Tandoori Aloo

Tandoori Aloo

Tandoori Aloo (potatoes) is a delicious recipe of baby potatoes marinated in yogurt and spices, threaded to skewers, and cooked in the oven for crispy smoky starter.

Authentic Tandoori Aloo in restaurants are prepared in a special clay oven called ‘Tandoor.’ The vegetables or meat are marinated and then grilled at very high heat in a tandoor. However, at home I smoke the potatoes and grill them in the oven at a high temperature to recreate similar flavours and textures.

This recipe of Tandoori Aloo or Tandoori Aloo Tikka is not brimming with flavour and is a super easy gluten free appetizer too. The most important part of this recipe is to par boil the potatoes just enough so they hold the shape while grilling, marinating for as long as you can and finally smoking the potatoes before grilling.

Other recipes you might like to try are Tamarind Prawn, Haryali Paneer Tikka, Kerela Style Fish Parcels, Malai Broccoli, Ajwaini Fish Tikka, Tandoori Soya Chaap, Tandoori Mushroom Tikka, Hariyali Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Chicken.  

Ingredients

500 grams baby potatoes

For Marinade
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon paneer tikka masala
1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 tablespoon gram flour
1 tablespoon mustard oil
2 teaspoons green chilli ginger

Other Ingredients
Butter for greasing baking tray
1 teaspoon chaat masala
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon oil/butter for greasing potatoes

Directions

Step-1

First parboil or half cook the potatoes. If pressure cooking, then on medium to medium-high heat, pressure cook for 1 whistle. When the pressure falls naturally in the cooker, then only open the lid.
Or the potatoes can be par cooked in boiling water for 8-10 minutes.
Once par boiled, cool the potatoes, and peel the skin.

Step-2

To prepare the marinade, place a strainer on a bowl and pour the yogurt into it. Keep this in the fridge or a cool place for 1-2 hours and let all the water drain out. You will be left with thick, hung yogurt in the cloth. 1 cup of yogurt will give ½ cup of thick yogurt. Empty the thick hung yogurt in a bowl.

Step-3

Add salt, red chilli powder, paneer tikka masala, kasuri methi, mustard oil and ginger green chilli paste to the hung yogurt and whisk it to form a smooth consistency marinade.

Step-4

Add the peeled potatoes to the prepared marinade and mix to coat the potatoes. Cover and set aside for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

Step-5

Smoking the Potatoes
Heat a piece of charcoal over direct heat until it is red hot. With the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it burns evenly. Place a small plate in the center and place it on the marinated bowl. Place the hot charcoal in the bowl-shaped foil and pour melted ghee/oil on top of the hot charcoal. You will see smoke coming out of charcoal.
Immediately close the bowl with a lid/ aluminium foil and let it remain like this for 2-3 minutes. After 2-3 minutes, remove the charcoal bowl. The longer you keep the lid closed, the smokier the aloo will infuse. Usually 2 minutes is enough, but you can experiment with it based on your taste.

Step-6

Thread the marinated potatoes on a bamboo skewer and place them on a baking tray which has been lined with greased parchment paper or aluminium foil. This quantity of potatoes should make about 4-5 skewers.
Pre-heat the grill to 220 C/200 Fan /Gas mark 7. Grill for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway. Grease the potatoes halfway during cooking using butter/oil.
Sprinkle chaat masala and lemon juice.
Enjoy with onion salad, lime and green chutney.

Tips & Variations

  1. You can use Greek yogurt if you are short of time to make hung yogurt.
  2. You can make tandoori potatoes with baby potatoes and regular potatoes. If using the regular ones, chop them into bite size pieces and then use for this recipe.
  3. Remember to only par boil or half-cook the potatoes while boiling. If the potatoes are cooked completely, they will not be able to hold their shape while marinating and grilling shape and will crumble/ break apart.
  4. You can use mustard oil, vegetable oil or olive oil for the marinate.
  5. Marinate the potatoes for a minimum of 3-4 hours to give the ingredients time to get acquainted. If you have time, you can pop the marinated potatoes in the fridge the night before. Be sure to keep it covered in the fridge. The longer the potatoes are marinated, the better flavours get infused into the potatoes hence this recipe needs a bit of planning.
  6. If you are using wooden/bamboo skewers, then soak them in water preferably overnight or for at least 2-3 hours. This will stop them burning during the cooking process.
  7. If you have marinated the potatoes overnight in fridge, then bring it to room temperature before you skewer or else the potatoes will break.
  8. For an extra layer of flavouring, I sometimes prick the boiled potatoes using a fork or bamboo stick, which helps the marinade to seep inside through.
  9. Most restaurants add red food colour to their marinade for the iconic and eye-popping red colour. I prefer not to use food colouring but if you want the iconic red colour then you can add a pinch of food colouring in the marinade.
  10. Taste the marinade before adding the potatoes to adjust the seasoning. The marinade should taste lightly spicy when tasted on its own. Potatoes will bring the heat down when mixed with marinate.
  11. You can brush the potatoes with some butter or clarified butter while cooking to avoid them from becoming dry.