When I travel abroad, I like to buy cookbooks that feature the local cuisine. Usually, they're unavailable in the US. And especially with the books purchased in Asia, they have not been tailored to the “western kitchen.” True or not, I think the recipes will be more authentic to the region. And I feel confident enough in both my cooking skills and ability to find the unusual ingredients in the Boston markets that I am unfettered by these recipes.
Thanks to the magic of the internet, Wendy Hutton's books are now available in the US. Her recipe for tandoori chicken is exceptional in flavor and tastes as good as anything I’ve eaten in a restaurant. I use this recipe for both lamb and chicken.
Mine little resembles in appearance the restaurant version since I don’t use food coloring and leave on the marinade when I cook it. I love the flavor of the marinade roasted in the butter and chicken juices, and could easily make a meal of those drippings slathered on naan. Since I don’t have a tandoori oven at home (and who does??), I cook it in a cast iron skillet on the charcoal grill outside. I was less pleased with her naan recipe and use the one from Stonyfield Farms that comes courtesy of Peter Franklin.
with no adaption from Singapore Food by Wendy Hutton
1 chicken, about 2 lbs.
1 tbs. melted butter or ghee
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 ½ tbs. lemon juice
4 tbs. plain yogurt
1 heaping tbs. cilantro, pounded
1 heaping tbs. mint, pounded
1 tbs. cumin
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed fresh ginger
1 tsp. white vinegar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/3 tsp. cardamom
few drops of red food coloring (opt.)
1. Remove feet, head and skin from the chicken and make deep cuts in the thighs and breasts. Combine all ingredients for marinade 1 and rub well into the chicken. Leave in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
2. Combine ingredients for marinade 2 and rub evenly all over the chicken, making sure some of the marinade penetrates the slits. Leave in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
3. Brush grill with ghee or butter and cook chicken over hot coals, brushing from time to time.
Yogurt Flatbread (Naan)
1 cup warm water
1 packet dry, active yeast
1 cup Stonyfield plain yogurt
2 teaspoons salt
5-6 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1. In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer (i.e. Kitchen Aid), combine the water, yogurt and butter, and yeast. Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Mix together the salt and flour, and gradually add to the liquids. If the dough becomes too stiff to mix, add a bit of warm water, 1 tbs. at a time. Knead by hand for 5-6 minutes, until dough is smooth and shiny.
3. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for +/- 20 minutes.
4. Portion dough into 2 ounce pieces, and roll very thin (tortilla like thickness) with a rolling pin. Layer rolled-out pieces on flour dusted parchment or waxed paper until ready to cook.
5. The Naan may be cooked in a skillet (cast iron is best…heat to medium high heat, ungreased) or even on a barbecue grill. Cook about 2 minutes per side, or until desired level of doneness. Dough will bubble and rise a bit as it cooks. This is normal.
6. Serve warm.