Marination and the Marinade

Excerpts from the Book - Simplifying Indian Cuisine- Shakesh Singh


Marination is the process of steping meat, game or vegetables in a liquid (marinade) for a certain period of time to tenderize and flavour the flesh/vegetable.

The word is derived from the latin marinus(marine), reffering to the sea water or brine that was used for preserving foods in ancient time

Traditionally, meat has been marinated to improve flavor, improve tenderness, and increase product shelf life.But now a days marination is followed all over the world for food that is to be grilled, barbecues or cooked in the tandoor, to improve their flavors rather than to preserve them. The food to be cooked is coated with marinade for some time. This achieves a dual purpose- it tenderizes and simultaneously spices the food. However, the marinade should only enhance the flavour of what is being cooked, not completely overwhelm the taste of it. All types of meats, game, fowl, pork, beef, fish and a variety of meats including liver and kidney can be marinated..

There are 3 methods for producing marinated products that include

• Immersion,

• Injection, and

• Vacuum tumbling

A seasoned liquid or paste, cooked or uncooked, in which meats or vegetables are steeped for different length of time.

The marinade can be acidic with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or wine, or savory with soy sauce, brine or other prepared sauces.A combination of spices, herbs and two or three different types of tenderizers can be used. All marinades are prepared according to the kitchen we are working in, however these days some commercially prepared tenderizers are also available.

Types of marinade


This is the type of marinade that is cooked before mixed with the food.This should be cooled before use.


These are based on carrots, onions, pepper, salt, vinegar, wine, garlic, curd etc.They do not require cooking.


Instant marinades can be used immediately as they require no cooking. This are used to impart flavour and not generally for tendering, as this requires longer marination time.

They are used for fishes and for the ingredients of fritters and for the ingredient of terrines, pates, galantine etc.

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