1 4- to 4-1/2 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon Serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala*
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup yogurt, plain
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
*Garam masala is a spice mix that is often used in Indian recipes. You can find it in larger grocery stores with good spice selections. The mixture often contains coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and crushed bay leaves. If you can’t find garam masala, you might try using allspice or curry.
Poke holes in the pieces of chicken with a fork. With a knife, cut diagonal slices 1 inch apart and 1/2 inch deep into the larger pieces of chicken. Place the chicken in a baking dish.
In a blender, combine the oil, onion, garlic, ginger and pepper. Process on high until mixture resembles a paste. Next, add the paprika, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masala and cayenne pepper; process until well blended. Add the yogurt and lemon juice and process mixture until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl to combine ingredients.
Pour marinade over the chicken. Turn to coat evenly, rubbing the marinade into the knife cuts. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours, or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place chicken on the grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on the first side. Turn and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on second side. Turn again, as necessary until the chicken is cooked throughout and no longer pink inside (about 25 to 30 minutes longer).
Serve hot over rice or with a mixture of steamed vegetables.