A tandoor is a clay oven used in India to cook meats and seafood at very high temperatures, and the term "tandoori" is used for foods made in a tandoor oven. With a regular oven, you will not get exactly the same depth of flavor, but it works well enough. Tandoori's distinctive red hue usually comes from red food coloring and chili powder. This dish is milder, so it does not include enough chili powder to get that bright red color. The end result is beautiful and delicious nevertheless. We prefer not to use food coloring in home cooking, but you can use it, if you desire.
Mix the marinade separately, so you can taste it for seasoning before adding the protein. Carom seeds or ajwain, as it is known in India, is a unique addition to this dish. Carom works well with shrimp and fish, and it's a worthwhile addition to your spice collection. The juice of one lemon may seem like too much, but do not skimp. The citrus gives the finished dish a nice, tangy flavor.
This recipe works well with any fish. Serve the tandoori dish with a side of basmati rice and creamed spiced spinach -- and feel free to throw the skewers on the grill, if you are in the mood for some Indian-style barbecue this summer. The grill will impart a nice smoky flavor to the shrimp.
San Francisco food writers and moms Stacie Dong and Simran Singh's blog, A Little Yumminess (www.alittleyum.com), focuses on family food adventures and recipes with a global twist.
20 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full- or low-fat)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon carom seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt, pepper to taste
1. Cover your bamboo skewers with water; let soak. Wash and dry shrimp.
2. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Pour marinade over shrimp; marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thread shrimp on skewers
4. Bake skewers for 8 minutes, rotating them halfway through the cooking time. Broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes to crisp the edges. Serve hot with lemon wedges