Spiced Yogurt Marinade Recipe
The best way to avoid grilling monotony (yes, it can happen) is to have a handful of favorite marinade combinations and some good rubs in your cooking arsenal. No recipes needed here, just simple combinations that live in your head and whose ingredients reside in your pantry. Dried herbs, smoked paprika and whole spices like coriander, cumin and fennel seeds, are a must for rubs. Add some fresh garlic, olive oil and something acidic like lemon or wine and voila: marinade!
The one soaking standby that eluded my repertoire was a tangy, Indian inspired yogurt marinade. With warm temperatures in the forecast I was motivated to give this a try. It was so easy I even managed to whip it up and get my chicken pieces soaking one morning. Doing anything dinner-related in the morning before work is hardly my M.O., but the small amount of time it took came back to me in triplicate that evening. I was rewarded with an entrée that was ready to roll right out the refrigerator door and onto the grill.
The yogurt had worked its purported tenderizing magic and the blend of spices, lemon and garlic infused the chicken with their exotic flavors. Don’t you just love it when something so easy also turns out as delicious as anticipated? Spicing up your everyday fare, not to mention adding a new recipe to your collection, is definitely something to savor.
This is wonderful with chicken and would also be a delicious marinade for lamb, tofu or chunks of summer squash. Experiment with different spices like oregano or herbs de Provence. The cilantro is fantastic to include, but I know how touchy people can be about it so left it as “optional.”
- 6 ounces plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup finely minced or grated onion
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (*see notes below)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (optional)
- Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken, lamb or tofu pieces for at least 4 hours. Grill to desired doneness.
If you don’t have Garam Masala you could substitute 1 tsp. curry powder or blend of ¾ tsp cumin and ¼ tsp cinnamon or cardamom.