Grilled garam masala seasoned chicken, with veggies & naan/pita

Garam Masala, a curry blend

Garam Masala, a curry blend

By Cat, May 2010 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Chicken Vindaloo; 2. Chicken Tandoori; 3. Herbs & Spices: Curries; 4. Pita; 5. Naan

I received a nice outdoor gas grill as my retirement gift, but I don’t yet have a deck or patio to set it up. I do hope to get that added to may yard in the near future. Until then, I do all my grilling on an old-fashioned charcoal grill. If I had a cast iron grill pan (with a grooved bottom), I could use that indoors on my gas range.

I have not yet tested this recipe.

Grilled Chicken Seasoned with Garam Masala, and served with Veggies & Pita

This recipe is adapted from one by Jil Wendholt Silva featured The Daily InterLake May 5, 2010 edition (originally from McClatchy Newspapers and The Kansas City Star) and serves 4.  I’ve adapted this to serve 2.

This is similar to Chicken Tandoori or Vindaloo in the flavorings, but served with grilled veggies on pita, like a sandwich. This recipe calls for breast meat, but East Indian cuisine prefers dark chicken meat such as thighs for its curries.

I prefer to brine chicken breasts before cooking, to retain moisture, especially when the skin is removed, as in this recipe.  I prefer to leave the bones in the breast during cooking, to enhance mineral content of the meat.

Garam Masala is a wonderful curry spice mix from India, and is available in bulk in most natural food stores. Or you can made your own; see my recipe in my Curries & Spice Blends article. It is not a particularly hot cuurry, but you can add chiles or cayenne to turn up the heat, if desired.

Requires a covered grill, or a cast iron grill pan for use on top of stove. I’ve not yet tested this recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Spiced Chicken: 2 boned chicken breast halves (or quarters), about 4 – 6 oz each, or 3 – 4 boneless thighs (10 – 12 oz total)
  • ¾ cups plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 ¾ tsp garam masala, divided
  • Veggies & Flatbread: ½ medium red bell pepper, quartered
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced
  • ½ medium zucchini or other summer squash, sliced lengthwise
  • ½ medium ripe tomato
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp olive oil plus extra for coating grill
  • 2 whole wheat naan or pita breads
  • Equipment: baking pan (for marinating chicken)
  • additional baking pan or bowl (to marinate veggies)
  • small bowl
  • grill or grill pan


  1. Chicken Prep: Brine breasts for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry with cotton towel. Remove skin & bones; leave skin on, or remove, as desired
  2. Pound breast pieces  between layers of waxed paper, to ½” thick.
  3. Combine yogurt and 1 ½ tsp garam masala; blend well and spread half of mixture over both sides of chicken in pan. Cover and refrigerate 30 min. Cover & refrigerate remaining yogurt mixture.
  4. Veggie Prep: Meanwhile, wash, seed and cut the half-bell pepper in half; wash & slice onion in ½” slices; wash zucchini, slice lengthwise in ½” thick slices. Place all in a bowl or pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp garam masala. Stir gently to coat veggies evenly.
  5. Seed and chop tomato & mince cilantro; set aside separately until ready to serve.
  6. Grill: Coat grill grate with olive oil. Preheat to medium-high, or allow coals to burn to white ash.
  7. Remove chicken from marinade and discard any remaining marinade in the pan.
  8. Place chicken & veggies on grill, over direct heat in a covered grill 8 – 10 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked, no longer pink inside, and a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees, and veggies are tender, turning midway through to cook evenly.
  9. Remove meat & veggies from grill to platter as they are done. Cover and keep warm.
  10. Coat grill again with oil and grill pitas/naan about 30 – 60 seconds per side, or until warm.
  11. Slice cooked meat into 2″ long strips. Slices peppers to thin jullienne, and zucchini strips in half lengthwise, then into thin strips. Halve onion slices and separate into rings.
  12. Serve: For each serving: place one slice warm pita on each plate. Dollop about 1 Tbsp reserved yogurt mixture on top. Top evenly with meat and veggies. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and minced cilantro.
  13. Accompany with greek olives or lacto-fermented pickles


  1. The Daily InterLake May 5, 2010 edition (originally by Jil Wendholt Silva and featured in McClatchy Newspapers and The Kansas City Star (

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