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Grilled Coconutty & Peanutty Chicken Recipe

One of my favorite things about the summer is GRILLING! Who doesn’t love grilled food? It’s easy, simple, healthy, always delicious & clean up is a snap. Whether your vegan, vegetarian, non-vegetarian or anything in between – grilled food works for everyone! Now the best part about living in the South (US) is that I can grill/barbeque almost all year round. But if you enjoy only a few months of sunshine a year, make the most of it & start grilling today!

I absolutely just love the combination of flavors & tastes in this dish; they really do embody the whole spirit of summer. This Maharashtrian style recipe combines traditional ingredients like coconut, peanuts, aromatics & spices in a non-traditional way. This dish is just perfect for entertaining too, since it can be marinated well in advance & grilled up just before eating.

Now personally, I like using boneless/skinless chicken thighs & chicken legs for this particular recipe but it really doesn’t matter – use your favorite chicken pieces. You can also use chicken pieces & skewer them kebab style ☺. This recipe can also be baked in the oven if you do not have a grill or would just love a taste of summer in the cold seasons.



1 lb chicken pieces (I used boneless/skinless chicken thighs & legs)
½ cup natural peanut butter (I used the smooth variety)
1-½ cups coconut milk
1 tbsp sambal olek (chili sauce), to taste
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, finely minced (to taste)
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi)
¼ tsp red chili pepper, to taste
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp kala masala (or garam masala)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
salt & pepper, to taste
pinch of ground allspice
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of brown sugar
1 lemon or lime (for garnish also)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


Rinse the chicken & pat it dry. Then score the chicken pieces by making shallow cuts using a sharp knife or simply pricking it with a fork several times. Set aside until needed.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter with the coconut milk until smooth & well combined. Then add the sambal olek along with the garlic, ginger & green chilies. Now add in spices (turmeric, red chili powder, paprika, kala masala, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, salt, pepper, ground allspice, nutmeg & brown sugar. Mix well to combine & add the chicken pieces, making sure they are all evenly coated with the marinade. Now cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, overnight is best – the longer, the better!

When you are ready to grill, remove the chicken pieces (shaking off any excess marinade) & grill on both sides until fully cooked through, golden brown & delicious. If you have any leftover marinade, you can use it for basting & then discard the rest. When the chicken is done, let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

In the mean time, cut the lemon or lime in half. Squeeze half over the chicken pieces & cut the other half into wedges for garnish. Liberally sprinkle the chicken pieces with the chopped cilantro leaves & serve as part of any delicious meal.


Feel free to add a little Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to the marinade for a wonderful taste. You could also add some finely minced fresh curry leaves to the marinade as well.

Grilled Coco Peanut Chicken

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Content copyright © 2015 by Sadhana Ginde. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sadhana Ginde. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sadhana Ginde for details.


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