Tandoori: a great grilling option

August 15, 2007|By Jill Wendholt Silva | Jill Wendholt Silva,McClatchy-Tribune

In India, tandoori (pronounced than-DOOR-ee) is a popular style of grilling. The tall, cylindrical oven made of brick or clay is used to cook breads, such as light and puffy naan, as well as meats that cook over flames in excess of 500 degrees.

This Grilled Tandoori-Style Steak With Summer Lentil Pilaf has something for meat eaters and vegetarians. Meat eaters can enjoy beef marinated in a tangy yogurt sauce, while vegetarians will appreciate the flavorful lentils, another Indian staple that is high in fiber.

Shopping tips

Because top round is a very lean cut, be sure to purchase USDA Choice (ask the butcher if the cut is not labeled) and avoid overcooking the beef.

If your budget will allow, sirloin is more forgiving to work with but will have a slightly higher fat content. If you can buy sirloin on sale, cut the meat to size and freeze the remaining beef.

GRILLED TANDOORI-STYLE STEAK WITH SUMMER LENTIL PILAF

Makes 6 servings

TANDOORI-STYLE STEAK:

1 (6-ounce) carton low-fat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons paprika

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 to 1 pound top round steak, cut about 3/4 -inch to 1-inch thick

salt and pepper, to taste

SUMMER LENTIL PILAF:

1/2 cup uncooked dry green lentils

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped red onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/3 cups water

1 tomato, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

For steak: Combine yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, jalapeno and ginger; blend well. Place steak in a gallon zip-top bag; spoon yogurt mixture over steak. Seal bag, squeeze to cover steak evenly and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

For Summer Lentil Pilaf: Combine lentils, carrots, onions, garlic and water in saucepan. Cover and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender and water is nearly absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to stand, uncovered, 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in tomato, red pepper, lemon juice and cilantro. Allow to cool until just warm or to room temperature.

Preheat grill to medium-high or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Grill steak 12 to 15 minutes, until meat reaches 150 degrees on meat thermometer. Remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and allow to stand 10 minutes. Temperature will rise to about 160 degrees and meat will be of medium doneness. Season lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Arrange sliced steak over lentil pilaf.

Per serving: 197 calories, 6 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 28 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrate, 19 grams protein, 56 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber

Recipe analysis provided by the Kansas City Star.

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