Baked Tandoori Chicken {paleo, gluten & dairy free }

By , On April 13th, 2016, In: Dairy Free, Egg Free, FreeDiet™- phase 2, Lunch/Dinner, Nut Free, Paleo/Grain Free

5-6 Servings ~ 25
Home » Dairy Free » Baked Tandoori Chicken {paleo, gluten & dairy free }


  • 2 lbs. chicken legs/thigh 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk 1 lime's juice 4 cloves garlic 4 tsp. Tandoori spice blend or see notes to make it 1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt 1/4 tsp. turmeric chunk raw ginger pinch or 2 saffron pinch cayenne pepper & salt *FreeDiet approved see notes

It happens to us all, the dinner rut!  So, there I stood in the spice isle at my favorite Whole Foods Market and laid eyes on pretty little jars with intriguing names like Garam Masala, Harissa, Saffron, and Tandorri Seasonings!

I am not one to pour a mix or a blend of packaged items into my recipes but what I was seeing pleased my “foodie” self.  Something comes over me when I start thinking about the real flavors of foods but the real magic happens when I see pictures like these that make me want to say, “Get in my belly now!”  This meal is easy and time efficient so eating happens almost instantly!

In conventional markets, the spice blends often have fillers, preservatives, artificial flavors and even food coloring.  That is why I normally stay clear from tempting bottles or packages that tout “make my life easier” dinners.


Below you see the store bought Tandoori Masala that I purchased at Whole Foods and next to it the saffron.  Don’t skip the saffron as it gives so much flavor and color. I know it is a bit pricey {I found it for $5-6} for a small jar that may literally hold one tablespoon!  The flavors of this dish were out of this world and the smell while it cooked made my belly do the hurry up and cook dance {I would say 25 minutes is cooking in a hurry}!  I served this over sprouted rice and quinoa;  zucchini noodles would be delicious with the extra sauce poured over it too.


You may notice I didn’t use the traditional yogurt that most Tandoori Chicken recipes call for. I was considering my dairy-free friends and the coconut milk lends it’s creamy sweetness so perfectly!  I did use the yogurt the first two times but didn’t like the way it curdled when I added the lime juice.  The taste was amazing and made a thicker paste, either way your taste buds will jump for joy!

When doing my research I found that Garam Masala is often used along with Tandoori spices; again, I wanted to keep it simple. The history of Tandoori recipes is so interesting, along with what the word actually means.

Tandoori relates to a style of Indian cooking based on the use of a tandoor.  The term tandoor refers to a variety of ovens that cook at a high temperture, most commonly a clay or metal oven with a cylindrical shape for cooking and baking. Many counties still use this type of oven in Asia as well as in the Caucasus regions.


Baked Tandoori Chicken {paleo, gluten & dairy free }
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5
  • 2 lbs. chicken legs/thighs
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 lime's juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tsp. Tandoori spice blend
  • or see notes to make it
  • ½ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • chunk raw ginger
  • pinch or 2 saffron
  • *pinch cayenne
  • *dash pepper
  • *FreeDiet approved omit
  1. In a mixing bowl add coconut milk, lime juice, grated garlic, grated ginger, and all your spices.
  2. Mix well and taste blend to make sure it has enough spice. Add extra cayenne or pepper.
  3. Salt and pepper each piece of chicken.
  4. Bathe each piece of chicken in the Tandoori mixture; rolling it in sauce.
  5. Place each piece of chicken in a baking dish and pour the remaining Tandoori mixture over.
  6. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and the last 10 min. bake at 400 as this will give you that browning.
If you can't find a Tandoori Masala Seasoning in your spice isle, you can most certainly make it. I tried this too because when I researched where Tandoori came from I found that some cultures utilize different spices. The Whole Foods organic brand I bought has paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic, cardamom and ginger. I decided I liked the color and flavor of more turmeric, ginger and garlic so that is why I have added it to the seasoning I bought for this recipe.

I also used a homemade seasoning recipe that used turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper in addition to the spices mentioned above. Adding cinnamon and nutmeg tasted really good but I wanted to keep it simple. It truly is a cinch to just take 4 tsp. right out of a jar! But if you are so inclined you can make your own seasoning. Here is what I used in place of my store-bought 4 tsp. of Tandoori Seasoning: ½ tsp. turmeric, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. cardamom, ¼ tsp. coriander and pinch of clove and nutmeg. I used the fresh garlic and ginger but you certainly could use ¼ tsp each of these ground spices. To be FreeDiet approved omit paprika, nutmeg, pepper or blends that use cayenne. I used chicken thighs, breast, legs and or a mix of all. I prefer the drum sticks alone as they cook fast. The thicker the meat the longer it takes to cook. Please use organic when you can.

With a Spoonful of Health,


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