Spicy Indian Yogurt Chicken

When your fridge is packed full of yogurt you have no choice but to get creative and thankfully there are awesome cuisines like Indian that relies heavily on yogurt for dishes.

Also, yes I know slow on posting but work sucks…..well it always sucks this time of year so I am still going to be a ghost for a couple more weeks so sorry tweets and Facebook peeps I am not ignoring you.

Luckily will all the overtime money I have been able to spend on my never ending camera addiction.  The new purchases are all revolving around lighting (I really do not think I need another lens).  I was using a light tent with 4 500 watt work lights but I thought there has to be a better way especially since the work lights were really harsh.  I am now playing around with off camera flash and shooting through an umbrella.  This is the first shoot I have done with it and so far happy with it but see room for improvment.

Oh yeah and to add to the happiness we are out of zero degree weather for a couple weeks and saw rain this morning.  So weird to see precipitation that does not require me to have to fire up a snow blower.  I realize winter is another 2 months long and I am sure we will get hammered with more snow but hey I will take winter’s mid life crisis any day of the week.

Enough rambling and back on to the actual dish because that is only what people care about and I really need more coffee……

For the chicken you will need:

  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 TB of ground cumin
  • 1/2 TB of ground coriander
  • 1/2 TB of chili powder
  • 1/2 TB of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 TB of diced ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs with the skin removed and cut into 1 inch dice

Steps for the chicken:

  • Combine everything together but the chicken.
  • Taste and if you are happy add in the chicken.
  • Put in the fridge and let it relax overnight.

For the sauce you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 TB of tomato paste
  • 1/2 TB whole chili powder (I used a ancho)
  • 1/2 TB garam masala
  • 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 cup of cream

What to do with the chicken after it has been marinated:

  • Turn broiler to low
  • Put chicken on broiler pan
  • Throw broiler pan under broiler and broil until cooked through.

Steps for finishing up the dish including what to do with the sauce ingredients:

  • In a large skillet (I used a 12 inch cast iron skillet) over medium melt the 2 TB of butter and add in the onions.  Let this cook until the onions are softened and then add in the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, and garam masala until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Add in the can of tomatoes and simmer for 20 or so minutes or until the mixture is thickened.
  • Add in the cup of cream along with the broiled chicken and cook until heated through.
  • Taste and adjust (add in some more cayenne if you want a little spicier or maybe some more salt and pepper if needed).

Serve and enjoy!


Cooked up by Jeff


  1. 21
    January 8

    i made this and it was very delicious, thanks for the recipe!

  2. 20
    June 11

    Since I’m unfortunate enough to live in a place with nary a good Indian restaurant in sight, I think I will have to go buy some yoghurt, stat. This looks amazing.

  3. 19
    February 2

    I’ve been looking for some new Indian recipes and this one looks so delicious! I’m printing it out now.

  4. 18
    January 27

    Drool. Need to make this.

  5. 17
    January 27

    I didn’t know Indian food used a lot of yogurt, but I don’t know much about Indian food. One of my culinary resolutions for this year is to learn more about it.

    I couldn’t live without my off camera flashes, I think they are the best investment I’ve made in photography equipment. Just a suggestion, instead of shooting through the umbrella, point the inside of the umbrella towards your food so the light from your flash bounces from it and use a white canvas opposite of your subject to reduce shadows. I’ve found this diffuses the light more evenly. :)

  6. 16
    January 27

    Yum, Jeff, that looks amazing, and totally has my mouth watering at barely 9 am. Thanks. Re: lighting, have you tried out a Light Scoop yet? I wrote a piece about it a week or two ago – a simple $24 accessory, but so very cool.

  7. 15
    January 26

    That looks deliciously luscious and I bet the yogurt really tenderises the chicken too! :D

  8. 14
    January 26

    Indian food is one of the most comforting winter weather dishes. Warm, thick, creamy, intense. Perfect!

  9. 13
    January 26

    I’ll definitely be trying this, and congrats on the camera-related purchase! Lovely pic, and a “must try” recipe! :)

  10. 12
    January 26

    Um, I totally need another lens. Maybe I need to actually get a JOB. hehe. The chicken looks amazing, as usual! And I’m sure I could do this with tofu. ;)

    And about the “team I despise?” I’ve never rooted for the Jets so hard in my life! And I *never* will again–it was strictly a one time deal. Now it Saints all the way baby! hahaha!!

  11. 11
    January 26

    Yummie, this chicken sure looks delicious :-) Love the idea of using yogurt as I want to add more yogurt into our diet! Nice picture!

  12. 10
    January 26

    Oh, yeah! And the photo looks good enough to eat! :-)

  13. 9
    January 26

    We love Indian food and we just had tandoori chicken this afternoon. :)

    Your dish looks fantastic and delicious.

  14. 8
    January 26

    A great favorite of mine – sounds like you nailed every flavor! Yum!

  15. 7
    January 26

    I am a huge yogurt fan, the more uses the better! Great marinade!

  16. 6
    January 26

    A spiced up yogurt marinade sounds like something really unique and lovely. Congrats on your lighting purchases. I just got back from a food conference where we learned a whole lot about both styling & food photography. Lots of simple ideas for tools that help you bounce light, etc.

  17. 5
    January 25

    Delicious! I love a yogurt marinade.
    I am so jealous of your light tent! We are still using a desk lamp…

  18. 4
    January 25

    That looks & sounds so good. Perfect for this nasty weather

  19. 3
    January 24

    I have and have made this exact recipe, only I cook the chicken on the grill. The cream sauce was not with the one I make…darn this sound delish. I must try it with the sauce.

  20. 2
    January 24

    Mmmm….delicious I bet! I love curry…just any curry. It’s so good with rice or noodles….mmmm

  21. 1
    January 24

    I need better lights… and camera… and lenses… and know-how.

    Sigh, but you are an inspiration, want to sell your cast offs cheap?

    And I love using greek yogurt as an ingredient