Sunday night we set-up a small barbecue on our terrace. Unfortunately the weather was not so comforting and we were sweating it out by the end of it. But we had some great food that night - Grilled paneer, mushroom, potatoes, onions, capsicums and roomali roti with dal makani.
Getting the grill to heat up ain't no easy task. It took me about 2 hours to really see that lovely reddish orange flame emerge out of the coal pieces. It's an art I am hoping I will be able to get a hang of it if I had some more of these sessions. But alas, the Mumbai weather isn't so supportive. But I am glad that by the end of it the taste was something we cherished very much. Also there was this lovely aroma of the food in the air which made it even more exciting to sit out there in the open and feast on the hot pieces off the grill.
Some pointers for those who would like to have a barbecue night at home:
- Make sure you tell the coal seller you need it for home use so you can give you small brittle pieces.
- Coal takes a lot of time to ignite, so give it ample time before you intend to start grilling stuff on it.
- Coal needs a agent - I used kerosene but I believe you also get propane cans which can also be used. Make sure you don't use too much of this because otherwise the food can start smelling of it.
- You are going to need a strong hand-held fan so give the coal necessary air for the sparks to rise.
- Ensure that the marination is not a very thin gravy it should be thick enough so that it doesn't drip onto the coal.
- The skews should be well oiled so that they come off smooth once roasted. Of the lot paneer is the most messy and potatoes the toughest.
- Somebody should keep a watch and keep rotating the skews so that all sides are well cooked.
- And .... don't expect to be a pro in your first few tries. This was my third attempt and I could manage to feed about 6 people in good time.
I would love to hear your experience or some expert tips, if you have organized a barbecue at your place. More photos from the evening at my flickr.