Tandoor? Got one on our shed out back …..

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No wait, not tan door but tandoor.  Anyway, read on…..

India, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Balkans, Central Asia, Burma, and Bangladesh…in these parts of the world, the tandoor is the traditional form of cooking meats. The word is used to describe both the cylindrical clay oven used for cooking and baking and the method of cooking itself.

The tandoor is said to have traveled to Central Asia and the Middle East along with the Roma or Romani people, also known to the Western world as Gypsies. Archaeological evidence points to the existence of the tandoor in the ancient sites of Harappa and Mohenjo daro dating as far back as 3000 B.C. The popularity of the tandoor in India continued through the periods of Muslim rule in South Asia.

The heat is traditionally generated by a charcoal or wood fire burning within the vessel itself. Temperatures can approach up to 480°C (900°F) and it is not unusual for the fire to remain lit for long periods to maintain the high temperature.

Typical foods cooked in the tandoor are tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, and breads such as tandoori roti and naan. The chicken tikka is a South Asian dish made by grilling small pieces of chicken which have been marinated with spices and yogurt. It is traditionally boneless and cooked on the tandoor in skewers. It can be eaten like a kebab with green coriander chutney or could be used to prepare the curry chicken tikka masala.

Tandoori chicken is a roasted delicacy that originated in North Western India. It later became a popular Punjabi dish during the time of the Mughals in Central and Southern Asia and remains popular in that area today. The chicken is marinated in yogurt seasoned with typically Indian spices such as garam masala, ginger, garlic, cumin, peppers, and turmeric for the red color. Cooked traditionally in a clay oven, it can also be prepared on the grill, in case you are short of a tandoor!

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