I first discovered Aapplemint a few years ago and it was love at first sight. I was mesmerized by the gorgeous food photography, her mouthwatering recipes, exotic travels, and most importantly, the uber-talented Kajal/Kate who has the most beautiful face. Needless to say, Aaaplemint remains one of my favorite food blogs and it’s with great pleasure that I have Aapplemint as a guest writer today sharing her delectable tandoori prawn recipe. Through various emails in the past few years, I came to know that Kate and I share many things in common—favorite restaurants/foods in Hong Kong, a penchant for traveling, and photography. Please give your warmest welcome to Aapplemint and learn all about the history and origin of Indian tandoori.
Everybody loves a good tandoori, but very few really know the history behind it. The recipe originated in the early 1900’s in Peshawar – then India. It started with chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, and then cooked in a ‘tandoor’. The tandoor is actually native to India dating back to 3000 BC. Small mud plastered ovens resembling Tandoor with a side door have been found in Harappa and Mohenjodero settlements of ancient Indus valley. But it was the Moguls who in the 1900’s made it portable, carried it everywhere they went and thus found its way in India from Persia. The far famed tandoori chicken is from the recent times comparatively. Created by a chef in the Moti Mahal restaurant in 1948, it was a hit almost instantly. Cooked at a extremely high temperature in the tandoor the chicken remains succulent and juicy inside, and a crispy outside with an aroma, that can bring the dead back to life, just to have a bite of that delectable chicken.
Over the time, the same marination has been used for different meats, including, lamb, fish, turkey, lobsters, prawns … almost any meat you fancy actually ! And it tastes wonderful no matter which meat you choose. Tandoori prawns are definitely one of my favourites. And they cook pretty fast too. And overnight marination is always recommended for tandoori, but for seafood a few hours works just fine. A good green chutney (corriander +mint), onion rings and yogurt is always a must with tandoori. And ofcourse if you can a tandoori naan would just be the prefect accompaniment. Tandoori food is always bright orange-red coloured. Obviously achieved by food colouring, but its the colour that distinguishes it as tandoori.
20 large prawns – shelled with tail on and de-veined
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon of ginger/garlic paste
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tsp cumin powder
1-2 tsps kashmiri red chiili powder
1/2 tsp orange-red food colouring
1 tablespoon tandoori masala (optional)
Salt to taste
It doesn’t get easier than this. Just mix all the ingredients, leave to marinate overnight or 2hrs minimum. Fire up a grill or can even use a griddle pan. Brush with oil and grill them for a few mins till done. Serve hot with some sliced onion, yogurt and chutney.
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