Combining flavors from different culinary backgrounds is one of the greatest joys of cooking. Few flavors are more delicious than the spicy combination of Indian- and Mexican-inspired cuisine. Both packed full of powerful spices and smoldering smokiness, Indian and Mexican flavors are a match made in culinary heaven.
If you’re looking to experiment with different flavors, tandoori pulled pork or chicken tacos are an excellent place to begin. Simple to make yet mouthwateringly delicious, tandoori tacos are sure to be your new favorite dish to serve!
Making Tandoori Pulled Pork Tacos
Before you get started with this recipe, you’ll need to grab the following ingredients and cooking utensils:
- Whole pork shoulder (about 5 – 6 pounds) cut into thick slabs
- One box tandoori bbq masala (you can find this at most Indian/International grocery stores)
- One onion, quartered
- 12 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Taco toppings of your choice (i.e. sour cream, cilantro, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, etc.)
- Tandoor oven
While this particular tandoori pulled pork taco recipe calls for a sous vide bath in a precision cooker, this extra step is unnecessary when using a tandoor grill. The super-high heat used in tandoori grilling allows you to achieve a spicy, crispy exterior for your meat without sacrificing its tenderness. This also makes it easier when it comes time to shred the meat for serving.
First, ensure your pork slabs are cut at least two inches thick and season them liberally with the tandoori bbq masala. Place the seasoned pork into a bag and add in the onion, garlic, and bay leaves, leaving to marinate for 24 hours. Before removing from the marinade, fire up your tandoor oven to 500 – 600º F. While the tandoor heats, thread the pork onto your skewers. Once the oven is thoroughly heated, place the pork into the oven for approximately 10 minutes, checking its internal temperature with your infrared thermometer to ensure it’s safe for serving.
Pro Tip: If you want a faster cook, cube the pork before threading onto your skewers and leave in the tandoor for approximately four minutes.
After removing from the oven, place the pork in a deep pan or serving tray and use a fork (or your hands once cool enough) to shred the meat. Serve with your choice of tortillas and taco toppings.
Making Tandoori Chicken Tacos
The only difference between making tandoori pulled pork tacos and tandoori chicken tacos is the cook time. If you’re using a whole chicken, you’ll need to leave it in the tandoor for approximately eight minutes. However, if you cubed the chicken before threading into your skewers, then you’ll only need to wait 3 – 4 minutes until your chicken is ready to eat!
Take Tandoori Tacos to the Next Level
Naan Taco Shell Recipe
Want to make taco night even more fun with your tandoor? Consider making naan taco shells rather than settling on store-bought tortillas. Naan flatbread can be easily adapted into a tasty taco shell for an even more authentic meal. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 and ½ teaspoons dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 and ½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra flour for dusting and rolling
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons thick plain yogurt (such as Greek yogurt)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus oil for the bowl
First, proof the yeast by combining the yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup of water in a small bowl. Let it stand until it gets foamy (usually about 5 – 10 minutes). Next, place 4 and ½ cups of flour, the salt, and baking powder in a food processing bowl fitted with a dough blade or mixer with a dough hook. Mix to blend and then add the yeast mixture, milk, yogurt, egg, vegetable oil, and remaining ¾ cup of water. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic; it should be soft but not too sticky.
Place your dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and turn to coat it on all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and clean kitchen towel, then let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free environment for around 1 to 1 and ½ hours.
After it’s risen, punch down the dough and divide it into eight even pieces. Roll them between your palms into smooth balls and place them on a lightly floured baking sheet, covering with a slightly damp kitchen towel. Let them rise until doubled in bulk (another hour or so).
Preheat your tandoor to 450º F and roll out a dough ball on a lightly floured work surface to form a flat disk. Roll and stretch one end to make the traditional teardrop shape of naan flatbread. Drape the naan over your gaddi pad and reach your hand into the tandoor to press it quickly onto the hot clay wall. Cook until it is puffed, blistered, and browned (approximately two minutes), then use the bread tools to gently pry the bread off so it doesn’t fall into the charcoals below. Now you’ve got tandoori style taco shells to match your Indian-Mexican fusion dish.
Need a Tandoor? We’ve Got You Covered!
Your Tandoori Taco Tuesday can’t begin without the right tools. Find the tandoor oven you need to make dinner even more delicious on Hōmdoor’s shop. From custom installations to propane gas residential tandoors, we have the culinary tools you need to bring delectable Indian cuisine right to the comfort of your own backyard!