If you adore the flavour of food prepared over burning coals, then this book is the right one for you. This simple cooking method, known the world over as the ‘tandoori’ way of cooking, is similar to grilling or barbecuing. I have taken this one step further in Tandoori Cooking @ Home. All the recipes focus first and foremost on retaining the fresh flavour of the ingredients used. Tandoori actually means well-marinated meat cooked over an intense open fire.Indians have been using burning coals to cook since ancient times like cooking on the clay-lined chula that allowed pots to be placed on the mouth, or with a grill put across that allowed meats to be cooked. The deeply-embedded tandoor that is still common in North India is yet another excellent example. Thickly-insulated and allowing only one hole for the heat to escape, it is great for making tandoori rotis, kulchas and tandoori chicken.There are no shortcuts to a good tandoori preparation. There has to be a marinade with natural ingredients and there has to be high heat ready for the final cooking. This source of heat at home can be a gas tandoor, an electric grill, a tawa, a convection oven or the most common equipment, the OTG (oven toaster grill). This book promises two things - it will dispel any apprehensions about cooking tandoori dishes at home and it will demonstrate that ‘tandoori’ is not a recipe but a cooking method!
Tandoori cooking requires a basic start-up with a marinade. Marinades not only tenderise the food to be cooked but also allow the flavours of the spices to seep through. I do not rely on pre-prepared sauces and seasonings. For me, the marinade has to be freshly whisked up with the freshest seasonal ingredients! You would also require some special utensils like a long-handled fork to turn the food morsels that are being grilled, a basting brush to apply oil or butter, some aluminium foil to be used as food holders, wooden tongs to turn the food (metal ones become hot) and skewers (metal, wooden) to thread the small pieces.
Waiting for you are some traditional greats like Boti Kabab, Seekh Kabab and Tandoori Chicken. You can learn to perfect the art of making a perfect Naan and Taftan too. Try the flavourful Mahi Tikka Lehsuni or Kasoori Jhinga and if your palate demands mild food, you can try the Badami Tangdi and the Malai Khumb. To add to the total experience, try relishes like Sarson ki Chutney and Burnt Garlic and Mint Chutney, which will leave you asking for more!
All recipes are portions meant to serve four people keeping in mind there are other complementary dishes in the meal.
So, let the sizzle and pop of freshly-grilled foods fill your home!