Raise a Toast to the Spirit of a Barbeque- The New Indian Express

“Mein alcoholic hoon” and “Jhoom barabar jhoom sharabi” are among the Bollywood songs which have prompted me to write this week’s column.

Since I have been researching on kebabs for a long time for my book on the kebab trail, I will share a secret of a good barbeque with you. Barbeque is as good as the marinade meaning the secret is the marinade and of course besides cooking the meat or vegetable at the right temperature and for the right time. The marinade has two functions, it tenderises the meat and imparts a distinctive flavour to the dish.

You may have heard a family elder boasting about his or her secret barbeque marinade recipe, about how they uses wine to tenderise tough meats. Rightly so, as meats are full of proteins called collagen, which make it tough. More the collagen, the tougher the meat and more the time required to cook it.

The other option is to use the right tenderiser in the marinade to break the collagen and make the meat soft. Wine or alcohol helps break the molecules (collagen) and retain water in meat which makes it tastier. Red wine in particular is good as a marinade as it imparts good aroma and also is little acidic which is good for the meat. So, now we can even get high on barbeques.

Let me share two recipes with you to raise your spirits.




  1. Marinate the prawns in whisky for 1 hour
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the last three into the prawns and keep it in fridge for about 2 hours so its absorbed well.
  3. Skewers the prawns and cook in tandoor or oven for about 10 minutes or till half done.
  4. Remove the skewer and hang the skewer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Again put in tandoor or grill in the oven after basting with butter for 2-3 minutes more.
  6. Remove and arrange on serving dish and sprinkle chat masala and lemon juice. Serve hot.

Monish Gujral

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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