Indian-inspired party tips to make your feast lots of fun!

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