Backyard Tandoor

When I switched over to Primal, I began to run through my favorite types of food to see what I could still eat. I got to Indian food and after a brief semi-panic (No naan! No chickpeas! No potatoes! No lentils! No rice!), I realized with a sigh, “Ahh…tandoori!”

Now, the NY Times is telling me you can own a tandoor oven for about $1,200 (here). Not chump change, sure, but some fancy grills get that high. And, as the article states:

…[T]andoor cooking uses four distinct techniques. Direct heat rises from the charcoal, a process akin to grilling. The hot clay walls of the oven cook bread, similar to griddling or skillet-roasting. Radiant heat in the belly of the tandoor produces results similar to convection baking. And smoke, which occurs as the marinade and meat juices drip onto the hot coals, adds fragrance and flavor.

Just ignore that part about the bread. But they promise the cooking process produces “roasted meats of uncommon succulence.” I’m on board with that.

In general, I think fire makes everything taste better, as long as you don’t burn it, of course. Here’s a picture of my Mother’s Day brunch at St. Francis in Phoenix, AZ (highly recommend) that came out of a wood-fired oven: Wood-Oven Baked Eggs with red wine-braised beef, broccolini, and tomatoes (I had them leave off the croutons). Unbelievably good. I’m guessing something similar could be done at home in a cast-iron skillet. Hmm…

For now, I’ll settle for my awesome Weber grill. The weather is finally starting to behave more like May instead of February. Look for the easiest dinner recipe EVER tomorrow (here), and if you’d like to recreate the tandoor flavor at home, check out the NY Times’ Paleo/Primal-friendly options here (Tandoori Steak) and here (Tandoori Mushrooms, if you do dairy).

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