Indian tandoori marinade

Having had such luck with Steve Raichlen’s methods to grill tandoori salmon, I tried my hand at other recipes of his. See my experience with his green tandoori spice paste. For this Indian tandoori marinade, 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.

I actually enjoyed making this recipe. It reminded me of how my mom would toast and grind spices. In this recipe grinding the toasted spices resulted in a typical “garam masala.”

My impressions. Unfortunately, this recipe suffers from the same issues as the previous one I tried from this book: flavor isn’t robust enough.

My recommendation: Similar to my prior recommendations,  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.


Indian Tandoori Marinade Recipe


  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice (or 1 teaspoon of mace blades if you can find them….I couldn’t)
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick (about 1 inch)
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of garlic ginger paste
  • 2 jalapeño peppers – chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

    Ingredients for Tandoori Chicken
    Ingredients for Tandoori Chicken


  1. Toast coriander, peppercorns, cumin, mace, fennel, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon in a stove top pan.

    Toasted spices
    After toasting
  2. After spices cool, grind to a fine powder in a spice mill.

    Ground spices
    After being ground
  3. Place Saffron in a small bowl with hot water. Let the saffron infuse for 10 minutes.

    Saffron infusing
    Saffron infusing
  4. Combine the onion, allspice, garlic-ginger paste, jalapenos, lemon juice,  oil, yogurt, toasted spices, saffron mixture,  and salt in a blender and purée to a smooth paste.
  5. Marinade meat accordingly.
Tandoori shrimp marinade
Shrimp marinading
Marinaded chicken halves
Chicken-halves marinading
Grilled tandoori shrimp
Shrimp on the grill
Tandoori shrimp
Shrimp – final product
Tandoori chicken
Chicken – final product

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