Up In Ya Grill with a Desi Twist

Burgers, kebabs, and grilled meats, oh my! There’s nothing more appealing than outdoor grilling, with the aroma of masalas and meats wafting through the air.

We have three recipes for you utilizing turkey, lamb, and chicken. It is worth noting that you could substitute each protein with another. Not big into turkey burgers? You could use ground chicken, pork, or beef instead.

Pork can be used instead of lamb in both the kebab and tamarind chicken recipe and tastes just as delicious with the combination of ingredients.

Bottom line: Use fresh ingredients and don’t shy away from masalas for a truly zesty and flavor-packed barbecue!

Grilled Mint Masala Turkey Burger

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tablespoons onion puree
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ginger puree
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 20 ounces ground turkey


In a large bowl mix, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Shape into 4 burgers. Cook on outdoor grill over medium heat. Cook burgers for 6-8 minutes per side until center is no longer pink. Serve on a bun with mint chutney and piaja (optional) or toppings of choice.

Grilled Garlic Lamb Kebobs

Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder arm (round-bone) chops, trimmed boned, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water 10 minutes


Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, cumin, coriander, fennel, cayenne, and salt. Add lamb; toss to coat evenly. Let stand 5 minutes. Thread lamb on skewers, leaving 1/2-inch space between each piece.

Grill or broil lamb until crusty brown outside but still pink inside, turning occasionally about 8 minutes. Arrange skewers on plates and serve.

Grilled Tamarind Chicken

Serves 4


  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 cup unsalted or low-sodium ketchup
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


Heat a skillet over high heat. Add butter and melt. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic; stir and reduce heat/flame to medium and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the ketchup, vinegar, tamarind, sugar, cayenne, garam masala, salt, and pepper and simmer over low heat, whisking, until reduced about 5 minutes. Cool completely.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Toss in the ketchup-tamarind mixture, coating each piece evenly. Reserve any leftover sauce to baste chicken with on grill.

Light a grill. Cook chicken over moderately high heat, turning once until almost cooked, about 7 minutes. Brush with the sauce and grill over low heat, brushing and turning, until glazed, about 4 minutes.

Allow chicken to rest before cutting on a bias. Serve with grilled naan and chutneys or on top of a salad.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on our partner website India.com and is republished here with permission. 


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