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Yogurt (Recipe: chicken tikka) {gluten-free}

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it's time to get finger food recipes lined up for game day. Welcome to Easy Apps Week, Day Two.

Chicken tikka with spicy tomato jam

Nine things I know about yogurt (you'll be glad to know them, too): 


  1. Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, which causes the transformation of the milk's sugar, lactose, into lactic acid.
  2. Yogurt can be made from any mammal that produces milk: goats, cows, sheep and water buffalo, yaks and camels. In the market in my little Rhode Island town, we don't get much yak's milk yogurt -- okay, we don't ever get yak's milk yogurt -- but I'm sure it's delicious.
  3. It takes one pound of milk to make one pound of yogurt.
  4. Don't buy pasteurized yogurt or yogurt marked "heat treated". Pasteurization kills the beneficial bacteria that might be helpful in treating a range of conditions from osteoporosis to acne.
  5. Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, and magnesium.
  6. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but it becomes much stronger in flavor the longer it sits. Like sour cream, yogurt might separate, with some watery liquid on top. You can either pour off the liquid or stir it back in.
  7. Did you know that you can make yogurt in a crockpot?
  8. And, that with your own homemade yogurt, you can make strawberry frozen yogurt, green chile cornbread, yogurt cake, salmon with yogurt curry sauce, blueberry muffins, spinach and yogurt soup.
  9. Americans eat more than 300,000 tons of yogurt each year. Are you eating your share?

Chicken tikka

Chicken tikka

Adapted slightly from Epicurious, this recipe can be made ahead and served at room temperature, making it perfect for football Sundays or for any day of the week. The word tikka refers to food cooked on a skewer, but it's easier to cook the chicken on a pan, and skewer it after it's cooked. Serve with chutney or our favorite peanut sauce. Serves 5-6.


1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1-1/2 tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes


Puree all ingredients except chicken in a blender, until well combined. Put chicken into a ziploc bag, and add the mixture from the blender. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and massage to coat the chicken completely. Refrigerate, turning once or twice, for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat your broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spread the chicken in a single layer. Broil 5 minutes, until the chicken has some browned spots; turn the chicken pieces, and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a serving platter with toothpicks or bamboo picks. Serve with mango or tomato chutney, or with peanut sauce.

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chicken satay
Chicken shish kabob
Salmon tikka
Shrimp teriyaki

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


ypgurt is a staple around here. we eat it a lot is different flavors and for cooking/baking. i love seeing the chicken tikka here. hope you enjoyed it!

And Americans don't begin to compare to the French. Our 'yogurt aisle' is easily 4 times as long as in a comparable US market. It's always offered as dessert in cafes and small restaurants, mon mari got it with every meal when he was in hospital and it's part of every airline meal as well. Rarely with fruit or flavorings, though, usually plain.
Thanks for the great primer - and the chicken tikka

As an adult I have learned to love yogurt in all its glory. This tikka dish would be perfect sometime this week.

I love chicken tikka!! I have to admit that I still haven't gotten on the yogurt-snack bandwagon, but it's great to have on hand for cooking and baking!

This looks fantastic. I would happily eat it as a main course as well as a snack. (And I love those little cocktail forks too!)

I love yogurt! I make it often here at the house. We use raw milk to make ours so we make it a bit differently than when using pasteurized milk. It's so delicious and so healthy. I often use it instead of sour cream in recipes when I'm out.

This chicken looks fantastic. I'll have to give this a whirl. We often just eat yogurt with some fruit, I don't oten use it in savory cooking, should try to do this more often.

Yogurt is so versatile and I use it a lot when I make Indian food as it tempers the heat and spices for a smooth and unbelievable meal!

Please consider giving instructions for making yogurt in a crockpot.

Got another fact for you... be careful when you buy the no-fat yogourt. It is usually full of sugar and additives to keep it that consistency. I have even heard that some fruit-on-the-bottom yougourt processing involves MSG! Eww... So buy the nice small yogourt and the fat is good for you!

lydia I am coming to your house to have this. LOL!

One of my earliest memories is of eating Vanilla Yogurt (I loved it) but at the time it came in a cardboard cup!! I'm going to have to check out that slow cooker recipe.

I love it and perfect for game day. The color is especially nice.

I am not eating my share of yogurt but I enjoyed reading the 9 facts and seeing the delicious looking chicken-tikka.

Meeta, I absolutely need to eat more yogurt. My husband loves it, but I only have it for cooking. Must do better!

Katie, I've noticed that in many European countries.

Val, Julia, Joan: I'm still hoping to have my a-ha yogurt moment. Love it for cooking, not in love with it as a snack. I'm working on that.

Kalyn, the cocktail forks are bamboo. I love them, too.

Chiot's Run, your homemade yogurt must taste wonderful!

Momgateway, yogurt is the perfect counterpart to the intense spices of Indian food.

Mary-Rose, just click on the link in the post, and you'll get right to the crockpot recipe.

Katerina, thanks for sharing that information. Reading labels is so important.

Dawn, come on over!

TW, that's a food memory from a while ago!

Noble Pig, I wonder if the color will match the uniforms of any team in the Super Bowl...

Yogurt it is.. could not do without it!
Can have chicken tikka for every meal of my day.

I've printed this recipe and plan to make it for Super Bowl Sunday. It would be better if the Patriots were playing but we'll still manage to gather with friends to eat and drink. I'll let you know if I find any yak yogurt in the Boston area!

We loved this recipe! Made it with Quorn nuggets. Going to try the leftover sauce with some pretty Asian eggplants.
Two weeks? I think yogurt gets better with age (to a point) -- the organisms are live and protective, never had any trouble. I take all printed dates with a grain of doubt.
Another country with fabulous yogurt variety is Israel; hummos too, amazing!

I just love Greek yoghurt! I never thought of serving tikka as an appetizer. Thanks for the great idea!

What's beautiful about this dish is that for vegetarians you can substitute the chicken with paneer (cottage cheese) preferably the soft 'Nanak' brand, or extra firm tofu. And you dont have to marinade it for 8 hours either :-)....just some options.

Lydia- Yay! The glitch that kept me from viewing your blog has finally resolved (by magic?). I used to adore chicken in yogurt. Have some for me, will ya? xox

We love yogurt too, I make my own in a little incubator. Great recipe!

how perfect - i would eat an entire plate of these.

Thank you so much for the information about yogurt! Do you know the difference between Greek yogurt and the other types of yogurt? I heard that the former is thicker. Is that true? Are there other differences?

I can't believe I have every single ingredient for the Chicken Tikka. I must make this dish this week. Thank you for posting it! It looks fabulous.

Soma, My Spatula: this was delicious for dinner and for lunch again the next day.

MOM Janice, well the Patriots did not do us proud this year. But in my house the big game will still be on, and we have to eat!

Susan, great idea to use quorn for this. I remember the richness of Israeli yogurt from my travels there years ago.

Donna, Memoria: Greek yogurt is delicious, but for this marinade, you'll want the extra moisture in regular yogurt. I've posted several times about Greek yogurt; you can use the search box up at the top to find those posts and read more about the differences between Greek and regular yogurt.

Sri, love the idea of substituting paneer!

Karina, so lovely to find you here!!

Natashya, your own homemade yogurt must be absolutely delicious. It's been years since I made my own, though I'm going to try the crockpot method.

Lydia, I always have yogurt around, especially for baking - the cakes and muffins turn out so moist with yogurt in the batter!

This is also a natural Phase One recipe for South Beachers! I'm making this ASAP too.

I'm a big fan of yogurt or buttermilk as a marinade. Chicken breast really benefits from the marinade too!

Patricia, I'm just learning more about how to use yogurt in baking.

FFF, my friend Kalyn is always looking for great Phase One recipes for the readers of her blog.

Peter, agreed, yogurt and buttermilk really do wonders for chicken.

I had something very similar in Trinidad--ate an authentic Indian restaurant, which was amazing and out of this world! Love that you made your yogurt! I have a visit to a local creamery that makes great Greek yogurt and I can't wait to play around with it!!

Just yesterday I read an article that stated yogurt was great for losing weight & burning fat (not new, but new to me). Even more reason to start incorporating more of it into foods other than baked goods & servings of fruit!

Hi Lydia, The chicken tikkas look fantastic! Must try! Btw I have an easy appetizer recipe for the Super Bowl too: http://soupanddessert.blogspot.com/2010/01/healthier-nachos.html

Follow-up: This sauce was wonderful on baked eggplant, and the last bit went into a simple omelet, also wonderful. Time to make it again.

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