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How to Have an Indian Themed Barbecue

We’d all adore a tandoor, giving a stone baked flavour to unleavened breads and tandoori chicken; however for many of us this isn’t practical. Luckily the typical charcoal and gas barbecues give us almost like for like benefits making for an excellent Indian themed barbecue.

When ordering takeaways we adore tandoori chicken masala or chapattis as we find it impossible to mirror the effects the restaurant clay ovens have on the food, yet stepping outside you’ll find that your barbecue can do just that!

 

Indian Breads

Indian breads are so easy to make, many just using a few ingredients. We steer away from them as cooking on a hob doesn’t give the finish we crave. Yet with a barbecue we can bake these breads to perfection, astounding guests as we give a good show serving up fresh warm chapattis and paratha with their chargrilled meat.

 

Chapatti

The chapatti simply uses wholemeal flour and water. For 9oz of flour use 6 fluid oz. of water to make enough for fifteen breads.

Kneed the ingredients together and leave to sit for fifteen minutes before separating into fifteen balls and then rolling out with a rolling pin, or using a more flexible hand to stretch. Once they’ve reached a thickness of only a few millimetres slap them straight on the grill of the barbecue. They take only thirty seconds each side and will be ready to serve immediately.
 

Paratha

The most popular bread in India this is eaten with almost any meal, as it’s so quick to make it’s easy to see why.

All you need is 6oz of wholemeal flour, 6 ½ oz. of plain white flour, a pinch of salt, 10 tablespoons of oil and up to 7 fluid oz. of water.

Simple mix the flours along with two tablespoons of oil until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then slowly add the water until a non-sticky ball can be formed. Knead the dough for ten minutes before rubbing with ¼ of the remaining oil then store in a polythene bag for 30 minutes. When ready to cook divide into twelve balls. Roll out one ball using flour to dust and add a generous amount of oil.

Fold over in half then repeat the process until it’s the shape of a triangle. Brush with oil again and slap onto the grill, turning after a minute keep brushing with oil. In less than two minutes the bread will be ready to serve!

 

Tandoori Marinade

Any meat will benefit from a tandoori marinade. To be honest, I have experimented with all available recipes and found the Patak’s paste mixed with yogurt and oil to give the best restaurant like flavour. However if you like to make it from scratch this is a close second:

For chicken, lamb, beef, prawns, fish and pork

For the best flavours always start the night before. Score the meat (remove any fat or skin too) and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt then coat in yogurt. The yogurt will tenderise the meat as you prepare the marinade.

The measurements are not important as the trick is to taste as you cook, adapting the flavour to your own palette.

You will need:

  • Ginger (fresh preferably)
  • Cumin
  • Garam Masala
  • Tamarind
  • Garlic
  • Red Food Colouring (if you enjoy the red colour).

 

Bash all in a pestle and mortar making a paste. Mix with oil (rapeseed is best for Indian cooking) and then rub into your prepared meat, allowing the yogurt to become fully immersed in the mixture so it turns red. Leave overnight and either cook with the marinade on or rinse some off according to taste. For a spicy twist you can add chilli powder.

Serve with freshly chopped coriander leaves and a yogurt dip made up of natural yogurt, lemon juice and mint sauce.