Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze

It’s no secret by now that I love Indian food.  While Murg Makhani/Butter Chicken (recipe here) is my favorite Indian meal, sometimes I feel like dressing something up in a pretty little package.  Whenever I want to add a little pizazz to a meal I’d usually make with chicken, I immediately think of Cornish Game Hen.  It’s perfectly proportioned, flavorful, and damn cute on a plate.  While watching one of my LOVES Bobby Flay on Food Network…

seriously!? THAT FACE

I was pleasantly surprised to see him deviating from his usual TexMex type cooking (which is BOMB by the way) and cooking up something with a little Indian flair.  I immediately wrote the recipe down and decided to give it a try – and I’m glad I did!  If you want a delicious, fancy shmancy Indian inspired meal, why don’t you try…


Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze!
serves 4


4 cornish game hens
6 Tbsp. garam masala
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 shallots
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger or ginger powder in a pinch! (har har)
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 c. chicken stock
1 c. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. tamarind
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 425˚F.  Season the hens inside and out with salt.  Rub the garam masala on each of the hens, inside and out – if you need more to cover them, go right ahead and go nuts!  Just watch the spice/heat level – some like it hot.

this is the amount I used - I like it SPICAYY

this is the amount I used – I like it SPICAYY

Place the hens on a lightly oiled baking rack in a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes to really get that garam masala flavor into the meat.

While they’re baking, chop your shallots and ginger.  Sautée in a pan with the oil until soft.


Add the red pepper flakes, chicken stock, and some pepper.  Let reduce until half the liquid remains.

Tamarind is something you can pick up at any specialty indian store, and maybe even in the ethnic section of your grocery store.  Here’s what it looks like:


Whisk in the maple syrup and tamarind and cook about 15 minutes, or until thickened.


Take the hens out of the oven and brush some glaze on them.  Lower the oven temperature to 375 and bake another 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the hens.  To check if they are done, pierce the largest part of the breast with a fork and see if the juices run clear – if they do, you’re good to go!  Baste one last time with the glaze as they are resting, then serve!


Keep an eye out for the delicious side dish recipes for this meal, coming soon to WTW – Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Lentil/Split Pea Dip!

Eat up,

3 thoughts on “Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze

  1. Hello!

    Your chicken looks delicious, wow!

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