Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Lamb Tikka Tandoori For Two, Or Celebrating In A Time Of Plague

When I first got my Homdoor Tandoor oven I had big plans. We'd just refinished the deck (ourselves)... 

...and renovated the garden for outside dining and entertaining.

We were all set, let the fun and games begin. 

I fired up the Tandoor for the first time in early 2020. I made Naan bread

A week later I came down with Covid. My tandooring, my writing, my cooking, basically everything stopped for two months and change while I recovered.

By the time I was ready to go again, nobody was doing any entertaining. There weren't any vaccines yet, and no one wanted to get sick.  So my Tandoor Party Plans went..poof!

We finally got our vaccines and then we went into an early fire season. There were no burns, no lawn mowing, no grilling, no open flames of any sort.  We went through evacuation after evacuation  and fire was no one's friend. 

When 2021 rolled around we were hoping for better times, then came Delta and no one wanted to party, no how no way. 

So we haven't eaten out in nearly 2 yrs now. Everything we eat is cooked or baked by me. We've had a few friends over ( 2 or 3) to eat in the garden, and that's it. We've gone to a couple of friends' houses where we've visited safely, but other that it's zoom city around here. Which is why when we celebrated our anniversary this year, I decided that a Tandoor For Two would be exactly what we needed! The weather gods were kind also, and I managed to cook this right before the latest Atmosphreric River gave us a dunking.

I planned an Indian luncheon of Lamb Tandoor, An Indian Spinach Coconut and Peanut Powder Salad...

...pomegranate raita,...

...sour cherry chutney, Basmati rice with almonds, sultanas, and whole spices, plus a couple of slices of a raspberry mousse cake from our favorite local bakery, Scandia to top it off.

Luckily an early blast from the Atmospheric River hit us last month so we had an official end to fire season here in Sonoma and outdoor cooking was back on again. Perfect for Tandoori Lamb!

So here it is, a simple marinade, 1 and 1/2 lbs of  lamb cut from a a butterflied leg, add a Tandoor oven and the magic happens.

This recipe is a classic Tandoor marinade (there are many)  adapted from Madhur Jaffery

Lamb Tandoor

Here's What You Need:

1 and 1/2 lbs of butterflied leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cubed into  1 inch pieces.

2 onions, chop one up, set the other aside for a garnish later

3 inch long piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped 

3 cloves of  garlic or 4 shallots, peeled and chopped

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 Tbs ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground tumeric

1/4 tsp ground mace

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 cup olive oil

2 and 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 

1/2 to 1 tsp Kashmiri chili, or Cayenne, (I use 1 tsp)

1/2 tsp orange food coloring


Here's What To Do:

Put the chopped onion, garlic or shallots, ginger, 4 Tbs of lemon juice into a food processor or blender. Blend it at high speed to get a smooth paste.

Using a large bowl with a non metallic lining, add in the paste.

Add in all the other ingredients.

Cut the lamb into 1 inch chunks to fit on your skewers.

Take the lamb chunks and make little jabs in the cut pieces with a knife. This is to allow the marinade to permeate the meat thoroughly.

Now take your lamb chunks and put them into the marinade paste

Give it a little massage in there making sure all the paste gets well rubbed into the meat.

Cover your container and stick it in the fridge to chill for 24 hours or overnight. Turn the meat cubes  over a few times while they're sitting in the marinade paste.

Before Cooking:

Peel the second onion and cut it into very thin rings. Soak the rings in ice water, cover and refrigerate them.

Oil the tandoor skewers, then slide the meat chunks onto them and baste them again. I use a cut up chunk of  raw potato as a stopper to keep the meat from sliding off the skewers while cooking. Let the meat sit on the skewers and dry for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking them.

When you are ready to cook, light your tandoor! My Homdoor is powered by propane, it can also be used with coals, but for an area like mine that is subject to  wildfire... we use propane.

Your tandoor should be at about 480 degrees when you add the skewers.

Adjust the lid, for proper temperature control and cook for 10 minutes, reaching in and rotating the skewers every few minutes.

After 10 minutes, take them out and rest them upright

Baste them again with the marinade.

Then let them rest hanging for about 5 minutes.

Then put them back into the tandoor. Cover, and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, depending on how you like your lamb.

When the lamb is cooked remove the skewers.

Slide the meat off of the skewers and serve.

I served this over Basmati Rice with Sultanas, almonds, and whole spices. Add on the thin rings of onion that were chilled in the fridge.

I used a platter Paula Wolfert had given me. It was made by the King of Moroccos potter and is absolutely stunning. After all it was our anniversary and even if we've been living our lives in sweat pants and "nap dresses" the last two years there are times when one has to freshen up!

We topped the lunch off with a couple of slices of Scandia's delicious Raspberry Mousse Chocolate cake. I'd gladly show you a picture but it got eaten too fast!

This Lamb Tikka recipe can be made on a BBQ also but I highly recommend a tandoor for authentic flavor and a whole lot more FUN! It certainly beat last years pandemic anniversary which we spent zooming with family.

I'm getting an outdoor heater so we can take advantage of non-fire weather and invite our friends over to tandoor while the tandooring's good!

Coming up next: Pomegranate Mint Raita and Reine di Saba, aka Queen of Sheba Cake. 

Perfect for holiday desserting! Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


No comments :

Post a Comment


Blog Widget by LinkWithin