Sula (sometimes written sule) is the traditional barbecue of Rajasthan, the northwest province that includes the Thar (Indian) Desert. It's unique in several ways. First, the meat: traditionally venison, wild boar or rabbit is used. (Rajasthan is famous for its wild game and its hunters.) Since deer is an endangered species in India, these days most sula is made from lamb or baby goat.
Second, the cut of the meat: unlike the chunks or ground meat used for grilling elsewhere in India, sula is made from thin broad slices threaded onto skewers.
Third, the heat source: while sula can, like most Indian barbecue, be cooked in a tandoor (an urn-shaped clay oven), in Rajasthan it's customarily done on a hibachi-like grill.
And finally, the seasoning: it's a piquant mixture of yogurt, ginger, garlic and lemon juice with a touch of heavy cream for richness and a blast of cayenne pepper for bite.
Plus: More Grilling Recipes and Tips
6 garlic cloves
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala or ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 pounds boneless leg of venison or lamb in large trimmed pieces, sliced
across the grain 1/4 inch thick
Stuffed Tandoori Potatoes
How to Make It
In a mini-processor, combine the garlic and ginger and puree until fairly smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the yogurt, cream, lemon juice, cayenne, black pepper, garam masala and caraway seeds. Add the meat and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and oil it lightly. Using a rubber spatula, scrape some of the marinade off the meat. Thread the venison onto 2 parallel skewers, keeping the meat slices as flat as possible. Season the meat with the salt and grill over a hot fire until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Serve hot with the Stuffed Tandoori Potatoes.
Indian spices can unravel the flavors of heavy reds, so pick a light, fruity wine that can be served cool, such as Beaujolais-Villages, as a refreshing foil to the spicy meat and rich potatoes.
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