Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap

Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

To make Tandoori Chicken (or fish or beef, or even tandoori veggies), you need two essential components - lots of heat & lots of flavor.

campfire for making tandoori chicken

Standing in the sun just about anywhere in the US right now may feel like at least 600 degrees, but before you convince yourself that it’s hot enough to cook a piece of chicken on the driveway, let’s talk about an alternative. 

Since a tandoor – a traditional clay oven from South Asia – is out of the question for most of us, we can try our best to simulate the cooking process with a wood fire grill, a gas grill, or even the broil setting in the oven. 

Your best bet for a deliciously, smoky, tandoori flavor is over embers on the campfire.  Toss a few logs in the grill or fire pit, get the fire roaring, and let the wood burn for an hour.  When the flames die down and the embers are glowing, that’s the time to start cooking over that 600-700F heat.

wood embers for cooking tandoori chicken

Before we get the fire going, we need to marinate the chicken.

Traditional tandoori chicken is made with skinless chicken legs since they are less apt to dry out in the intense heat of a tandoor.  But it’s summer and we’re cooking over the campfire, so I decided to keep it simple and fun, and make Tandoori Chicken Tikka – another favorite South Asian tandoori dish that uses boneless chicken pieces.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka over wood fire by SeasonWithSpice.com

A basic tandoori marinade generally consists of a seasoning blend, yogurt, and a citrus juice like lemon or lime.  But I recommend leaving out the citrus in the marinade, and instead squeezing the juice over the chicken after it’s cooked.  We want to keep the marinade as thick as possible to prevent it from dripping off the chicken as it cooks.

Before the fire gets started, or the night before, marinate the boneless chicken pieces with a mix of yogurt, a little salt, and a rich, aromatic spice blend like our handcrafted Tandoori Seasoning.

Tandoori Seasoning by SeasonWithSpice.com

Our Tandoori Seasoning starts with a combination of red spices - Sweet Spanish Paprika and the essential, vibrant kick of Kashmiri Chili Powder – and then a hint of turmeric to create a bright reddish-orange blend.  We then mix in the warming spices commonly used in North Indian cuisine like ginger, cumin, garlic, and cardamom.  For balance, we mix in coriander, and for a citrus note, dashes of mango powder (amchur).  Finally, to emphasize that smoky tandoori flavor, we add in a touch of Smoked Spanish Paprika.

Tandoori Seasoning Blend by SeasonWithSpice.com

As your hunger grows watching the fire consume the wood, that’s the time to get out the chicken, metal skewers, and your campfire grill.  Spray the campfire grill well with oil, and skewer the chicken pieces.

When the embers are ready, let your instincts kick in.  Place the skewers on the heated grill, near the embers, but not directly above.  Turn them every minute to prevent blackening, and to ensure even cooking.  And go ahead and baste them with more marinade as they grill.  When the chicken fat begins to bubble out, roast for another couple of minutes or so.  You want your tandoori chicken tikka cooked through, but not dry.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

With the embers still hot, place a few naan or other flat bread on the grill.  One minute on each side should suffice.

Naan bread cooking on campfire grill

Naan bread is usually served on the side with a tandoori chicken leg, but since we’re making tandoori chicken tikka, naan bread makes a perfect wrap.

Top one side of the naan with some raw veggies like tomato, red onion, cucumber, and lettuce (roasted veggies are fine too, but the raw, fresh, crispness is a nice contrast with the charred flavor of the chicken).  Then pile on the tandoori chicken, along with fresh cilantro and generous squeezes of lemon or lime juice.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

It’s a great summer wrap as it is, but even better with a yogurt sauce. 

In South Asia, a popular dipping sauce for chicken tikka is a yogurt sauce called Raita.  The variations of raita are as endless as tandoori seasonings, but in general, a raita will include yogurt with spices & herbs, along with veggies, fruits, and/or legumes. 

A subtle, but refreshing version of raita makes a wonderful spread on a tandoori chicken tikka wrap. Try an easy Mint-Cucumber Raita with pinches of ground coriander, freshly ground black pepper, sumac berry powder, and cayenne.

Mint-Cucumber Raita recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com
Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

shop tandoori seasoning available at season with spice shop

Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap recipe 
by Season with Spice
Serves 2-3

1lb boneless chicken thighs or breast
3-4 naan or other flat bread
1/4 Cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp of Season with Spice’s Tandoori Seasoning
Sea Salt, to taste
Cilantro leaves
Lemon or lime wedges
Raw veggies like tomato, red onion, cucumber, and lettuce

Mint-Cucumber Raita:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup English cucumber – grated
A handful of mint leaves – sliced thinly
A pinch of ground coriander
A pinch of salt
A pinch of Season with Spice’s Sumac Berry Powder
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Mix the yogurt, salt, and our tandoori seasoning. Then cut chicken into bite-size cubes and combine well with marinade. Allow to marinate for at least a few hours.
2. Prepare Mint-Cucumber Raita by simply mixing all ingredients, and then refrigerating until wrap is ready.
3. In a fire pit or grill, burn wood to embers. Then spray oil on campfire grill, and place grill over embers.
4. Slide the tandoori chicken tikka onto metal skewers, and place on the hot grill (near, but not directly above embers). Turn every minute to prevent blackening, and occasionally baste with leftover marinade. When chicken fat bubbles out, grill for another couple of minutes until cooked, but not dried out.
5. Place naan on grill for a minute or so on each side to lightly char.
6. Top naan with chicken, cilantro, lemon/lime juice, and your choice of raw veggies. Finally spread on the mint-cucumber raita. Enjoy!

- Instead of a wood fire, you can cook the tandoori chicken tikka using a gas grill or the broil setting in your oven. To make up for a lack of that delicious smoky flavor, add a touch of Smoked Spanish Paprika.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka Wrap recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com