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Old 12-12-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SoCal Cookin View Post
Does marinading in yogurt do anything other than add flavor (not sure the kind of flavor to expect from it)?
The acidity helps tenderize the meat. The flavor of plain yogurt is mild and tangy, but the yogurt carries the flavors of the other seasonings mixed into it into the meat.

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:09 AM   #12
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Don't Call Me Shirley

Here's Shirley Corriher's explanation of marinating:

Marinades Add Flavor but Don' t Always Tenderize

The full article is definitely worth the read. Here's the gist of it:

"There is a commonly held belief that soaking a tough cut of meat in a marinade will make it tender. Sadly, this just isn't true much of the time.

While some marinades are very successful at adding flavor to meat, chicken, and fish, they are, with one exception, a disaster at tenderizing.
The two most popular types of marinades are acidic (made with citrus, vinegar, or wine) and enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple and papaya). Although both types work primarily on the surface of the food, they lead to different results: highly acidic marinades can actually toughen food, while enzymatic marinades can turn the surface of the food to mush.

For true tenderizing, the most effective marinades are those that contain dairy products."

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Old 12-12-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Well, maybe it's not the acidity, but yogurt is a dairy product, and I've found that it does tenderize without making the meat mushy. I made chicken tandoori recently; I only marinated it for a couple of hours and the tenderness was noticeable.

I should re-read her book
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:14 PM   #14
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Here's what Shirley says about dairy marinades:

For true tenderizing, use buttermilk or yogurt

Dairy products are, in my opinion, the only marinades that truly tenderize. Hunters have long known to marinate tough game in milk, Indian recipes use yogurt marinades for lamb and tough goat meat, and some southern cooks soak chicken in buttermilk before frying. Buttermilk and yogurt are only mildly acidic, so they don't toughen the way strongly acidic marinades do. It's not quite clear how the tenderizing occurs, but it seems that calcium in dairy products activates enzymes in meat that break down proteins, a process similar to the way that aging tenderizes meat.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:30 PM   #15
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I've found that marinating tandoori chicken in yogurt for too long (say, overnight, for instance) can give the meat sort of a weird, almost mealy kind of texture. So I absolutely agree there's something about dairy based marinades that affects tenderizing.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:06 PM   #16
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I usually make Chicken Chapli Kebabs the following way ( I never use yogurt) :

-Marinate ground chicken with dry roasted whole cumin and coriander ground to a fine paste in a dry grinder, lime juice, finely chopped onions and green chilis, ginger garlic paste, finely chopped cilantro and mint leaves and let it stand at room temperature for a couple of hours (at least).

-Make small flat pieces out of it and pan fry.

It tastes amazing!
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #17
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Mmmm....Steve and mimi, both of those sound really good. I may have to do up some 'kebabs over the weekend.

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