Chicken Marinated in Yogurt and Spices with Tahini Sauce

Makes 2-3 Servings

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, grated garlic, garam masala, coriander, paprika, cumin, lime juice, and oil. Set aside.

  2. Season 2-3 chicken breasts with a generous amount of salt + pepper. Then, add chicken to the yogurt marinade. Coat chicken in marinade, cover the bowl, and let sit in the fridge at least 2 hours or overnight. I like how it tastes best when left overnight.

  3. Prepare the tahini sauce: Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, honey, paprika, and cayenne (if desired) in a small bowl. Add 1-2 Tbsp. warm water until sauce reaches desired consistency. I like mine thick while still being able to drizzle it. Tahini sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. You may need to add a bit more water to thin it out again before serving.

  4. Remove chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Heat the grill to a medium heat, and oil the grill. Remove chicken from the marinade, wiping off extra yogurt. If excess yogurt is left on the chicken, it may burn depending on the grill.

  5. Add chicken to grill. Season with additional salt + pepper if desired. Grill for a few minutes on each side, and continue to flip until chicken is cooked all the way through.

  6. Serve chicken alongside a simple green salad or grilled or roasted vegetables with tahini sauce.


2 large - 3 small chicken breasts
1/2 c. plain, non-Greek yogurt
4 cloves of garlic, grated
1.5 tsp. garam masala
1.5 tsp. ground coriander
1.5 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. oil (such as olive, safflower or avocado oil)
salt + pepper

For the Tahini Sauce:
1/4 c. tahini
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (if you like spicy)
1-2 Tbsp. water

Roasted vegetables, fresh greens, or herbs, for serving.

Bowls + whisks

15 minute prep
10 minute active cook time
40 minute inactive cook time

Venzi’s Notes

One day, I went to a local neighborhood market in Nashville and was ECSTATIC to find a locally produced yogurt. Back in New York State where I am from, locally made yogurts seem to be a staple item, but down here in Tennessee, I had not yet found any. And as much as a love Greek yogurt, nothing beats regular, fresh, cream on top yogurt. I had to buy it.

This recipe evolved from realizing there was no way I was going to finish this large container of yogurt by myself. I don’t always feel great consuming a ton of dairy, and my husband won’t touch yogurt unless it is masked as a delicious savory sauce. I used it for oats, I used it in yogurt bowls, I baked a yogurt cake — I needed something savory. So I figured I’d try using it as a marinade. I love yogurt when prepared in Indian dishes, so maybe it would work. I used Indian spices, lots of fresh garlic, and some freshly squeezed lime, sealed it up with the chicken and refrigerated it overnight.

The next day, I grilled those babies up. My husband was actually mad that it tasted so good — he said that he couldn’t believe I had grilled up chicken better than any he’s tried making. I explained to him that it was the marinade more than it was my amateur grill skills. I tested the recipe again — just as good the second time. So here it is for you all to enjoy, and I hope you love it as much as we do. The tahini sauce takes it over the top and adds a sweet and spicy nutty flavor to the dish. Perfect paired with any roasted veggies, potatoes, green salad, bread, grains — so versatile!