Lil Indian Excursion – Almond Cilantro Yogurt Chicken

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Last week one of my coworkers invited my project team over to his house for dinner. His wife whipped up this massive array of delicious Indian food and we all pigged out happily while enjoying the family atmosphere of the dinner at his home. It’s rare as a young, single professional living far away from your parents to get that family feeling at a meal – kids running around, a lovely mother-like hostess graciously encouraging you to eat more, the heart of a person’s life shared with you. It was really so lovely and made me feel a bit sad to miss out on that by living so far from my own parents. But, anywhere you go, you can create a new family. Not to replace your blood relatives, but a new branches to your family tree in all the good friends you find along the way. This is my extended family for whom I cook these days. We feast over too many bottles of wine, raucous laughter, and highly inappropriate conversations. A very different flavor from dinners at home, but so warm and wonderful in its own way.

In any case, my fave dish of the night was actually served as an appetizer. The wife made these baked chicken drumsticks with a cilantro yogurt sauce that were soooo tasty! We begged her for the recipe and she happily talked us through what she did. I only remembered some of the main parts, fully expecting to be able to google something similar when I got down to actually cooking it. Sadly, my google skills failed and I did not find anything really similar to what she described! unbelievable! So, left to my own devices, I devised the following recipe from what I remembered with, of course, a few cookie-experimental modifications.



  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can also use drumsticks or breasts)
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds
  • 4 TB minced garlic (or 4 cloves, minced)
  • 1/2 piece of ginger cut into matchsticks
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 cups low fat plain yogurt

1. Make the sauce base –  In a food processor, or a blender, if you are gangsta like me, toss in the almonds, garlic, ginger, and about 1 TB olive oil. Run the blender, pouring in some more olive oil as needed to help it all flow. In the end you should end up with a chunky paste like below. Place it into a large bowl.

IMG_3457  + Much blending + olive oil = IMG_3458

2. Add the cilantro – Take your coarsly chopped cilantro and pop it in the blender w/out cleaning it out. Add some more olive oil and chop til you’ve got your fresh greens down to something that looks kinda like pesto. Add that to your big bowl with the almond/garlic/ginger paste.

 IMG_3459 IMG_3460 IMG_3461

3. Add seasoning & yogurt – Add salt, pepper and stir together, tasting to see if it is the right flavor for you. Then add the yogurt and stir all together to make your delish sauce.

4. Marinatin’ Time! – In a very large container, place some sauce on the bottom, then place the chicken as flat as you can in the container. Cover evenly with sauce. Add more layers if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate at least 2 hours, or, even better, overnight!


5. Cook it – Heat the oven to 350. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with some cooking spray. Place each piece of chicken onto the pan after shaking off any excess sauce.


Bake for about 35 min, then turn oven to broil and finish off the chicken for about 7 min or til the edges get toasty brown.


now, as a new feature on Cookie Loves Eating, we bring you VIDEOS!!

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Are you ready to chow down on this dish??

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Woo hoo! hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!