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BBQ Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Updated: Jun 13

Author: Hetal Vanmali, BSc Hons Dinner

Indulge in the aromatic journey of BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs, perfect for a backyard feast. Tandoori kebabs, traditionally cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor, are a popular dish in Indian cuisine. However, my version of these kebabs can be perfectly adapted for a BBQ grill and taste incredibly flavourful and easy to make! A family favourite and one you will want to make again and again!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs
BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs

These BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs have flavour in every bite, throughout. Most people shy away from making chicken kebabs because there isn't enough fat to hold them to the skewer or make them juicy and tender. I have come up with a recipe that resolves all of these issues; the breadcrumbs create a binder for the marinade so it stays on the skewer and the melted butter lathered at the end ensure the texture is not dry. If you want a healthy meal, simply skip the butter and serve it with a side of grilled veggies, tossed in salt, olive oil and cumin powder.

When I first made these, my son loved them so much he asked to have the leftovers for his lunch at school. This is also the same son who isn't a huge fan of chicken or red meat unless it's sausage or bacon! Needless to say they are perfect for the entire family and fun to eat!

Your questions answered about BBQ Tandoori chicken Kebabs

Can I use other meats besides chicken? Yes you can! Tandoori kebabs can be made with lamb, beef, or even seafood like shrimp. Just adjust the marination and grill time accordingly (less for seafood). Also, using red meat, reduce the amount of bread crumbs. i would however not recommend using turkey meat and the flavour does not penetrate the meat well.

What if I don’t have a BBQ grill? You can use a grill pan on the stovetop or broil them in the oven. The flavour might differ slightly, but they will still be delicious.

Can I make these kebabs ahead of time? Yes, you can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance. You can also grill them and then reheat, although they are best served fresh off the grill.

How do I get the signature smoky flavor without a tandoor? Grilling over charcoal can give a similar taste.

Are Tandoori Kebabs spicy? The recipe as is creates mild-medium spice level. You can increase or decrease the amount of spice added depending on your heat preference.

BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs
BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs

Serving Suggestions for BBQ Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

  • With Naan or Roti: Serve the kebabs with warm naan or roti, Indian flatbreads that complement the flavours perfectly. Add a side of butter, red onions and mayonnaise for an extra touch of indulgence.

  • Rice: Accompany the kebabs with basmati rice or a fragrant biryani. The mild, aromatic rice balances the spiciness of the kebabs. you can add salt and cumin seeds to the rice for extra flavour.

  • Salads: A fresh cucumber, red onion and tomato salad or a tangy coleslaw can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavours of the kebabs. Raita, a cooling yogurt-based side dish with cucumbers, mint, and spices, is also an amazing accompaniment.

  • Chutneys and Dips:

    • Mint chutney: This green chutney made with fresh mint, cilantro, green chilies, and lemon juice adds a bright, zesty flavour.

    • Tamarind chutney: A sweet and tangy sauce that balances the spice with a bit of sweetness.

    • Garlic sauce: A creamy garlic sauce can add an extra layer of flavour and creaminess.

    • Garlic Mayonnaise: Simply crushed garlic and mayonnaise of delicious indulgence.

  • Vegetable Sides: Grilled or roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, corn and onions can be served alongside the kebabs, enhancing the overall meal with additional textures and flavors. Simply toss them in salt, olive oil and red chilli powder.

  • Wraps and Sandwiches:

    • The kebabs can be wrapped in pita bread or naan with some fresh greens, onions, and a drizzle of yogurt sauce or chutney.

  • They can also be used to make delicious sandwiches with some fresh veggies and spreads.

  • Appetizer Platter: Serve the kebabs as part of an appetizer platter with other Indian-inspired bites like samosas, pakoras, and papadums. Add a variety of chutneys and dips for a festive spread.

  • Garnishes:

    • Top the kebabs with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and thinly sliced red onions to add a burst of freshness and color.

These serving suggestions not only enhance the flavors of tandoori chicken kebabs but also provide a balanced and satisfying meal, perfect for any occasion.

Embrace the smoky, aromatic journey of BBQ Tandoori Chicken Kebabs and bring a slice of India’s vibrant street food culture to your backyard. With these tips, tricks, and a little patience, you’ll be grilling up a storm and creating memories just like the ones that inspired this culinary adventure. Happy grilling!

Recipe for BBQ Tandoori chicken kebabs

Prep time:

5 minutes

Bake time:

15 minutes

Total time:

25 minutes


3 servings


  • 450 grams minced chicken meat

  • 1 tablespoons oil

  • 1 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic

  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger

  • 1 tablespoon tandoori powder

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you want to crank up the heat!)

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

  • 1 lemon cut into 4-6 pieces.


1. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl besides the butter. Mix well and marinate for a least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

2. Preheat your BBQ grill to medium-high heat.

3. Skewer the Chicken by threading the marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers, leaving a little space between each piece for even cooking. If using wooden skewers, soak for 30 minutes before use to prevent them from burning.

4. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice char with an internal temperature of 165F.

5. To serve, remove the kebabs from the grill and baste with melted butter and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Serve hot with naan, rice, vegetables or a fresh salad, and a side of mayonnaise or chutney.

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