Who likes barbecues here?? No, really, apart from the social aspect, who really likes what they are eating?? Throwing down a few burgers and potatoes over hot flames just doesn't do it for me (they inevitably turn out hard and overcooked!). Is it safe to assume that there are some of you out there for whom it doesn’t work either?
Being back in London for the summer, how could I forget how amazing barbecues can be? My aunty Rupa and Shoky uncle have totally nailed this world of otherwise excessively-charred food. Featuring a combination of seasoned meats, Ottolenghi inspired salads, kuchumber (finely diced tomatoes, onion, cucumber soaked in lemon juice, salt, and fresh chili), 'soft-as-a-pillow' naans, and raw mint mango chutney, one is left in a food coma....but it is totally worth it.
My favorite is the ground meat chicken kebabs which are cooked in their clay oven. When I make it in my New York city, fire alarm sensitive apartment, there is clearly no tandoor. I make it in the broiler and it taste very similar to grilling it in the tandoor or barbecue. Just as cooking the kebabs outdoors, the broiled kebabs also come out of the oven sizzling and slightly crisp from the outside and yet remain moist from the inside.
We all have our own ways of eating kebabs. Some roll the kebab, kuchumber and chutney in a piece of naan and eat it as a wrap. Some break the kebab and naan with their hands and dunk pieces into the chutney but me, I like the kebab straight up with my condiments on the side. O.K., my mouth is watering and it's only 9 a.m. as I am writing this. Whenever I get back to NY, I refuse to keep this tongue tantalizing moment as just a memory. I don't just melancholicly throw my arms up and wait for my next summer trip to London. I don't wimp out. I simply turn on the broiler and recreate and its pretty damn close!!