Grilled Chicken with Yogurt and Cumin (Tavuk Izgara)


  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 small onion

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    , coarsely chopped

  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 12 boneless chicken thighs, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds, or 4 half broilers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Toast the cumin seeds in a small saute pan over medium heat until the seeds are fragrant and start to pop in the pan. Remove from the heat and grind in a spice mill.

Place the cumin, onion, garlic, paprika, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse to liquify. Add the yogurt and pulse just until blended.

Put the chicken thighs in a shallow nonaluminum baking dish or bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the broiler to make a charcoal fire. Thread the thighs if using on 4 skewers. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Broil or grill until the juices run clear, about 6 minutes each side. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Yield: 4 servings

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