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What is Tandoori Cooking?

When browsing the menu at Little India, people may see the word “tandoori” in front of several dishes and be curious about what exactly it’s all about. It’s one of the simplest of dishes that can be found, and also one of the tastiest.

Cooking With Clay

First, a couple quick definitions: “Tandoori” refers to a specific style of cooking food, specifically food that has been grilled inside a tandoor. A tandoor is pretty simple as far as cooking goes. 

Picture a clay tube standing upright with a fire going at the bottom. Skewers of meat get put in from the top, with the meat cooking quickly to seal in all the juices. That is tandoori cooking.

Tandoori dishes are generally made with a marinade of yogurt and various spices.  Since the yogurt itself has an acidic quality, it helps soften up and infuse the spices into the meat, really improving the flavors all around.

A Little Heat

What sorts of spices go into a tandoori marinade? Ginger and coriander are certainly two of the most likely spices to be found as part of the base, but others certainly get worked in easily enough, including cayenne pepper, black pepper and the numerous variations of garam masala that are out there. 

Just as American barbecue recipes vary from grill to grill and chef to chef, the different ways of preparing tandoori marinades varies, and it’s always a surprise to see how each one turns out.

Sink Your Teeth In

Exactly what kind of meat gets the tandoori treatment? Tandoori chicken is certainly popular. Lamb also works well, both as chops and seekh, minced lamb wrapped right around the skewer. Shrimp is another one that takes well to tandoori cooking, just as one would expect on a regular grill. And if dishes like grilled salmon or tuna steaks are any indication, then tandoori fish should be a pleasant take on a favorite.

Little India

Little India’s tandoori dishes are only a small portion of our menu, but they’re delightful meals that anyone who loves juicy grilled meats with plenty of flavor and spices can easily appreciate. Come down today and try some!

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