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Tandoori Spiced Mixed Grill

Though this recipe is not cooked in a tandoor oven, it does use tandoori spices on a combination of proteins for a delicious mixed grill. This recipe calls for chicken, shrimp and tofu, but you could do any combination of proteins and vegetables.

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A large rectangular platter with tandoori spiced mixed grill on it.

What is Tandoori?

Tandoori generally refers to foods cooked in the traditional Indian clay oven, called a tandoor. This recipe for Tandoori Spiced Mixed Grill does not (for obvious reasons) require the use of a tandoor, but instead cooks a mixture of proteins on the grill. Tandoori spices are what you’ll find in this recipe. Tandoori masala is a common blend of spices used in Northern India including cumin, tumeric and coriander. 

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Two images - one of hands reaming lime juice into a bowl of other ingredients, and one of tandoori marinade with a spatula sticking out of it.

Tandoori Marinade

These tandoori spices are blended with yogurt to make a marinade that imparts a ton of flavor to the food, along with freshly grated ginger, garlic, lime juice and olive oil. Traditionally, plain yogurt is used for the marinade, but you can use Greek yogurt if that’s what you have. If you do use Greek yogurt, the marinade will be quite thick (as above). Just make sure to rub the marinade into all the nooks and crannies of the proteins so that everything gets coated evenly.

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A bowl of tandoori marinating chicken, a bowl of tandoori marinating shrimp and a baking pan of tandoori marinating tofu.

Marinating Time

For this recipe, I’ve used chicken breast, shrimp and tofu, but you could use any combination of proteins for this mixed grill. Lamb chops would be delicious, as would turkey or pork sausage. Whatever proteins you choose, I like to marinate them in individual bowls to keep flavors separate. How long to marinate also depends on what you are marinating. Chicken benefits from several hours, whereas the tofu and shrimp really only need an hour or so.

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Chicken breast, tofu and shrimp grilling on an electric grill.

Grilling Time

Because this is a mixed grill, the different proteins you choose will take different times to cook. Start with a good hot grill and then place the longest cooking protein down first. In this case, that’s the chicken breasts. Add the other proteins in stages, or if you don’t have enough room for everything on the grill at one time, hold the food in a warm oven  until everything is cooked. 

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Looking down on three plates of tandoori spiced mixed grill - one with tandoori shrimp, one with tandoori chicken and one with tandoori tofu.

What to Serve with Tandoori Spiced Mixed Grill

If you still have room on your grill, grill some summer vegetables to go with this dinner. Zucchini, peppers, eggplant or a combination of all three would be beautiful. If you’re out at the grill, it’s nice to not have to bother with last minute stovetop preparations as side dishes, so the following make good options: Couscous with Lemon and Herbs, Spring Green Salad or Quinoa with Spinach. Of course, a homemade naan would be nice alongside too. 

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Tandoori Mixed Grill

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 20 m
  • Marinating Time: 4 h
  • Total Time: 4 h 40 m
  • Servings:
    6
    people

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cups plain yogurt
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp peeled with tails on
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu sliced into ½-inch thick slices
  • 4 12-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes.
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade by combining the garlic, ginger, paprika, coriander, cumin. turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper, lime juice, olive oil and yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Marinate the chicken, shrimp and tofu in separate bowls or shallow pans, coating all sides well with the marinade. (The marinade will be quite thick). Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours and remove the pans from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers.
  3. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat (350˚F on an electric grill). Grill all the proteins until cooked through and well-marked. The chicken should take roughly 10 minutes per side and is done when it has reached an internal temperature of 165˚F. The tofu will take 5 minutes per side and just needs to be warmed through with nice grill marks. The shrimp will take 2 to 4 minutes per side and will turn an opaque pink when cooked. The timing of all proteins depends on how hot your grill is and whether or not you’re using an outdoor grill or an indoor electric grill. (The electric grill will take a few minutes longer).
  4. Slice the chicken breast into large pieces and arrange on a platter with the tofu and shrimp. Top with torn up fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze with fresh lime juice.
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