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Tandoori Turkey Legs

 Published 2008-Oct-01   Updated 2017-Mar-28

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Turkey Tandoor, Vaankozhi Tandoori)

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Turkey legs are huge, fleshy and makes a heavy meal. I first saw it being sold in Disney World, Florida. It was such a pretty sight to see people walking around with roasted turkey munching on it while enjoying the different rides. Later I found that it was a popular item served in state fairs too. Even I got one leg for myself and realized soon that I couldn't finish the entire leg by myself. Turkey legs are  really huge friends.

I used to enjoy turkey back in India especially during Christmas and Easter. Mom used to make awesome Vaankozhi (Turkey) Biryani for lunch during special occasions. Other dishes often made are the spicy South Indian style Vaankozhi Kuzhambu and the fry. It was so easy to get turkey legs in US. So I decided to marinate it with traditional Indian spices. Tandoori chicken is quite famous all around the world. Here I have made the same dish with Turkey legs. The result was very good and we enjoyed the meal. Usually Turkey legs are roasted with the skin on in the US. The skin gets crispy and people relish it. However traditional tandoori chicken is made with skinless thighs. So I removed the skin while making my Tandoori Turkey. So here comes Tandoori Turkey recipe that I followed..

Recipe for Tandoori Turkey

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 
Serves: 2


  • Turkey legs - 2
  • Yogurt - 6 tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  • Red Chili powder - 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Red food color - 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste (app. 1 tsp)


  1. Clean the turkey legs and make some slits with a knife or holes with a fork.
  2. Take the yogurt in a separate bowl and add the lemon juice along with red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, pepper powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and red color.
  3. Apply this marinade on the turkey legs nicely. Try to press in some of the marinade into the slits.
  4. At this stage you can let it marinate in the fridge overnight. Marination ensures that all the spices enter the turkey meat nicely. But if there is no time you can make it immediately. In that case, just press in as much marinade into the slits as possible.
  5. Cook the legs in the oven preheated to 425 degrees for 1 hour. If you have a kitchen thermometer, check if the temperature is 180 degree F. If not, cook for another 10 minutes or so.
  6. If you prefer a crispy outer, broil it for about 5 minutes in the last.
  7. Garnish with cilantro, onion slices and lemon slices. Sprinkle little chaat masala before serving for that extra punch.

Serving Tandoori Turkey

  • Turkey legs are huge and one leg is sufficient as a complete meal for one adult. It can be accompanied by some salad.
  • You can make the meal richer with some mint chutney, pulao or naan on the side.

More Turkey Recipes

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Comments (6)

Person   ()
Hey....How are you... I tried the tandoori yesterday on chicken though came out very well...Thank you once again...Glad to have a site like this.....
Person   ()
Great Diana...... Keep trying all new recipes....
Person   ()
This recipe is really good,tastes great,and quite simple to prepare.It makes a great starter for parties
Person   ()
Yes. That true sharitha....
Person   ()
My mouth is watering. I love Indian food n yet im scared to try these recipes.
Love the recipe for tandoori turkey. It seems really simple to prepare. Will try it out on daughter this weekend
Person   ()
Yes Venice. Do try it. Its pretty easy to make.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-03-28.