Sheril's legendary barbeque chicken.

We feel very fortunate to be able to share another South Indian chef’s signature recipe with you. Others might claim it, but this recipe for Sheril’s Barbeque Chicken is truly finger-licking good. AND, this recipe includes the secret spices (like when we shared Anna Zacharria’s for her Duck Curry).

Frankly though, I’m still not sure that we’ll ever get our version of this recipe to turn out as well as Sheril’s – even with his secret masala.


Well, Sheril uses tamarind tree wood which he carefully stacks in an open fire pit. He lights the wood ablaze and then patiently waits for it to burn down to red hot coals. Then, he positions a rack about eight to 12 inches above the coals and carefully arranges the chicken pieces to slowly roast. He turns them only once or twice to get a nice char on all sides. He’s truly perfected this recipe.

The taste is phenomenal and even though we might not be able to replicate his methods entirely, even coming close delivers an unforgettable dose of deliciousness. We think tasting this chicken at Sheril’s Thekkady Barbeque Cooking School just might be worth making the trip to India all on its own. Well, that and the fun of making it with this masterful chef.

Sheril’s Barbecue Chicken Masala Recipe

6 - 8 servings


For Sherril’s Special Barbecue Garam Masala:
It’s best to use a weigh scale to get the proportion right with this masala.
10 grams whole green cardamom pods
10 grams black pepper
10 grams whole cloves
10 crams cinnamon bark
20 grams star anise

For the chicken and marinade:
2 lbs chicken pieces
1 Tablespoon garlic paste
2 Tablespoons ginger paste
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon Indian chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Sherril’s Special Barbecue Garam Masala
½ lemon – juice of
1 egg white


For Sherril’s Special Barbecue Garam Masala:

  1. Place the spices on a baking sheet and roast in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure they are just lightly browned and do not burn.
  2. Remove them from the oven and let cool.
  3. Pulse in a spice grinder until finely ground and store in a glass jar in a cool, dark place.

For the chicken and marinade:

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces, rinse the meat, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
  2. Whisk the garlic and ginger pastes, fennel and coriander seeds, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, garam masala, lemon juice and egg white together in a bowl and then rub into the chicken pieces.
  3. Marinate the chicken pieces at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to overnight covered in the refrigerator.
  4. Cook on a grill about 12 – 18 inches from the coals of a wood-burning fire or charcoal barbecue if possible. If not, cook on low to medium heat on a gas grill until the meat is tender but cooked through (you know this when the juices run clear when you cut into the meat).
  5. Enjoy with Green Beans Thoran and Masala Aloo.

Thanks for trying this recipe.

We'd love to hear from you.