Toasted Spice Marinade



I’m sure you all know by now that I love summer and love BBQ’ing. I feel like people assume BBQ’s are only meant for hamburgers, hotdogs, and meat, but little do they know that BBQ’ed veggies taste amazing in the summer. I’m always trying to come up with new marinades, so this time for Father’s Day, I decided to change things up a bit from my usual BBQ marinade ingredients. Below is a marinade that I made up and it was great!


Toasted Spice Marinade:

  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp- 2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander – chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt – can substitute vegan yogurt/sour cream
  • couple tbsp olive oil


  • 1/2 head of cauliflowers – cut into small florets
  • 1/2 large Italian eggplant – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large red or white onion – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 zucchini – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 bell pepper – cubed

1. In small skillet, add the chilies, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds and toast over low flame until fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. In a blender, add the toasted spices and chilies, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Blend until coarsely chopped. While the blender is on low, drizzle in the olive oil until it starts creating a thick paste. Add in the salt, black pepper, sugar, lemon juice and coriander. Blend until smooth, and add some more olive oil – it should be a thick liquidy paste-like consistency. Add in the yogurt and blend – it will be a light yellow color. Taste – it should be very spicy and overly salty – this is a marinade, and it needs to seep into the vegetables and spice them. Marinades should always be overly flavored and overly salted, so you don’t have to add additional salt after cooking.

3. Place your chopped veggies in an aluminum foil tray – pour the marinade over the vegetables making sure to coat thoroughly and mix well. I added a little more olive oil to keep the veggies moist. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight. I like keeping them in overnight.

4. Heat up your outdoor BBQ, or if cooking indoors, heat up your indoor grill pan. You can either skewer your veggies on metal/wood skewers, or just cook them directly over the BBQ on aluminum foil. I chose the latter. Place the veggies on the aluminum foil, and you want to make sure that the veggies are coated well with the marinade- they can be a little wet, as you don’t want them to become dry. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning a few times, until cooked through and slightly charred. Remove from the BBQ, and immediately top with lots of fresh chopped coriander and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve with naan or pita. Enjoy!

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