Food talk
The ultimate seafood delicacy
Pushpesh Pant

For many discerning diners the ultimate among seafood delicacies is the lobster. Certainly it is the most expensive and its delicate sweet succulence has a unique seduction. There are purists who consider it blasphemous to violate it with heavy handed spicing and ruin it by overcooking. According to folklore this grand dish was created for Emperor Napoleon but historians insist that it was created in late 19th century to celebrate a popular play that was inspired by the event of French Revolution and its aftermath. Truth be told, we have seldom seen any compatriot order it. Once, we had sampled a tandoori version at Sheetal samudra, Mumbai, but it had nothing to commend itself except novelty. Recently, at the Kempinsky Gourmet Summit in New Delhi we encountered a truly sublime ‘signature’ variation-unveiled by a participating hotel in Doha. We here share with our readers a more home-style recipe

Tandoori lobster

2 lobsters (medium sized, cleaned and deveined, flesh removed from shell, washed well)

Note: Cut the tails and preserve the shell

Thick yogurt 1 cup

Garlic paste 1 tsp

Ginger paste 1 tsp

Yellow chilli powder 1 tsp

Cumin powder 1 tsp

Black peppercorn powder 1/2tsp

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Clove powder ¼ tsp

Cinnamon powder ¼ tsp

Green cardamom powder ¼ tsp

Lemon juice 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Butter to baste 100 g


Cut lobster in bite-sized pieces. Prepare a marinade mixing all ingredients except lemon juice. Place the lobster in this mixture ensuring that the pieces are well coated and keep aside for three to four hours. Heat the oven to 350 °C. Place the lobster in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes basting with butter twice or thrice to retain moisture. Alternatively, grill over charcoal or in a gas tandoor for 5-7 minutes basting with butter. Clean the shells and dip these in hot oil. Remove, wipe clean and fill with grilled/baked lobster chunks. Sprinkle over the lemon juice, adjust seasoning and serve with mini nans or small phulkas.