Chicken Legs Marinated in Yogurt and Spices

This pungent cumin-and-coriander-spiked marinade is reminiscent of restaurant tandoori spicing--without the scary red dye. The yogurt helps the spices penetrate and tenderize the meat. Also try the marinade with pork medallions and lamb leg or blade steaks.

Slideshow:Amazing Chicken Recipes

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Time(Other): plus overnight marinating


  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 6 pounds chicken legs, cut into drumsticks and thighs

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mash the garlic and ginger with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to a coarse paste. Stir in the yogurt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then add the cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, paprika, turmeric, pepper and cinnamon.

  2. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and using a sharp knife, make 3 to 4 deep slashes in the thighs and drumsticks on both sides. Add the chicken to the marinade, toss to coat and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Light a grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and scrape some of it off. Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over a medium-high fire, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Helene Dujardin Published June 2005

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