indian-spiced grilled chicken with cucumber raita

Grilling season is in full swing! Here is my simple and flavourful Indian grilled chicken recipe… the one everyone always asks for!
Spicy Indian Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Raita | conifères & feuillus
The marinade is yogurt-based which acts as a natural tenderizer and leaves the chicken moist and tender. You can adjust the heat by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper you use. I love serving this recipe with a cool, creamy cucumber raita.

Cucumber raita is a popular Indian condiment made with cucumber and yogurt. It’s very similar to Greek tzatziki. Cucumbers are 96% water and to ensure that I don’t end up with a waterlogged mess, my method for making raita and tzatziki is the same. I have three simple tricks:

  1. Seed the cucumber before grating.
  2. Salt the grated cucumbers to draw out its natural water content.
  3. Use a bit of labneh (or hung yogurt) in place some of the yogurt.

Serve the chicken and raita with rice or grilled flatbread (naan or pita), a simple salad and vegetable side dish. Be sure to have lime wedges and fresh coriander and/or mint for garnishing.

Spicy Indian Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Raita | conifères & feuillusmint and lime | conifères & feuillusSpicy Indian Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Raita | conifères & feuillus

Cucumber Raita

(serves 6-8)

  • 500 g English cucumber
  • 2 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
  • 500 g yogurt (Substitue 100-150 g with labneh for a thicker consistency.)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • pinch of chili pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 15 g  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small green chili seeded and finely chopped (use only half or less if you do not want it too spicy)
  1. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scrape seeds out. Coarsely grate the cucumber using a box grater and stir in 2 tsp of salt. Place in colander and let it drain for a few hours on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. This process removes some of the water content of the cucumbers.
  2. When ready to use, place on a cheese cloth (or paper towel) and squeeze to remove any additional excess liquid.
  3. In a bowl, combine yogurt, labneh (if using), lime juice, olive oil, and spices until you get a mixture smooth in consistency.
  4. Stir in the cucumbers, coriander leaves, mint leaves, garlic cloves and chili. Add additional salt if required.
  5. Serve cold.


Indian-Spiced Grilled Chicken

(serves 6-8)

  • 1450 g (about 6 half-breasts) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 50 g yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 14 g garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder, increase to 1 tsp for spicier taste
  • small bunch fresh coriander and/or mint leaves for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients of the marinade (all ingredients except the chicken pieces) together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and coat them well with the marinade paste.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but not longer than 24 hours.
  4. Grill until golden brown and cooked through.

34 thoughts on “indian-spiced grilled chicken with cucumber raita

  1. How did I miss this one? I can see why it’s the recipe everyone asks for. It’s drool-worthy! Good tips about the raita too. Haven’t ventured into making it yet, but it’s good to know.

  2. I love this post, Annika. The recipes look incredible – so packed with flavour. I’m particularly interested in your raita because it looks more complex (and incidentally more fabulous) than your average cucumber, yoghurt and mint combination. Love the addition of spices and green chilli. I’m definitely trying this next time I make raita. I can imagine how incredible it would taste with the chicken. Thank you! xx

  3. Sounds so fantastic. I always marinate my chicken in yoghurt or buttermilk, it results in such tenderness. I love the spices you’ve used here Annika, I’ll have to try it next time we have a bbq.

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