Tandoori Oven- A brief overview
One of the most famous ovens that is currently in use today is a 'tandoori oven', also known as a tandoor in short. This type of oven is used quite commonly throughout Asia for making flat breads, especially in South East Asia. The tandoor is basically a cylindrical oven made from clay or stainless steel , and has an opening on top. The tandoori oven plays a vital role in Central, Western and Southern Asia, where people make flat breads, or 'chapatis', in it. In Western countries, the tandoori oven is also used for baking purposes.
How does a tandoor oven work?
At the bottom of the tandoori oven, there are charcoals or usually wood fire, which are used to heat up the oven. The charcoals or the wood is generally lit up within the clay oven itself, which means that the food comes in to exposure with the live fire. This is great for foods that require radiant heat cooking, convectional cooking or hot air cooking. Additional smoke is generated by the fat as well as the juices that drip down on the wood fire or the charcoal throughout the cooking process. In common circumstances, the temperatures within a tandoori oven can escalate up to 480 degrees Celsius, or 900 degrees Fahrenheit. In comparison with various other ovens, the tandoori oven is lit for long periods of time so as to make sure that the cooking temperatures remain at a high level.
In some places, the tandoori oven is build within the ground itself. Ceramic is used to create an elevated platform, with the oven dug inside. Hence, the opening of the tandoor falls at the top. In order to cook food items within these ovens (usually flatbreads), a person must place the flatbread (uncooked) on a wet surface first, and then whack it against the side of the tandoor. As the sides of the clay oven are hot, the wet surface of the wheat sticks to the sides, allowing it to cook. As the flat bread receives the heat and begins to get cooked, it tends to inflate and gets unstuck from the sides. Before it falls in to the fire, the user must use metal sticks in order to remove them from the tandoor.
What can you cook using a tandoori oven?
Clay ovens are great not only for making flatbreads, but also for a number of dishes based on meat and vegetables, very typical for Indian cuisine. Tandoori chicken is perhaps one of the most common examples. Marinated chicken is placed inside the tandoor on a balanced dish. The tandoori chicken soon gains a yellow- orange color, after which it is removed and served. This way of cooking ensures your dish will be juicy and full of flavour.
You can also cook a whole chicken or a whole leg of lamb in this large clay pot. The possibilities are endless. What's more, cooking in this clay oven doesn't require using oil, which makes it a great means of preparing dishes when you're on a low calorie diet. You can also be interested in: How to Use a Smoker to Cook the Best Quality Smoked Dishes
Portable tandoors for use at home
Creating a tandoori oven might require the use of complex items, which is why most people just prefer to buy portable tandoori ovens from the market. Portable tandoori ovens must also be lit using a fire source, such as fire wood or charcoal. Because of the space that they occupy, most tandoori ovens are usually placed in separate, open environments.
They usually come with a wheeled trolley and a set of skewers, as well as a gadhi (bread cushion), a waterproof cover and a floor mat. They are perfect for cooking for the family or for home parties in the backyard. If you like cooking and discovering new tastes, or you're already in love with traditional Asian cuisine, a tandoor oven would be a great choice, letting you bring some variety to your meals. It would be a great addition to your backyard too, where you could place it next to the pizza oven and enjoy a personally prepared Italian or Indian dish in the privacy of your own garden.