Green Tandoori Spice Paste

Having had such luck with Steve Raichlen’s methods to grill tandoori salmon, I tried my hand at other recipe’s of his. I modified a recipe published in his book “Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades-Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too.” The Kindle version of this book tends to go on sale for $1.99 often.

The recipe is interesting and differs from any South Asian grilling recipe I’ve seen before in that it includes spinach in the rub/marinade. I did make a few modifications for the sake of convenience(e.g. frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach, ginger-garlic paste instead of chopped fresh garlic and ginger).

My impressions. I applied the paste to chicken halves and shrimp and grilled on my XL Big Green Egg. My wife reserved some paste and marinaded chicken tenders to be used for dinner a few nights later; she cooked the tenders on a cast-iron skillet on the stove top. Here’s a few of my impressions

  • The flavor is pleasant, but
  • this recipe is allot of work: preparing spinach, cutting vegetables, sauteing onions/garlic/ginger, and pureeing everything in blender. Although none of these steps are too difficult, I did have to set aside time to make this recipe
  • Most tandoori recipes result in meat with bold flavors, but this paste failed to impart as robust of a flavor as I was expecting. Spinach didn’t add much except a green color. If I did it again, I would add 1/2 pack of Shan Tandoori Masala or Shaan Chicken Tikka.
  • My wife’s chicken tenders – cooked on the stove top – actually were more flavorful. Maybe the paste is not potent enough to outshine the flavor imparted by cooking over charcoal???

My recommendation: If you’re looking for a Indian/tandoori recipe with fewer steps and more robust flavors, check out our other tandoori chicken recipes: “Karachi Bam Chicken,” “Momma’s Tandoori Chicken,” or “Juice’d Chicken Tikka.” Karachi Bam Chicken is probably the best of these and much easier to prep than this paste.

Green Tandoori Spice Paste Recipe

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-size onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 spoons garlic-ginger paste (note: original recipe called for 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, plus 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook spinach in microwave according to packet instructions

    Spinach after cooking in microwave
  2. Cook onion and garlic ginger paste in melted butter in a skillet.

    Onion and garlic-ginger paste cooking in melted butter.
  3. Blend spinach, onion/garlic-ginger mix, salt, poblano chile, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, yogurt, lemon juice, coriander seeds, turmeric, and black pepper in blender or food processor until it turns to paste
  4. Apply paste to desired meat and marinade accordingly.
    Shrimp marinading
    Chicken halves marinating
    Grilled shrimp - green tandoori paste
    Shrimp cooking
    Shrimp - Green tandoori paste
    Shrimp with green tandoori paste – final product with underwhelming flavor
    Grilled chicken halves - green tandoori paste
    Grilled chicken with green tandoori paste – underwhelming flavor

    Chicken tenders cooked with green tandoori paste
    My wife’s chicken tenders marinaded with the same paste. These tasted better.

3 thoughts on “Green Tandoori Spice Paste

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s