If you’re looking for a new, flavor-packed marinade for grilled chicken, give this fragrant Indian marinade a try! Made with curry powder, turmeric, coriander, garlic, lemon, and cilantro, it infuses grilled chicken skewers with lots of rich, warm, complex flavor. Add a cool, refreshing cucumber raita (yogurt sauce) to round out the meal (250 calories or 3 WW points)!
In the spring and summertime, I’m outside almost every night, grilling chicken with lemon herb marinade, Asian soy ginger marinade, Caribbean marinade, or making Mediterranean grilled shrimp…even steak tips. And now I’m adding a new marinade recipe to the list—a flavorful and fragrant Indian marinade for chicken. I like to turn them into grilled chicken skewers, but the marinade works well for any type of chicken or cooking method.
The Indian marinade is straightforward: whisk together curry powder, ground turmeric, ground coriander, garlic, lemon juice, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, and olive oil. The lemon works to tenderize the meat, while the garlic, herbs, and spices infuse the chicken with warm, earthy, complex flavor. Curry powder, after all, is typically a blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, chili peppers, and sometimes ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and more. The combination of all of these fragrant spices creates a richness and depth of flavor that you just couldn’t get with one or two spices alone.
Combine the marinade with chicken breast tenderloins (or whole chicken breasts that you cut into thin strips) and let them marinate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours. You can thread the chicken on metal or wooden skewers—or skip them altogether if you don’t have any skewers— and grill until the chicken is cooked through and has a crisp, golden brown char from the grill. Remember that if you plan to use wooden skewers, they need to be soaked in water for 30 minutes before using.
As a cool, creamy complement to the flavorful Indian marinade, I like to make an easy cucumber raita—an Indian yogurt sauce—to serve alongside them. The mix of plain whole-milk yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, cilantro, garlic, salt, and a pinch of cayenne, adds the perfect amount of tang and freshness to our Indian chicken skewers.