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  Life   Food  15 Sep 2019  It’s here to stay

It’s here to stay

Published : Sep 15, 2019, 12:15 am IST
Updated : Sep 15, 2019, 12:15 am IST

Contrary to what some people think, the tandoor isn’t a health hazard for those who use it. So take these recipes and cook away!

Mutton Nargisi kofta
 Mutton Nargisi kofta

For more than half the meals I have eaten in Delhi, tandoori items have remained an integral part. Because of that, while I may have gained a kilo or two (10 to 12, to be fair), my taste buds have not yet had enough of the kebabs, tikkas and more. Last week, I came across a statement by a neighbour that seemed to threaten my love for the tandoor: "People are searching for alternatives such as the chullah, as the gas tandoor has a negative health effect on those who stand in front of it for hours. It might even be banned because of this, who knows? I think it is good for people who work at restaurants," he had said. Though it may sound a bit selfish, I started having a panic attack just imagining what would happen to my sweet little tummy if this happens, and immediately began texting people in the culinary industry to clear my doubts, or, possibly, reveal the truth.

Tandoors have been an essential part of North Indian cuisine from the Mughal era. In every nook and cranny of a city like Delhi, you'll find a tandoori joint. Be it a renowned one or a roadside food haunt, people will definitely try it out once for the sake of it. But, then, imagine if all of this disappears and people go for a baked chicken (not that I don't love baked dishes, but still!) instead of a reshmi kebab. Thankfully, I met chef Anooj Wadhwan the next evening.

He said, “Being an Indian cuisine chef, I cannot even imagine my kitchen without a tandoor. People would literally stop coming to my restaurant if I don’t have it. At the same time, tandoori dishes play a major role in my restaurant. If you come around eight in the evening, we only offer tandoori snacks.”

“Earlier, whenever you had a tandoori dish, you could taste the flavour of cream, butter, chaat masala, lemon and coriander immediately. Now, in my kitchen I don’t use any chaat masala or lemon in my chicken items. Tandoori dishes have evolved with time, like any other dish. But that going obsolete is out of the question.”

On a similar note, chef Deep Chand Dobriyal shares, “Earlier, there were only chullah tandoors. And these used to emit dense smoke that would affect the person’s lungs and intestine because of inhaling the smoke and carbon dioxide for a longer period of time. But, those days are gone. Now, we have gas tandoors. And these work pretty efficiently and I’m happy about it. Looking at the environmental concern, we can sacrifice a tad-bit on taste that the gas tandoor brings. Who knows, maybe even in future, I don’t know how, but we come up with an electric tandoor. Though, I’m not sure if that is possible.”

I reached home and my fear receded. I could sleep that night with dreams of savouring more tandoori items and possibly gaining another 10 kilograms. But, it felt great to know that my favourite Indian dishes were to remain with me for the many, many years to come.

Mutton Nargisi kofta



  • Mutton mince 160gms    
  • Degi mirch    1/4th         tsp
  • Coriander     
  • chopped    1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli    
  • chopped    1
  • Yellow chilli    
  • powder    1/4th tsp
  • Cumin     
  • powder     1/4th tsp
  • Garam masala    
  • powder    1/4th tsp
  • Roasted chana    
  • powder    1 tsp
  • Salt    1/4th tsp
  • Stuffing for kofta
  • Chopped boiled
  • egg white     2 tbsp
  • Chopped coriander
  • leaves     1/4th tsp
  • Cumin powder 1/4th tsp

Kofta gravy

  • Sliced onion    1 small
  • Ginger garlic     
  • paste    1 tsp
  • Green     
  • cardamom    2 nos.
  • Black     
  • cardamom    1 no.
  • Bay leaf    1 no.
  • Tomato puree    1/2 cup
  • Mutton curry    
  • masala     1/4th tsp
  • Plain curd    1 tbsp
  • Salt    1/4th tsp
  • Coriander
  • powder    1/4th tsp
  • Degi mirch    1/4th tsp
  • Cumin powder    1/4th tsp
  • Chopped green chilli    1 no.
  • Chopped ginger1/4th tsp

Method: To make kofta

  • Take mutton mince, add all ingredients listed under kofta and mix well.
  • Mix all ingredients listed under stuffing and mix well. Your stuffing mixture is ready.
  • Make kofta balls, each in an oval shape the size of an egg. Add 1tbsp of stuffing mixture in each kofta.
  • Deep fry kofta till golden brown/cooked from inside. It will make two koftas.

Kofta gravy

  • Take a pan and add refined oil.  When oil is hot, add whole spice and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add sliced onion and cook till golden brown.
  • Now add ginger garlic paste.
  • Add degi mirch, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Cook for two minutes.
  • Now add mutton masala, salt and add tomato paste and keep stirring in cooking for 2-3 mins.
  • Add curd, cook till 5-7 mins.
  • To this gravy add cooked koftas gently and cook for few seconds and serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Sharaabi Raan



  • For the lamb
  • Rimmed leg of lamb    1.5 kgs            
  • For the marinade
  • Onions    1/2 kg
  • Green chillies    3
  • Garlic paste    2 tbsp
  • Ginger paste    1 tbsp
  • Hung curd    3 gms
  • Cumin    2 tbsp
  • Coriander    3 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder    1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala     1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil     3 tbsp
  • Whole cloves    8 to 10
  • Green cardamom    15 pods
  • Cinnamon powder    1/4th tsp
  • Black peppercorn    12 to 15
  • Dark rum    2 tbsp

Method: Prepare the lamb

  • Trim all the fat off the leg of lamb. Using a sharp, pointed knife, remove any sinew (which looks like a thin, almost transparent film on parts of the meat).
  • Use a sharp knife to cut deep slashes all over the meat. This allows the marinade to penetrate it.

Marinate the meat

  • Grind the following into a thick paste — onions, green chillies, and garlic and ginger paste.
  • Mix yogurt to this paste.
  • Add the cumin, coriander, red chilli powder, and gram masala to the yogurt and mix to blend well.
  • Add 1 tbsp rum to this marinade.
  • Rub this marinade all over the meat with your hands and refrigerate for 24 hours.

How to roast the lamb

  • Remove the marinated leg of lamb from the refrigerator and keep out to warm up to room temperature.
  • In a lagan, heat the oil and, when hot, add all the whole spices — cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and peppercorn. Sauté until they stop sizzling and begin to give off an aroma.
  • Put leg of lamb in lagan and cover the lagan. Cook for 2-3 hours.
  • Remove the leg of lamb from bone and cook in tandoor for ten minutes.
  • Take it out and baste in 1 tbsp rum when hot.
  • Serve garnished with the slivered almonds.

— Recipes by Daryaganj, Aerocity




  • Beetroot    200 gms
  • Deshi ghee    50 gms    
  • Roasted chana powder    50 gms    
  • Green chillies    5 gms           
  • Ginger     5 gms    
  • Green coriander    5 gms    
  • Bread crumb    20 gms    
  • Salt    8 gms    
  • Cumin powder    5 gms    
  • Pine nuts    5 gms    
  • Amul Cheese    10gms    


  • Wash and roast beetroot in tandoor.
  • Chopped green chillies, ginger and green coriander.
  • Grate Amul cheese.
  • Roast pine nuts in a pan.


  • Heat deshi ghee in a pan and add chopped green chillies and ginger
  • Add grated beetroot and bhuno till they dry.
  • Keep aside for cool
  • After that, mix all ingredients and spices in it except Amul cheese and pine nuts.
  • Make a flat tikki and stuff with pine nuts and cheese.
  • Heat deshi ghee in a pan, stir till the texture is crispy, and serve with beet root sauce.

Pathar ke kabab



  • Lamb escalopes    260 gms       
  • Garam masala    2 gms
  • Ginger    10 gms
  • Garlic    10 gms
  • Lemon    1 no.    
  • Malt vinegar    10 ml    
  • Oil refined    10 ml    
  • Brown cashew     10 gms           
  • paste
  • Onion brown     45 gms    
  • paste
  • Deghi chilli     5 gms      
  • powder
  • Salt    8 gms    
  • Black pepper    2 gms
  • Curd    100 gms      
  • Cumin powder    3 gms    


  • Beat lamb slice with hammer.          
  • Marinate lamb slice with all the ingredients.


  • Heat ghee in a non stick pan.          
  • Add marinated lamb slice and cook till oil is seen on the top of lamb slice.       
  • Turn then lamb slice and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve with spring onion chutney.

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