Tandoori dishes are traditionally cooked in a tandoor, which is an oval-shaped clay oven that has a small fire in the bottom. The heat rises gradually but ultimately reaches a much higher temperature than a barbeque. A tandoor is normally used to cook naan bread, meats and kebabs (meat or paneer). The bread is stuck to the sides of the tandoor, the kebabs stood vertically and whole chickens rested on a grid over the fire.
With that said, a tandoor is not really convenient for domestic cooking, but the meat dishes can be reproduced on a barbeque or in the oven. The bright red appearance of tandoori meats is produced by a food dye which isn’t necessary to enhance the look of your tandoori dishes.
Tandoori style food has flavor without being spicy, high in calories or too filling. It’s ideal in summer or the winter and it doesn’t take hours to prepare.
You can easily make whole tandoori chicken, tandoori lamb chops and lamb tikka (kebabs). Here is a quick chicken tikka recipe that serves two people, but you can multiply it for a large crowd.
2 chicken breasts
1 small tub Greek yogurt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1 small clove garlic, crushed
salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
Mix the spice powders and garlic into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and lemon juice to the yogurt-mix, place the chicken in and let it marinade for 15-20 minutes.
Thread the chicken onto skewers and either barbeque or cook under a grill using medium heat until the chicken is slightly browned and cooked through.
For a light meal, serve with salad, pitta or naan bread and lemon wedges or for something more substantial with rice and dal.