Tasty Desi Style Roast Chicken Recipes to Make and Enjoy

Roast chicken is a very popular dish in the UK. We show you how to bring it to life with Desi style roast chicken recipes.

roast chicken - featured

When cooked, it gives off amazing aromas and the taste is even better.

The roast dinner is a traditional British main meal usually eaten on a Sunday. But for Desi people, it can be any day!

Chicken is one of the most popular meats eaten in Britain. It accounts for half the meat eaten in the UK and is very popular amongst the South Asian communities.

Roast chicken is not an obvious choice when it comes to Desi households due to the popularity of making it traditionally as tandoori chicken, chicken tikka and of course, as a chicken curry.

In addition, often deemed as ‘bland’ (if you remember the Goodness Gracious Me sketch), which means cooking it in its traditional British way would leave some Desi palates in dire need of some spices.

So, why not cook roast chicken Desi style is what we say!

Turn this popular Sunday meal into a spice haven with the centrepiece bird ladened with flavours to rock any Desi household.

The spices are added to make the roast chicken come to life with a mouth-watering Desi flavour.

To show you how, here are some amazing recipes to make Desi style roast chicken.

Tandoori Roast Chicken

tandoori roast chicken
This recipe has a number of ingredients not usually seen in the preparation of a traditional roast chicken.

It also has an alternate gravy to accompany the meat to really bring out the intense tandoori flavours.

It mixes the strong spice of the chillies with the slight citrus taste of lemon in the marinade.

To really bring out the flavours, it is recommended to marinate the chicken 24 hours before cooking it.

At only one hour 45 minutes, it is a recipe which does not take long to make.


  • 1.8kg chicken
  • 2 Onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 Lemon, halved
  • 1 Thumb sized piece of ginger, thickly sliced
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

For the Marinade

  • 150ml yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp tomato pureé
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp each of red chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala and ground cinnamon
  • 2½ tbsp garlic-ginger paste


  1. Add all the marinade ingredients to a bowl.
  2. Add two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Make cuts in the legs of the chicken.
  4. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, including under the skin of the breast.
  5. Cover and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  6. Heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
  7. Put onions, lemon halves and ginger in a roasting tin.
  8. Sit the chicken on top and roast for 90 minutes or until the thigh juices run clear when tested with a skewer.
  9. When done, lift it out of the tin, sit in a new dish, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest.
  10. Discard the ginger.
  11. Scrape the roasted middles of the lemons into a food processor.
  12. Add the onions and any pan juices, blend to a pureé.
  13. Pour the pureé back into the tin and sit on the hob.
  14. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer gently, scraping up any stuck chicken pieces.
  15. Add a splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick.
  16. Stir in the coriander and serve with the chicken.

Inspired by the recipe at BBC Good Food.

Masala Roast Chicken

roast chicken masala

This spicy, juicy recipe is a great main dish for any table.

The method looks difficult but isn’t. It uses ingredients which will likely be on your kitchen shelf.

When cooked, it gives off amazing aromas and the taste is even better.

It will become a huge favourite among family members once they have tried this masala roast chicken.


  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 4 Potatoes, quartered
  • 3 Onions, quartered
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 3 Garlic cloves halved

For the Marinade

  • 2½ tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 50g Melted butter
  • 1½ tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Wash the chicken and pat dry.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together into a smooth paste.
  3. Apply the paste all over the chicken, into all the gaps.
  4. If there is extra, use it to brush over the chicken while it cooks.
  5. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, ideally leaving to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  6. Remove from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking.
  7. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  8. Use an ovenproof dish and add potatoes, onions, garlic and lemon to the bottom.
  9. Put the chicken on top of the vegetables.
  10. Cook for 90 minutes and regularly brush the chicken with the fats from the pan. Brush it once more in the last five minutes.
  11. Once cooked, cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Serve with the vegetables at the bottom of the pan. Squeeze the garlic and lemon on top of the chicken for more flavour.

Inspired by the recipe at My Food Story.

Desi-Style Stuffed Chicken

roast chicken stuffed

This style of roast chicken takes elements from both Western and Desi cuisine.

Stuffing a chicken is typically a Western tradition when it comes to roast dinners but this particular one combines a multitude of flavours.

It is a roast dinner which doesn’t need to be paired with roast potatoes and vegetables.

Instead, it can be served on a bed of whatever type of rice you like.

One thing to consider is that it does take a few hours to prepare and cook, but the wait will be worth it.


  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (to drizzle when roasting chicken)

For the Marinade

  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste

For the Stuffing

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 300g ground beef or lamb
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 cup peas
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Large potato, peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • Small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Wash the chicken and pat dry.
  2. In a large, deep bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients.
  3. Place the whole chicken into the marinade and coat well.
  4. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for three hours.
  5. To make the stuffing, heat oil in a deep pan on medium heat.
  6. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they begin to sizzle.
  7. Add the onions and fry until they turn a pale golden colour.
  8. Spoon in garlic and ginger paste. Fry for one minute.
  9. Add the ground meat, ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt.
  10. Cook the meat for five minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
  11. Add tomatoes, peas and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes become soft.
  12. Add the citrus juice and coriander leaves and mix, then turn the heat off.
  13. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  14. Remove the chicken from the fridge and fill the stomach cavity with the stuffing.
  15. Put in a dish and drizzle all over with oil.
  16. Roast uncovered for one hour and 15 minutes until golden.
  17. Serve with paratha and rice.

Inspired by the recipe at Spruce Eats.

Spiced Roast Chicken

roast chicken spiced

This chicken recipe uses simple ingredients for the marinade.

On their own, they are nothing special but when combined, they pack a punch.

When used as a marinade for chicken, the end result is a juicy, tender and flavourful centrepiece fit for a roast dinner.

This too can either be served with mixed vegetables and potatoes or with a salad and naan bread for a fresh take on a roast chicken meal.

It also does not take too long to prepare, so you will be enjoying the succulent flavours of the chicken in no time.


  • 1 Whole Chicken

For the Marinade

  • 240ml plain yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp curry paste
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 lemons or limes, juiced


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and spread all over the chicken.
  3. Put some of the mix underneath the skin too.
  4. Spoon the remaining mix into the cavity of the chicken.
  5. Put the chicken into a roasting tray and place in the oven.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes at 180°C before increasing the heat to 220°C. Cook for a further 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven.
  8. Serve with roasted vegetables or naan bread and salad.

Inspired by the recipe at Simply Delicious.

Spiced-Yoghurt Roast Chicken

roast chicken yoghurt

This is a roast chicken with a twist. As well as making the chicken flavourful, it also shows that yoghurt can be used in more ways.

The marinade is simple, yet spicy as it uses ingredients which are usually found in your cupboard.

It is also very healthy as it is only 653 calories and has only had 7.6 grams of saturated fat.

The recipe may use a lot of chillies, but the heat is mellowed with the cooling yoghurt.


  • 1 Whole Chicken

For the Marinade

  • A small chunk of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 100g yoghurt
  • Salt, to taste


  1. In a bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients.
  2. Put the chicken in a roasting tray and generously spread the marinade over it. Put the squeezed lemon halves into the cavity.
  3. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 190°C/fan 170°C.
  5. Put the chicken in the oven and cook for 90 minutes.
  6. Take the chicken out of the oven and rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  7. Serve with potatoes and salad.

Inspired by the recipe at Olive Magazine.

Balti-Style Roast Chicken

roast chicken balti

The balti is a well-known curry dish originating from Sparkhill, Birmingham. Through time its popularity swept across the UK and also made its way to cook-in sauces using the balti ingredients.

This recipe makes use of the Patak’s Balti Spice paste available from good supermarkets. You can use another balti paste instead too, suited to your preference.

With the use of the paste and other key ingredients, this roast chicken recipe boasts a ton of flavour

The recipe takes one hour and 45 minutes, therefore, making sure it combines the flavours of spice and sweetness within the tender chicken.

What is great about this recipe is that there is a Desi-style gravy to go alongside it.


  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 1 Large onion, quartered
  • 2 Carrots, sliced
  • 2 Large tomatoes, chopped
  • Vegetable oil

For the Marinade

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp spice paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 clove garlic, whole
  • 20g whole coriander
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

For the Gravy

  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp spice paste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients apart from the whole garlic clove and coriander roots.
  2. Rub the marinade on both the inside and outside of the chicken. Put any extra underneath the skin as well.
  3. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  5. Toss the vegetables, apart from the tomatoes, in oil and place in a roasting tray.
  6. Put the whole garlic and coriander roots into the cavity of the chicken.
  7. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, cover with foil and cook for 50 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil and cook for a further 30 minutes until the chicken is golden.
  9. Remove from the tray and rest.
  10. Place the roasting dish on the hob on a medium heat.
  11. Once the onions begin to sizzle, skim off excess fat.
  12. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes.
  13. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock.
  14. Add the spice paste and flour.
  15. Continue to cook and stir until the gravy has thickened and has no lumps.
  16. Serve the chicken with vegetables and the gravy.

Inspired by the recipe at Pataks.

One-Pot Indian Roast Chicken

roast chicken one pot

This great Indian take on a British classic is marinated in a spicy yoghurt to give a cooling aftertaste to the initial spice.

Once cooked, the chicken is incredibly tender.

At only 90 minutes, it doesn’t take long before you can experience the wonderful chicken.

As well as the chicken, whatever vegetables you like can be cooked in the same roasting tray, making it a simple recipe to master.


  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 2 Large onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Lemon, halved

For the Marinade

  • 1½ tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250ml yoghurt
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Make cuts in the chicken legs. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, both inside and out.
  3. Cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
  4. Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  5. Preheat oven to 230°C.
  6. Put the onions in a roasting dish and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Sit the chicken on top.
  8. Put the lemons inside of the chicken’s cavity.
  9. Cover with foil and place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 200°C.
  10. Cook for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil and cook for a further 50 minutes, brushing the chicken with the marinade halfway through cooking.
  12. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes.
  13. Serve with the cooked onions and with couscous.

Inspired by the recipe by Donal Skehan.

These are just a sample of roast chicken recipes filled with a combination of spices, typically seen in many Desi foods.

Desi style roast chicken is simple to make with these step-by-step guides and promises to make your roasts all the more delicious and tasty.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

Images courtesy of Good Food, My Food Story, Flickr, Tesco and BBC

  • What's New



  • Polls

    Should the Dowry be Banned in the UK?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Share to...