Saffron Valley highlighted a traditionally distinctive menu of grilled kebabs complete with select wine pairings during their 3rd Annual Kebab & Wine Carnival. The kick-off for the 2-week long Kebab & Wine Carnival began at their newer downtown location (26 E Street, Salt Lake City) from June 10th through the 16th followed by their South Jordan location (1098 W South Jordan Pkwy.) from June 17th through the 23rd.
“The Kebab Carnival honors the age old traditional Tandoori style of cooking which is loved the world over by Indian food enthusiasts. What is so unique about Tandoori style of cooking is that it is absolutely flavorful, delicious and very healthy for you”, said Lavanya Mahate, Owner of Saffron Valley. “The Kebab & Wine Carnival presented over 25 different varieties of succulent kebabs and wines, which was hugely popular with our patrons”, she added.
Kebabs are chunks or morsels of meats or vegetables marinated in yogurt, fresh and dried herbs and spices and cooked in an open flame Tandoor oven which reaches temperatures over 750 degrees F. Kebabs can also be made with ground meats. Although the typical notion is that kebabs are grilled and served on skewers, they can be removed from the skewers prior to serving.
In India Tandoori cooking and more specifically Kebabs were popularized during the Moghul era when cooking was taken very seriously and rivalries were common between chefs over recipes, ingredients and whims of kings, who wanted their meat cooked in particular ways. Saffron Valley’s attempt to recreate the magic of the Tandoor and reconnect modern day Salt Lake patrons with ancient Tandoori cuisine through this dedicated Food Carnival, was a sweet success.
Apart from classic favorites like Tandoori Tikka and Malai Kebab, the Carnival featured kebabs like “Nihari Boti Kebab” (medium chunks of marinated and grilled lamb), “Reshmi Kebab” (minced chicken and spices delicately wrapped around a skewer and grilled to perfection), “Shikampuri Kebab” (lamb mince kebabs) and “Bharwan Aloo” (cheese and herb filled potatoes) amongst other delicacies.
For the wine lovers, they made it fun by teaming with a local wine brokerage who carefully picked wines that go well with Indian cooking and spices. The combination of flavorful food and robust wines struck a chord with the discerning food lovers of Utah. Until next year, eat well! and healthy!
ABOUT TANDOORI COOKING:
Tandoori cooking is a cooking method that has become synonymous with the names of the dishes that are cooked in the Tandoor, a clay oven. Tandoori cooking is a process where marinated meats and vegetables are cooked in the Tandoor, a clay oven that reaches temperatures as high as 750 degree F. The marinated meats and vegetables are placed on long skewers and lowered into the tandoor and cooked over an open flame until they are juicy and done. Tandoori cooking imparts a unique smoky flavor to the dish that is unique to this method of cooking.
Tandoori cooking is a two-step process that involves marinating and cooking. The typical spices used are ginger, garlic, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. Garam masala is a combination of roasted and ground cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. The spices impart a mellow but savory flavor along with yogurt and lemon juice that lend tartness to the dish. The heat of the dish can be adjusted by the amount of cayenne pepper that is used. Crushed black pepper corns and chopped green chillies or Serrano peppers can also be used to increase the heat.
The meat is marinated in the spice and yogurt mixture for several hours sometimes overnight and cooked to perfection in the hot Tandoor.
About Saffron Valley:
Saffron Valley, with two locations in the Salt Lake Valley, is a top-rated Indian Restaurant offering a unique menu with classic restaurant, home-style, and authentic street foods of India from the North, South, East, and West.