Thursday, September 3, 2020

Tandoor Aloo Potatoes With Spices Done With Fire!!!

It's been crazy up here in wine country. actually it's crazy everywhere but since this is where I am presently this is my crazy. We've been laying low since I recovered from covid. We were laying low before too. What that means is we haven't socialized, eaten out, (even contactless pickup) or gone anywhere (we are walking the dog) except to a hospital or doctor's office since this whole thing started. Meanwhile, my cooking muscle since I've been up and about again, is really getting a pandemic workout.

If that isn't enough, we've had lightning strike wildfires, rolling blackouts, and temperatures in the 100+ category. We're trying to get a script turned in and it's hard to work under those conditions. We've had our bags packed to run, and fortunately we didn't have to. We were also told to limit water / power use, and NO fires no way no how. So no outdoor cooking, not that anyone would want to stand in 103 degree temps over a fire pit. So far so good.

Last weekend we got a break, when more lightning was predicted, meaning the possibility of more fires, but the weather gods/goddesses decided to cut us a break, sent a a bit of rain and held the lightning. The fires are still burning but are much more contained, and people who had to flee their homes in the evacuation zones are being allowed to go back home. We're not out of the woods here yet, but hopefully the woods will not still be on fire.

I took advantage of pleasant temperatures and the ability to use my Homdoor Tandoor oven to do a little Indian cooking, and one of the dishes worked beautifully with the tandoor oven. It involves potatoes and is one of the simplest dishes  there is. Potatoes aka Aloo, simple boiling potatoes, basted with spices and then roasted on skewers in the tandoor till they are charred on the outside, spicy and soft on the inside. There are a lot of ways of doing this dish, this is how I do it.

Tandoor Aloo

Here's What You Need:

Several medium sized yukon gold or boiling potatoes

2 Tbs vegetable oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 serrano chili finely chopped, either seeded or unseeded (depends on how hot you want it)

2 tsp mashed coriander seeds

1 tsp red chili flakes

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp amchur  (dried mango) powder

1/2 tsp cumin ppowder

2 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

a handful of chopped fresh cilantro


Here's What To Do:

You can par boil/ partially cook the potatoes to soften them a bit before skewering them, just don't cook them all the way through.

After they are cooked, you can leave the peel on or not, as you wish. Set them aside.

What we do here is prepare a basting sauce that will be used on the potatoes as they cook and then the remains of it drizzled over the finished dish.

First, get your spices ready.

Dice the chili pepper.

Crush the coriander seed with a mortar and pestle.

In a skillet or kadhai heat 2 Tbs vegetable oil. When the oil is hot toss in the cumin seeds.

Let them toast. As soon as they get fragrant (less than a minute) toss in the  serrano chili, and crushed coriander seed.

Now add chili flakes, turmeric, dried mango powder (amchur), roasted cumin powder, and salt. Stir these around and cook them for a few seconds. This is your basting liquid. Set it aside

Rub the potatoes with oil and thread the potatoes on oiled skewers.

Fire up your Tandoor Oven. The potatoes cook at 400 degrees for about  5 minutes, if you are doing these on a grill the same applies.

Brush the potatoes with the spice marinade

Place the skewered potatoes in the tandoor or on your grill.

Let them roast for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes take them out and brush them with the spice mixture again . Put them back in the tandoor for another 5 minutes.

When they are done, take them out and off the skewers.

Place them back in the kadhai with the marinade, coat them. 

 Drizzle them with lemon juice.

Sprinkle them with the chopped cilantro.

Ignore curious fans....

and serve them up!

Serve these spicy potatoes alongside any dish, meat or veg. Scoop the insides out of the charred skins and enjoy. 

I'm really enjoying the tandoor and especially enjoying cooking stuff fresh out of our garden in it. 

We're supposed to have more record breaking temperatures up here this Labor Day weekend.  Reports are of 102-104 degrees so I've got something cool planned. Watermelon Chaat. so stay tuned! Follow along on Twitter at @kathygori  

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