Sunday, September 24, 2006

Naan lesson

The wonderful guys from the local curry house came round to show me how to use the tandoor. Making the naans was particularly illuminating, and here is what I learnt.

You need a floury surface to work on.

The dough I am using here is from Madhur Jaffrey, but there are lots of recipes around. I made a very wet dough for this set of naans - possibly too wet. Normal bready consistency I am sure would work fine.

Flatten the ball of dough with your palm. Using finger tips to push down vertically, spread it out.

Pick up the dough. The "up" side should be floury. Sprinkle the bottom with a little oil or water. Slap between both hands several times to even out the dimples and thin the dough.

With the wet side up, hold the dough on your left hand, and pull down with your right to create the classic teardrop shape.

And then firmly and confidently squidge it onto the side of the tandoor. Don't burn yourself!

With a bit of encouragement, the naan should stick to the side and quickly start to bubble up.

After a couple of minutes it is nearly ready. In this photo the bread need about another minute - until it is nicely brown all over.

Scrape and prod it off the clay.

Spread some ghee on top. Yummy!

The tandoor seems to be holding up really well. There has been no more cracking or flaking of the clay. It still takes about 90mins to heat up to cooking temperature (so not really suitable for a quick meal after work) and uses about 3-4kg of charcoal each time...and I should probably be running it even hotter than I am.

That's all for now!

Friday, September 01, 2006

More cooking

Another big tandoor feast yesterday.

Starring from left to right: naan, king prawn with potato and corn seekh, home-made paneer and cherry tomatos, aubergine tikka, lamb seekhs and the ubiquitous tandoori chicken.

Proof - as if it were needed - that a 2kg chicken can be suspended from a single skewer. It all got a bit difficult once the chicken was cooked as the meat lost its grip on the metal.

Some of the various foodstuffs waiting to go in the tandoor.

Naans worked even better this team - really puffy.

Tandoori king prawns were brilliant again. The potato and corn seekhs were a little undercooked, but we had to rescue them before they fell of the skewer.

Homemade paneer and cherry tomatoes were a complete success. I've not made cheese before so I was very pleased. Marinaded in mustard oil with coriander and a little crushed cumin, garnished with a little black salt and cumin.

And that chicken again, none the worse for a little contact with charcoal. You can see how juicy it is from the liquid on the plate...