Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Sizzlers: Tandoori Sabzi Skewers

One of the last weekend get togethers I hosted before my impromptu hospital visit was for some friends that we hadn't seen in a long while. Every time we set up a meet-together, we had to rethink our plans - either at their end or mine. So this time, when they asked if we could meet, I agreed; disregarding the fact that A was away that entire week on a work-related trip.  As Saturday came nearer, my anxiety mounted. A wasn't coming back till late Saturday afternoon, which meant that I'd be on my own for the preperatory phase of this get together. Not to mention that the summer was really heating up. Not really feeling up to conjuring up an elaborate Indian meal; I decided leave the responsibility of the main meal for A and his outdoor grill. My menu was going to be:
  1. Fresh lemonade
  2. A hearty beans and vegetable soup
  3. Grilled lentil-veggie burgers
  4. Corn on the cob
  5. Tortilla chips with Cowboy salsa
  6. And ice pops to top it off.
The salsa, burger patties and soup were make ahead and the ice pops were store bought, which left my saturday morning relatively free. Except that I can't really LET myself be free. So I worried about not doing enough for my guests almost the whole morning. As my thoughts ran around in circles, my brain suddenly zeroed in on a recipe that I had acquired almost 2 yrs. ago from one of A's friend. This friend- a typical food-loving Punjabi- claimed that he was parting with the recipe for world's best Tandoori Sabzi. He'd dared me to try it and not like it, but as always, I'd chickened out of actually testing it. Until now....the menu I had seemed to be ideal for some Tandoori vegetables on the side. The recipe didn't require anything outside of my pantry, so on a whim, I decided to give VK's recipe a try. For the first time in my life, I did not deviate from the written word, and ended with these fabulous Tandoori Sabzi skewers.

Tandoori Sabzi Skewers
(Oven-grilled vegetables in a yogurt marinade)

For the marinade:
2 Teaspoons of Garlic Paste ( I did not use this)
2 Teaspoons of Ginger Paste
1/4 cup of Yogurt without any water
A pinch of Red Color *
A pinch of Egg Yellow color *
2 Teaspoons of Degi Mirch for color
4 Teaspoons of Cooking Oil
4 Teaspoons of White Vinegar
3 Teaspoons of Garam Masala
4 Teaspoons of Salt
2 Teaspoons of Kasuri Methi leaves
2 sprigs of chopped frsh mint leaves (my addition, optional)

For the skewers: About 2 cups of vegetables of your choice chopped up into largish cubes. I used:
Yellow squash
Red bell pepper
Green Bell Pepper
White onion

* I had gel coloring, so I used one drop of red and 2 drops of yellow to get a nice orangish shade.
  1. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade together in a large ziploc bag.
  2. Put all your chopped veggies into this bag and marinate in the fridge for 30 min. Shake the bag 2-3 times to coat the vegetables well.
  3. While the vegetables are marinating, preheat oven to 550F.
  4. Layer the vegetables in a single layer in an oven-proof dish and bake for 15 min.
  5. Take out the tray. Toss the vegetables and then cook for another 10 min. Monitor closely. They're done when the marinade starts to change color into a deeper orange.
  6. Allow to cool to touch, then skewer. I made mini-bite skewers on toothpicks.
My two cents: The ideal for this recipe would be grilling the marinated vegeables on a tandoor; I used the easier alternative- oven-grilling. This was definitely a great tasting Tandoori side, just as VK claimed. My two deviations from the original recipe was not using garlic, and adding a hint of mint. By doing this, I did not take anything away, and the hint of mint just heightened the flavors a bit, in my opinion. This is an absolutely sizzling summer recipe, no doubt about it.
    I had some left overs and I worried about how they'd keep. I was amazed to find that the Tandoori sabzi actually tasted better the next day- almost like a very flavorful achaar. I used the leftovers to make grilled sandwiches in pita pockets with chutney. Absolutely delish.
    I can't think of any thing that can make this recipe any better than what it already is. So try it and enjoy.    And at the risk of sounding self-promoting, please 'Like' my page on Facebook and fan my ego a bit! You'll find the link in the top left hand corner of this blog.

Linking this to
 Bookmarked recipes # 48
Serve it-Grilled event
Delicious Dishes- summer menu