5 Authentic Indian Marinades To Spice Up Your American Fare
Image Credit: Marinated Chicken Tikka | Freepik

In Indian dishes like tikka and tandoori, marinades play a huge role in defining the tenderness and succulence of meats. The acidic element in marinades breaks down the tissues in meats and penetrates through to infuse the meat with flavours.

For a marinade to be perfectly effective, it should have the right balance of acidic elements like lemon juice, yoghurt, or vinegar. It should also have the right amount of spices, herbs and seasonings to impart the precise heat and complexity. The marinades should also have oil to seal the moisture and prevent meat from drying.

While the spices and flavours play a huge role, the timing also plays an important part. Certain meats require only a fraction of an hour to soak up the flavours, while others may take several hours.

In the tapestry of Indian cuisine, you will come across various marinades that entirely change the flavours. If you want to bring that Indian touch to your burgers, barbeque, chicken skillet or rice dishes, try these 4 classic Indian marinades and laden your dishes with flavours.

5 Must-Have Indian Marinades For You

1) Tikka Marinade

Tikka Marinade typically includes yoghurt as it is a base acidic and creamy element. The marinade is made by blending yoghurt, lemon juice, and spices. The spices primarily include cumin, coriander, ginger, and garlic. This marinade goes perfectly with grilled meat dishes, allowing meats like chicken or lamb to get soaked with spices.

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2) Achari Murgh Marinade

Achari Murgh translates to pickled chicken, a famous North Indian dish made by marinating chicken with pickling ingredients. This marinade includes a combination of mustard oil and vinegar, aromatic spices like fenugreek, fennel, mustard seeds, and ginger and garlic paste. This marinade is perfect for the chicken skillet.

3) Red Tandoori Marinade

Red Tandoori Marinade is a spicy blend of chillies and yoghurt that makes a delightful base for pizza and also salmon and veggies. This marinade is made with red chilli paste and red chilli powder along with ginger-garlic paste in hung yoghurt. Spices like black salt, garam masala powder, and dried fenugreek leaves powder also go in.

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4)  Black Pepper Marinade

Black Pepper Marinade is known for its pungent kick, most commonly used in South Indian meat dishes. The marinade contains a blend of dry ingredients like costly grounded black pepper, turmeric powder, and cinnamon with wet ingredients like garlic paste, ghee and yoghurt. Then chopped green chilli, diced onions, clove, ghee, or melted butter are added with salt.

5) Enzyme Marinade

Enzyme marinade is the most effective marinade for tougher cuts of meat. This marinade is typically made with fruits like kiwi, pineapple, and papaya, which are known to have natural enzymes like papain or bromelain that break down proteins and make the meat tender. You need to first cover the meat with mashed raw papaya or pineapple and then add poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, mace, cardamom, ginger-garlic paste, onions, mint, coriander leaves, and green chillies on top. 

These Indian marinades pair perfectly with a variety of American and Western delicacies. If you plan a barbeque or want a twist to your pizza, consider using these marinades for more concentrated flavours.