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Craze for barbecuing heating up in India

It’s not exactly a country known for its love of barbecues but in India the fashion for outdoor grilling is certainly heating up a notch or two.

The art of barbecuing is proving particularly popular at parties due to its care-free, casual and easy cooking methods. Not only that but many hotels too have begun to offer grilled fayre. Considering the nation is famed for kebabs, it’s no wonder Indians are going crazy for barbecuing.

Chefs in India like the fact that with grilling meat they can achieve a regular consistency whereas with a traditional tandoor oven this wasn’t necessarily the case and often the meat would take on a dry texture.

It’s not just during the hotter months that barbecues are proving popular in Asia, many restaurants are also devoting plenty of menu space to it during the winter months. Lamb is particularly popular, so too are fish dishes.

Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni was so taken with barbecuing that he managed to get himself into the Guiness Book of Records for the longest barbecue marathon in March last year. Now a consultant, in order to take the record he spent 24 hours and five minutes grilling 489 dishes (a combination of meat and vegetarian) at the Radisson Temple Bay resort in Mamallapuram. Five barbecues were used for the record breaking attempt while all the dishes were prepared and marinated beforehand.

India has a love of sweet foods and one of the most popular grilled dishes to have emerged from the country’s new-found love of grilling is the Barbecued Lemon Pineapple (or banana). This involves a large pineapple with the hard shell removed, around 1/2 cup of brown sugar and tasted coconut flakes (seperated), three tablespoons of butter and a splash of lemon juice. The addition of vanilla ice cream or single cream is optional (but advised!)

Before beginning, make sure the pineapple you’ve chosen is ready to eat. If so, then cut it into one inch thick slices (remembering to cut out the core) and leave aside while you whisk together the sugar, butter and the lemon juice. This should result in a reasonably thick mixture which should be rubbed onto the pineapple slices. Allow to sit on a plate for a few minutes to let the mixture soak in.

Next, sit the slices onto a grill (not too hot but warm enough to allow the pineapple to cook at a nice slow pace). After three to four minutes you can turn the pineapple over and allow to cook for the same length of time. Once ready, quickly remove the pineapple and place on a serving platter. For added sweetness drizzle with honey and sprinkle over the tasted coconut flakes (or chopped nuts if you prefer).

Staying with sweet recipies another popular dish in India involves the more unusual fruit of figs, honey (the Indians love their honey!) and white wine.

Start of by heating two tablespoons of white wine and four of honey in a saucepan. It’s a good idea to have the figs prepared beforehand by slicing them in two with a sharp knife. Once the liquid mixture is warm enough brush it liberally over the figs. Next, put them on the grill on a medium heat and slow cook for around five minutes. This is particularly delicious and not quite as sweet as the pineapple recipe.

Use a Landmann barbecue if you want to be able to cook fast, anytime.