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¾ cup plain yogurt, stirred
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
¼ cup canola oil
1¼ teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garam masala
2¼ pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 lemon, in 6 wedges
In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, tamarind paste, 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 four hours and up to eight hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the stronger the flavours will be.
Preheat a grill, barbecue or stovetop cast-iron grill to high heat.
Remember to turn on your exhaust fan when you are grilling on your stovetop, since the cooking process will emit some smoke.
Grill marinated chicken thighs on one side for about two minutes and then turn over. Grill the other side for two minutes and turn over again. Grill each side again for two minutes for a total of four minutes a side. Poke the thighs with a knife to be sure they are cooked through. If the meat is still pink, grill each side for one minute more.
To serve, divide rice, noodles or salad greens among six plates. Top with grilled chicken. While piping hot, squeeze a little fresh lemon on the chicken, according to taste.
Vikram Vij is chef and owner of the award-winning Vij's restaurant in Vancouver.