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Yogurt Tikka Marinated Chicken

There is nothing like authentic Indian food. As much as I try, I'd never claim to recreate the authentic blend of spices used in tradition Indian cookery. Maybe it's the copious amouts of ghee or access to uber fresh indigenous spices. Maybe it's generations of traditional recipes passed along.
I like to pretend to recreate something distantly related to these tantalizing flavors. This yogurt based marinade is just that - a super simplified version of chicken tikka. While many marinades will suit various proteins, I'd stick with poultry on this one, as I'm not sure the yogurt will be a good fit with other types of meat.
Skin-on chicken thighs or legs will yield juicey meat with a crispy exterior speckled with garlic and ginger.  
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, leftovers, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger minced or grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 8-10 chicken thighs or legs skin-on


  • Place all ingredients except chicken directly into dish large enough to marinate and whisk together until well incorporated.
  • Add chicken and massage marinade into meat making sure to get under skin. Allow to marinate 12-24 hrs.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Remove chicken from marinade and place on roasting rack. Be sure to schmear any remaining marinade on the chicken before popping into the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on the cut you've chosen.
  • Check that juices are running clear and remove from oven to rest.
Keyword Chicken, Indian, Make-ahead, Marinade, Protein, Spices