This is my favorite bit, one of those infinitely flexible, always delicious recipes that you can bend to the wishes of your pantry and the amount of time on your hands. I like to serve tandoori vegetables for dinner, but its not unusual for guests to say- ‘Can we just eat this with the appetizers?’ If you decide to grill outdoors, tandoori vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to idle chatter and cold things to drink.
About 8 cups of mixed vegetables, chopped into equal sized pieces. The usual suspects are small cremini mushrooms, pearl onions, 1 inch squares of extra firm tofu/paneer, cauliflower/broccoli florets and red/yellow/green bell peppers. Feel free to experiment with your favorite veggies.
For the marinade:
1 cup of sour yogurt, homemade or Greek
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp powdered, toasted cumin
1 tsp chaat masala (available in Indian stores, a tangy finishing spice)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt (If you have black/rock salt, use 1:1 black salt/plain salt.)
1 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp ginger, grated fine
1 tsp garlic, grated fine
1 tsp green chillies, minced (as hot/mild as you like)
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
– Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The marinade should be really salty, spicy and sour. Its going to mellow a lot when mixed with a large amount of vegetables.
– Toss the vegetables in the marinade. Pour the vegetables along with the marinade in a large plastic bag, double-bag, and then stick it in the fridge for at least an hour, at maximum 6 hours.
That’s it! The vegetables can now be skewered and cooked on a hot charcoal grill, a minute on each side. They can be roasted in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. If you have a large, extremely hot cast iron skillet/griddle, you can also stir fry them at the last moment. (If not using a charcoal grill, add a couple of drops of liquid smoke to the marinade for a smoky flavor.)
Serve with green cilantro chutney or your favorite Indian dipping sauce.