My experimentation with the Homdoor/Tandoor continues and this time I tried something a little unusual – baby red bliss potatoes! Most people in the US either grill cuts of meat, fish or vegetables but in India (where a sizeable percentage of the population is vegetarian), we often grill cheese (Paneer) and sometimes even potatoes. In fact grilled Paneer is the most standard fare at tandoori restaurants or weddings (to cater to the vegetarians). The process if quite simple – to cover the cheese or potatoes with a thick marinade of spices and yogurt and then grill them in a tandoor. I used new red bliss potatoes because new crop potatoes have a sweeter taste and creamier texture, as compared to potatoes that have been stored in a freezer for a while. These Tandoori potatoes came out really good – with a slightly smoky, crunchy, spicy exterior and a soft creamy middle. They would make ideal hor d’oeuvres for a cocktail party or a great side dish.
1. 15-20 small sized new red bliss potatoes
2. 3 tablespoons of Labneh or plain Greek yogurt (you need a thick/heavy textured yogurt so that it coats the potatoes and sticks to the exterior skin).
3. 2 tablespoons of Tandoori spice mix (less if you want them mild)
4. Juice of half a lemon
5. 1 inch long ginger root (make a rough ginger paste with it)
6. 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds (grind them in a spice mill)
7. 1.5 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
8. 2 teaspoons of ghee or butter.
Directions for Cooking:
1. Light up the charcoal in a tandoor or grill
2. While the charcoal is getting ready, prepare the marinade by combining the following ingredients: labneh, juice of half a lemon, freshly ground coriander seeds, Extra virgin olive oil, tandoori spice mix (any brand you prefer, although I do recommend Shaan).
6. Place the skewers on the grill or in the tandoor/Homdoor and let them cook (with the cover on top of the grill) for 15-20 minutes. This time may vary depending on how hot your grill is or how big your potatoes are. So check with a fork for tenderness. If you are using a grill, be sure to turn the skewers so that the potatoes cook evenly on all sides.
8. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and add about 2 teaspoons of ghee or butter to the pan.
9. When the ghee/butter is heated, add the cooked potatoes to the pan and continue stirring them for 3-4 minutes so that they are evenly coated with the hot ghee/butter on all the sides.
10. Serve them while they are still hot and crunchy!