WFD? Yogurt and Tamarind Marinated Grilled Chicken

Here we are at the beginning of September and I have not yet featured one recipe from the hallowed grill. Shocking! Maybe by now you have realized that I am not one of those people who start their barbeque mid-May and practically leave it on low until Labor Day. To these people it seems that grilling as almost a requirement, rather than an option, and suppertime is usually no more complicated than “Hamburger or Hot-dog?”

Now, I do enjoy a good Barbeque feast, and after years in a tiny downtown apartment, consider it a luxury to have a back deck large enough to hold a full sized BBQ; still, everything in moderation!
To me, grilling should be about options. All too often folks get stuck in the aforementioned rut of burgers, hot-dogs and –maybe on weekends- a brochette or a steak. I can recall one week this summer where I ate (as a guest) hamburgers four nights out of seven. While I do enjoy the occasional hefty outdoor-grilled burger, that was about my quota for the entire summer.
I guess you catch my drift.
All that said, here is one recipe for the grill to add to your repertoire. I’ve made it a few times this summer (each time vowing to blog about it) and am always delighted by its simplicity and succulence! For those of you who remember, I had promised to post a recipe or two using my homemade garam masala and this is it, finally! In my opinion, it is that exciting addition of spices that sets this recipe apart. You can also buy garam masala at most specialty or ethnic food shops. The same goes for the tamarind paste, although it more commonly packaged as a pulp. No worries, just mix with some boiling water to soften and pass through a fine sieve.

This recipe is taken from the fabulous Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine

I served the chicken with a basmati rice pilaf, to which I also added some garam masala, and baby vegetables from my garden.
Yogurt-and-Tamarind-Marinated Grilled Chicken

Be sure to use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe, as breast meat doesn’t soak in the flavors of the yogurt and tamarind as well.

¾ cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp tamarind paste
3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
¼ cup canola oil
1 ½ Tbsp salt
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 Tbsp garam masala
2 ¼ lbs boneless chicken thighs
1 lemon, in 6 wedges (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, tamarind, garlic, oil, salt, cayenne and garam masala. Add chicken thighs and mix well. Make sure chicken is well covered in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the stronger the flavors will be.

Preheat a grill to high heat. Grill marinated chicken thighs skin-side down for about two minutes and then turn over. Grill on other side for 2 minutes and turn over again. Grill each side for another two minutes. Poke thighs with a knife to be sure they are cooked through. Remove from grill and let rest, covered with tin foil for a few minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges and desired accompaniments.
About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Aimee. This is such a lovely dish! I will try it for my dinner soon. 🙂

  2. Aimée, the dish looks so beautifully put together, I should be so lucky having something like this on my table!

  3. Umm….yummy! I shall have to try this.

  4. What a wonderful combination of ingredients, Aimée. And I’ve no doubt that it tastes as incredible as it looks. 🙂

  5. I think I gained 10 pounds just looking at your blog.

  6. We got the bbq out as early as March this year when we had some freak hot weather. Good job too as we haven’t had the weather to get it out all Summer.

    This dish sounds lovely!

  7. Hi Anh- Do try it! You won’t be disappointed.

    Hi Patricia- It’s the colors that are so vibrant- they really make the plate. But, thanks!

    Hi Miranda- Maybe if you are lucky you can hit me up for some garam masala…

    Hi Belinda- Yep, you can’t go wrong with all that garlic!

    Hi Bread of Life- Wow, thank you I guess!! Thanks for stopping by UtHC.

    Hi Amanda- Sorry about your UK weather,I guess it has to live up to it reputation,eh?

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