Let me start by saying that I don't have a tandoor. When I moved into a home with a little garden, I did have this wild idea of building my own tandoor (a cylindrical clay oven used for baking / cooking heated by burning coals inside it). I can't say I have completely abandoned that idea but this tandoori recipe doesn't need a 'tandoor'. If you have a microwave oven with a grill or the grill function in a regular convection oven, that's great. If you don't have either ovens, you can use a non stick skillet to grill these.
The best part about this recipe is you can make perfectly delicious appetisers using minimal or no oil. Use a low-carb vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower or bell peppers (stuffed or as it is), and you have a perfect low carb vegetarian side dish. For any vegetable, the basic steps are the same.
Step one: Clean and partly cook the vegetable.
Step two: Marinate the vegetable
Step three: Grill
I use the same marinade for both recipes, mostly eye-balling the ingredients to make roughly over a cup of marinade.
3/4 cup thick yogurt
2 tsp chickpea flour
1 tbsp kasoori methi* (key ingredient, do not omit. Crush between finger tips to a coarse powder and then add)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp oil (optional)
In a large bowl, mix all of the above. Cover and refrigerate until use.
For Tandoori Aloo
Parboil 2 dozen baby potatoes with the skins. Either boiling in water for 3-4 minutes or pressure cook for two whistles. Remove, drain well and poke 3-4 holes per potato with the skewer. This is so that the flavours of the marinade can go inside the potatoes.
Immerse the skewer sticks in water for 2-3 hours.
Marinade the par-cooked potatoes with skins in the prepared mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, skewer them and place on a grill safe plate. Grill for 5 minutes. Turn to the other side and grill another 5 minutes. Serve with tamarind chutney and green chutney.
For Tandoori Broccoli
Break a broccoli into medium sized florets (around 2 dozen florets). Immerse in a bowl of salted water for 10 minutes. Wash thoroughly. Place them in a microwave safe bowl with lid, add 2 tsp water and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until partially cooked. Once slightly cool, place in marinade for 30 minutes (refrigerated).
Either skewer them or place them in a single later on a grill safe plate and grill for 5-7 minutes.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon along with a hung yogurt dip or mint chutney
[inspiration for tandoori broccoli came from the brilliant dinner we had at Blue Terrain where this was one of the dishes served]
*Kasoori / Kasuri methi is just dried fenugreek leaves, which when crushed and used in any dish gives a very distinct fragrance and flavour. You cannot use fresh fenugreek leaves or fenugreek seeds instead of this. This can be found in the spice aisle of most supermarkets in India or Indian supermarkets abroad.
Feedback from people who tried this recipe