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Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

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Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks Recipe: This authentic pressure cooker tandoori chicken is easy to make, ultra tender, and coated in an exotically spiced crust!

Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #instantpot #pressurecooker #tandoori
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Traditional Tandoori Chicken

When was the last time you made tandoori chicken?

I’m not talking about grilled chicken with a quick Indian spice rub, but the kind that needs to marinade for hours so the exotic spices can work their way deep into the chicken, while the yogurt tenderizes the meat.

Who has time to make something like that… We’re all so busy, right?

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With just 10 minutes of prep in the morning (to allow the chicken to marinade while you are at work) you can make amazing Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot when you get home.

In less than 15 minutes!

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Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

How to Make Traditional Tandoori Chicken:

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken.
  2. Soak the chicken pieces in a yogurt and spice marinade to create intense flavor and tender meat.
  3. Grill over an open flame.

In today’s pressure cooker recipe, I’ve included grill and oven cooking instructions. However, I’m focusing on How to Make Tandoori Chicken in the Instant Pot, for those of you without grills.

Also, pressure cooking the chicken, not only makes it fall-off-the-bone tender, it helps to further infuse the spices into the meat.

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Tandoori Chicken Ingredients

The key(s) to making the Tandoori Chicken taste just right is to create the perfect blend of spices. Then to give them enough time to mix and mingle with the chicken before cooking.

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Plain yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garam masala
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

The yogurt acts as the base of the marinade. It helps to tenderize the chicken meat, while creating a crust.

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How To Make Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken. If you hate handling raw chicken you can ask your butcher to do this for you.
  2. Mix the yogurt and spice marinade.
  3. Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade, and wait.
  4. Pressure cook the chicken pieces.

See how easy that was?

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Get the Full (Printable) Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Recipe Below

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Pressure Cooker Tandoori Chicken Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • You can enjoy the Tandoori Chicken straight out of the Instant Pot. However, the crust feels more traditional if you pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp-up the coating.
  • 4 hours is the minimum marination time to create a lovely spiced flavor. However, the longer you soak the chicken the better. This is a great recipe to prep one night while cooking another dinner, then save to cook the next night.
  • If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can most definitely cook this on the grill or in the oven. See the instructions in the recipe below.
  • No, you don’t have to remove the chicken skin. But YES, you really should! If you leave the skin on, the flavor stays primarily on the skin, instead of working its way through the chicken.
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Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks Recipe: This authentic pressure cooker tandoori chicken is easy to make, ultra tender, and coated in an exotic spiced crust!
Servings: 12 drumsticks



  • Traditional tandoori chicken is skinless. To remove the skin, start at the top of each drumstick and pull the skin down toward the narrow end. Use a small paring knife to cut slashes in the chicken meat so the marinade can work its way deep into the chicken.
  • Open a large gallon zip bag. Measure and dump the yogurt, lemon juice, and all spices and seasoning into the bag. Carefully squish the bag with your hands to mix the ingredients.
  • Then place the chicken pieces into the bag and close it tightly. Shake the bag to coat the chicken in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to cook, place the rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour about half an inch of water into the pot. Make sure the water isn’t touching the rack.
  • Pull the chicken out of the bag and stack it on the rack. Throw the extra marinade away. Lock the lid into place and set the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook High for 13 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, turn off the Instant Pot. Then perform a Quick Release. Once the valve button drops it’s safe to open the top.
  • You can serve the tandoori chicken as-is, but I like to crisp the exterior in the oven. Set the oven on broil. Grease a baking sheet, then lay the chicken pieces on it in a single layer. Set the chicken on the middle rack and broil for about 5 minutes, until the crust starts to blister.


GRILL & OVEN INSTRUCTIONS: Follow directions 1-3. Then grill the chicken over medium heat for 35-40 minutes. Or grease a large rimmed baking sheet, and place the chicken pieces on it in a single layer. Bake at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. 


Serving: 1piece, Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 388mg, Potassium: 333mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 725IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1.5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Sommer Collier

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21 comments on “Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks”

  1. Somer – Can you let me know how long I cook chicken thighs?

  2. Sounds delicious! I’m making this today and serving with basmati and roasted cauliflower.

  3. Help – I only have chick thighs. Have you ever made it with chicken thighs and if so how do I adj the time.

  4. Hi Somer I’d like to make this for friends but a couple are dairy free. Could this work with coconut milk yogurt?

    • High Greg,

      I haven’t tried it this way, so I can’t say for sure. But I have used coconut milk yogurt in other cooked recipes, so I do think it would work. If you give it a try, please report back! :)

  5. Pingback: Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Recipes - Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

  6. Pingback: Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipes · The Typical Mom

  7. Made this tonight and love it! Putting it under the broiler at the end is a great suggestion. Made exactly as written except used lemon concentrate. Love, love, love this!

  8. This is a fantastic recipe! I am making it for the second time today (in a week). I serve it with a garlic yogurt sauce! Delicious!

  9. This is delicious. I’ve made it several times and serve it with coconut jasmine rice and pre made Palak Paneer which is in the international foods aisle. This is so easy with very little effort. I made it for the extended family and everyone loved it. The only change I made the second time was I threw in a splash of key lime juice since I didn’t have a lemon. I couldn’t decipher a difference.

  10. Trying the recipe this weekend

  11. Wow. This recipe makes me really want a instant pot because that sure looks like some good tandoori chicken!

  12. I would love to try this dish. I am a foodie. But I have a major allergic reaction to anything citrus. Do you believe that I can omit the lemon or substitute by making my own buttermilk with vinegar?

  13. Ten minutes of prep? Count me in!

  14. I love how tender the yogurt makes this!

  15. That flavorful crust looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this!

  16. I’m the only one in my house who likes drumsticks, any suggestions on adjusting cooking times if I were to use boneless breasts? 

  17. This looks fabulous! I just bought an instant pot so I think this is going to be my first recipe in it!