It was my Dad’s birthday, so he put on a dinner for the family and a few friends. You’d think that someone else would cook, seeing as it was his birthday, but if you’ve ever tasted his food you would see why it’s so easy just to let him do the cooking.
He has the luck of having his birthday at the end of January, which, here, is when the weather is the best it will be all year. While others in the Northern hemisphere are shivering around their fireplaces, wrapped up in winter gear, we in New Zealand are having a tandoor dinner outside in the sun. Feels good.
Dad built this tandoor himself, from scratch – including throwing the inner layer of clay. He also happened to build almost the entire house, and some of the couches, cabinets and cups and bowls. But that’s another story.
Unfortunately I don’t know the recipe to his feast (which is actually a very, very small feast in the spectrum of Dad’s feasts), but maybe if you’re lucky I’ll make it myself one day and share it on here.
For now, though:
Below is the tandoor – with succulent pieces of tandoori chicken sizzling about. It gets so hot in the tandoor that sometimes it’s still warm the following afternoon.
Dad was always the master naan maker before he made the tandoor, when he was still using an oven. These naans are balled up with cheese, then rolled out into a tear-drop shape and quickly (as to not burn your hand) patted to the inside of the incredibly hot tandoor. They are then brushed with a mixture of garlic butter. Yes, they are as good as they sound.
Tandoori chicken now in a butter sauce (aka butter chicken), steamed rice, garlic and cheese naan, and a fresh mango salad. Take me back.
Happy birthday, Dad