So following on from the post below, here's the bit on the prawns. Not being minded to make up my own tandoori paste from scratch, I thought I'd utilise the one made by Pataks instead. I've used other pastes made by them before and have been impressed. They've always been very dense, and intensely flavoured with spices and ginger or garlic, with a thin layer of oil to keep everything well preserved. They've proved to be a very useful shortcut when marinating flavourless things like Quorn before cooking. So I thought I was on safe ground with buying a jar of Patak's tandoori paste to marinate my prawns in before grilling them.
But I probably should have exercised caution when I saw the colour of the contents of the jar. Rather than the rich, fiery red of Kashmiri chillis, this paste was more like a deep fuchsia pink. And this was with the assistance of several varieties of colouring. However my faith in Pataks remained strong and I continued with my purchase. On actually opening the jar, the 'paste' turned out to be more of a gloopy sauce, and on adding yoghurt to make the marinade the colour changed to an even more disturbing raspberry tone. I had a quick taste to check levels of spiciness and found these to be approximately none. I know that tandooris are not usually meant to be super-spicy and I am certainly no chilli-head, but this 'paste' really lacked any significant flavour. I went ahead and added some chilli to the marinade and after a couple of hours, the prawns went under a hot grill. They only took a few minutes to cook through so admittedly not much time to take on that slightly charred effect that an authentic tandoor would produce.
The taste was acceptable but definitely bland. Maybe using the product with meat (or possibly fish) and it's concurrent longer cooking times would improve the finished product, but I remain pretty skeptical. I very sincerely hope that this is a one off failure by Pataks and the rest of their proper pastes remain as good as I remember them being.
Pataks tandoori paste
I rate it 5/10
Cost: Around £1.80