Skip to Content

Should you marinate meat for curry?

Indian cuisine is known for its rich flavors, vibrant spices, and aromatic dishes. One of the staples of Indian cuisine is curry, which is a dish that’s made with a blend of spices called “masala”. Curry can be made with a variety of meats, including chicken, beef, lamb, and fish. But the big question that arises before making any curry dish is whether the meat should be marinated or not. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of marinating meat for curry and why it’s recommended.

What is Marination?

Marination is the process of soaking meat in a mixture of spices, herbs, oils, and other ingredients before cooking. The purpose of marination is to infuse the meat with flavor, and also to tenderize it. Marinating helps to break down the tough muscle fibers in the meat, making it more tender and juicy. The longer the meat is marinated, the more tender it becomes.

Benefits of Marinating Meat for Curry

1. Flavor Infusion

Marinating the meat for curry helps to infuse it with the flavors of the spices and herbs used in the marinade. The spices and herbs penetrate the meat fibers, creating a flavorful dish that’s rich and aromatic. The longer the meat is marinated, the more flavorful it becomes.

2. Tenderizing the Meat

Marinating the meat before making curry also helps to break down the tough muscle fibers in the meat. This makes the meat more tender and juicy, and it also helps to enhance the flavor. If tough cuts of meat are used in curry, marinating can make a significant difference in the final dish.

3. Time-Saving

One of the benefits of marinating the meat for curry is that it can save time in the cooking process. Since the meat is prepped ahead of time, it can be quickly added to the curry sauce and cooked. This helps to reduce the overall time spent in the kitchen.

4. Health Benefits

Marinating the meat before making curry can also have health benefits. Many of the spices and herbs used in the marinade are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which can help to improve overall health.

How to Marinate Meat for Curry?

Marinating meat for curry is a simple and easy process. Here are the steps involved in marinating meat for curry:

1. Select the meat of your choice, either chicken, beef, lamb, or fish.

2. Mix together the marinade ingredients in a bowl. The marinade can include spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, ginger, garlic, and yogurt or lemon juice to tenderize the meat.

3. Add the meat to the marinade, making sure to coat it well. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or put the marinated meat in a ziplock bag and refrigerate it for at least an hour. It is best to marinate meat overnight in the refrigerator for maximum flavor.

4. After marinating the meat, remove it from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. The meat is now ready to be added to the curry sauce.


Marinating meat before making curry is a crucial step that can greatly enhance the flavor and texture of the final dish. Marination allows spices and herbs to penetrate the meat, tenderizing it, and making it more flavorful. Additionally, marinating meat can also have health benefits, making it an excellent choice for those looking to cook a healthy yet delicious meal. So the next time you’re making curry, don’t skip the marination process. You’ll be delighted with the difference it makes in the end product!


Is it better to marinate chicken in buttermilk or yogurt?

Marinating chicken before cooking is a great way to add flavor and moisture to the meat. There are many different marinades to choose from, but two popular options are buttermilk and yogurt. So, which one is better?

Buttermilk is a tangy, acidic liquid that is traditionally used in Southern cooking. It has a similar flavor profile to yogurt, but it is thinner and contains less fat. When used as a marinade, buttermilk can help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. The acidity in the buttermilk works to break down the proteins in the chicken, which can make it more tender. Additionally, the buttermilk can help to keep the chicken moist while it cooks, resulting in a juicy, flavorful dish.

Yogurt, on the other hand, is thicker and contains more fat than buttermilk. It also has a tangy flavor, but it is milder than buttermilk. When used as a marinade, yogurt can also help to tenderize the meat and add flavor. The live cultures in yogurt work to break down the proteins in the chicken, which can result in a more tender, juicy dish. Additionally, yogurt can help to add a creamy texture to the meat, which can be particularly tasty in dishes like chicken tikka masala or Greek chicken kebabs.

So, which one is better? It ultimately depends on personal preference and the dish you are making. If you are looking for a tangy, acidic marinade that can help tenderize the meat, buttermilk may be the way to go. If you prefer a milder, creamier flavor, yogurt may be a better option. Both can add flavor and moisture to the meat and create a delicious dish.