Masala Chicken Wings

This recipe is by Chef Chris Shepherd, and brings Indian flavors to a classic grilled wing.

Recipe by Chris Shepherd

Serves 6-8


For the wings:
½ cup masala mix (see below)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 pounds chicken wings
4 long green peppers (such as Anaheim)

For the raita:
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons thinly sliced mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 large English cucumber, sliced lengthwise and seeds removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the masala mix:
15 garlic cloves
3 Thai chiles, stemmed
1 bunch cilantro (both stems and leaves)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine all the masala mix ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. The masala will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Prepare the wings: In a resealable plastic bag, add the masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne, paprika, yogurt and salt. Seal the bag and shake/squeeze until everything is nicely combined. Add the chicken wings, seal, and shake again to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 10.

Make the raita: In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mint, cilantro and lime juice. Using the large holes of box grater, grate the cucumber. Place the grated cucumber in the center of a clean kitchen towel, bring the corners together and twist (like you’re wringing out water) to squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix the cucumber into the yogurt mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare a very hot grill, creating zones for direct and indirect heat. If you’re using charcoal, you can do this by banking all of the coals to one side. On a gas grill, only use the burners on one side, at full blast. Pull the chicken wings out of the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Place the wings over direct heat on the grates and grill, turning occasionally, until the wings are charred on all sides—about 8 minutes. Move the wings to the indirect heat zone and let roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add the peppers to the direct heat zone and char until softened.

Cut the peppers in half and serve them mixed in with the wings on a large platter, with the raita on the side for dipping.


Photo by Julie Soefer