Yogurt and tamarind-marinated grilled chicken

The Globe and Mail

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  • Servings: 6

¾ cup plain yogurt, stirred

1 tablespoon tamarind paste

3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

¼ cup canola oil

1½tablespoons salt

1¼ teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon garam masala

2¼ pounds boneless chicken thighs

1 lemon, in 6 wedges

Method

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.

Suggested Wine Pairings

A crisp white works best here. Sauvignon blanc, pinot gris or even a crisp, unoaked or moderately oaked chardonnay are all good choices. There's always ever-versatile riesling, too. From British Columbia, consider Peller Estates Private Reserve Riesling ($17.99 in B.C.). From New Zealand, there's Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($19.99 in B.C.; $21.81 in N.S.). From Ontario, look for Malivoire Pinot Gris ($19 in Ontario) or Fielding Pinot Gris ($18.20 in Ontario). -- Beppi Crosariol