A Mughal Style Dish
Yogurt in a Clay Oven
The name Tandoori refers to a clay oven in which meats –and sometimes seafood and breads — are roasted over live coals. The blend of spices used to flavor such dishes is a-lso known as a Tandoori. It’s combined with Yogurt and often red or orange food coloring which infuses the final product with its bright hue.
Tandoori cooking is often associated with Chicken, but can be used with other meats such as Pork, Lamb, Prawns and Fish and even Indian Bread or Nan (which is not flavored with the sauce, but just roasted in the oven).
In any case, Tandoor cooking is associated with the Mughal culture of North India, and is an important achievement of Indian cuisine.
A Tandoori Mixture is similar to a Tikka Mixture. You can make both of them at home and they are very convenient when working with the grill.
You can use this sauce to marinate whole Chicken, Chicken Thighs, boneless or bone-in Chicken, Chicken Breasts or meats like Pork or Lamb for up to 3 hours.
This recipe makes about 2 cups. You can grind and combine the spices and other ingredients in a mortar with a pestle or use a food processor or blender if you prefer. It’s important to store the final mixture in a non-metallic bowl, such as glass or earthenware. You can make it in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator up to three days.
1 Red Onion, cut into quarters
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 piece fresh Ginger Root, about an inch long, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 fresh Red or Green hot pepper, such as Jalapeño
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon ground –Coriander
1 tablespoon ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon good-quality oil, such as Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
2 tablespoons fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
1 cup plain Yogurt
First cut up coarsely the Red Onion, Garlic and Ginger Root. Remove the core, fibers and seeds from the hot Pepper and chop it finely
Put the Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Chili Pepper and Lemon Juice in the mortar, processor or blender and grind or pulse until it is finely chopped.
Next add he Coriander, Cumin, Garam Masala, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Oil, Salt and Pepper and continue to grind or process until a smooth paste forms.
Transfer this paste to a nonmetallic bowl, and all the Cilantro and Yogurt and mix well. This can be used right away to make your Tandoori dish, or you can keep it covered in the refrigerator for a couple days before using.