Hot Off The Grill: Tandoori Shrimp

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We're huge fans of grillmaster Steven Raichlen's smoky, meaty cookbooks. His latest work focuses on what makes signature grilled foods around the world so delicious. Dive into recipes for sauces, rubs, marinades, bastes, butters and much more. These tandoori shrimp are marinated in a spiced yogurt paste and infused with earthy, spicy goodness.  

Tandoori shrimp is one of the glories of Indian gastronomy. To get the full effect you should serve the shrimp with a kaleidoscopic assortment of side dishes. A bare minimum would include raita and tomato chutney, as well as basmati rice. The more people you have, the more elaborate your spread should be. In India, the shrimp would be cooked in a tandoor, an urn-shaped clay barbecue pit. A kamado-style ceramic cooker will give you a similar effect, and you can also direct grill the shrimp over a hot fire.

Reprinted with permission from Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, And Marinades

Hot Off The Grill: Tandoori Shrimp
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These tandoori shrimp are marinated in a spiced yogurt paste and infused with earthy, spicy goodness. Fire up the grill and make them tonight!
Prep Time
Cook Time
as an appetizer; 4 as a main course
  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 lemon
  • Raita
  • Tomato Chutney
  • Fresh Mango Chutney
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mace blades
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (about 1 inch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 6 slices (each 1/4-inch-thick) peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt (sea or kosher)
  • 2 to 4 drops orange food coloring (optional)
  1. :::marinade:::
  2. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the coriander, peppercorns, cumin, mace, fennel, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Toast, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 3 minutes. Transfer the spices to a bowl to cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice mill.
  3. Crumble the saffron threads between your thumb and forefinger and place in a small bowl with hot water. Let the saffron infuse for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine the onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, lemon juice, and oil in a blender or mini processor and purée to a smooth paste. You may need to add a tablespoon or so of water to obtain a paste.
  5. Combine the yogurt, spices, saffron mixture, onion paste, salt, and food coloring, if using, in a bowl and stir to mix. Use within a few hours of making.
  6. :::shrimp:::
  7. Place the shrimp in a glass baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Stir a couple of times to coat evenly.
  8. Set up a grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
  9. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and thread them onto skewers. Place on the grate and grill until firm, pink, and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, basting with melted butter.
  10. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and sprinkle the onion slices and cilantro sprigs on top. Serve with lemon wedges and bowls of raita and the chutneys.
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