Yogurt is a natural tenderizer for all kinds of meats: lamb, chicken, pork and beef and is used frequently in Indian cuisine. Garam masala is a blend of warm, not hot, Indian spices that can be purchased in the spice aisle or blended at home…a combination of ingredients not to be missed.

Yogurt Marinade with Garam Masala

Yogurt is a natural tenderizer for all kinds of meats: lamb, chicken, pork and beef and is used frequently in Indian cuisine. Garam masala is a blend of warm, not hot, Indian spices that can be purchased in the spice aisle or blended at home…a combination of ingredients not to be missed.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds cubed meat

Directions

Combine the yogurt, oil, spice, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the meat cubes in a shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over the top and stir to coat the pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the meat from the marinade, discarding the leftover marinade, and thread on soaked wooden skewers along with small onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Grill over medium-high heat or broil (3 to 4 minutes for chicken or pork; 4 to 5 minutes for lamb or beef), turning once.

Makes enough marinade for 1 1/2 pounds of meat * Make a second batch of marinade for dipping.

Garam Masala

2 tablespoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons coriander seed
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 3-inch stick cinnamon, broken into small pieces
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Heat a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves and toast until they release a smoky aroma, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Transfer the mixture to a spice grinder and grind to a powder, working in batches if necessary. Stir in the nutmeg. Store in a cool, dry place for up to three months.

Makes 1/2 cup.