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A tandoor (Arabic: تنور, Persian: تنور, Turkish: tandır, Urdu: تندور, Armenian: Թոնիր, Azerbaijani: təndir, Bengali: তন্দূর, Georgian: თონე, Hindi: तन्दूर, Punjabi: ਤੰਦੂਰ) is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The tandoor is used for cooking in Southern, Central and Western Asia, as well as in the Caucasus.
The heat for a tandoor was traditionally generated by a charcoal or wood fire, burning within the tandoor itself, thus exposing the food to live-fire, radiant heat cooking, and hot-air, convection cooking, and smoking by the fat and food juices that drip on to the charcoal. Temperatures in a tandoor can approach 480°C (900°F), and it is common for tandoor ovens to remain lit for long periods to maintain the high cooking temperature. The tandoor design is something of a transitional form between a makeshift earth oven and the horizontal-plan masonry oven.
The oldest examples of a tandoor were found in the settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, though earlier tandoor-type ovens have been recovered in early-Harappan contexts on the Makran coast, including the mound site of Balakot, Pakistan. In Sanskrit, the tandoor was referred to as kandu. The word tandoor comes from the Dari words tandūr and tannūr; these are derived from very similar terms, viz. Persian tanūr (تنور), Armenian t’onir (Թոնիր), Arabic tannūr (تنّور), Hebrew (תנור) eg in Leviticus 2:4 Turkish tandır, Uzbek tandir, Azeri təndir and Kurdish tendûr. However, according to Dehkhoda Persian Dictionary, the word originates from Akkadian tinûru, and is mentioned as early as in the Akkadian Epic of Gilgames (as reflexed by Avestan tanûra and Pahlavi tanûr). As such, tandoor may not have originated from Semitic or Iranian altogether, dating back to periods before the migration of Aryan and Semitic people to the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia.
Tandoor cooked dishes 
A tandoor may be used to bake many different types of flatbread. Some of the most common are Tandoori Roti, Tandoori Naan, Tandoori Laccha Paratha, Missi Roti, and Tandoori Kulcha.
Peshawari Seekh 
Roasted Cashews, corn and cottage cheese paste marinated in spiced thick cream grilled in Tandoor.
Achaari Khumb ke Soole 
Mushrooms marinated in pickled yoghurt and jodhpuri spices grilled in Tandoor.
Baluchi Aloo 
Potatoes stuffed with cottage cheese, vegetables and cashew nuts, roasted in Tandoor.
Tandoori chicken 
The chicken is marinated in a yogurt seasoned with garam masala, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, and other spices depending on the recipe. In hot versions of the dish, cayenne, red chili powder, or other spices give the typical red color; in milder versions, food coloring is used. Turmeric produces a yellow-orange color. It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in an earthen oven (i.e. tandoor), but can also be prepared on a traditional grill.
Chicken tikka 
Chicken tikka (Urdu: مرغ تکہ ; Hindi: मुर्ग़ टिक्का; murgh tikka) is a dish from Mughlai cuisine made by grilling small pieces of chicken which have been marinated in spices and yogurt. It is traditionally cooked on skewers in a tandoor and is usually boneless. It is normally served and eaten with a green coriander chutney, or used in preparing the curry chicken tikka masala.
Kalmi kabab 
Kalmi kabab, a popular snack in South Asian cuisine, is made by marinating chicken drumsticks and placing them in a tandoor. Various kinds of freshly ground Indian spices are added to the yogurt used for the marination of the chicken. When prepared, the drumsticks are usually garnished by mint leaves and served with onions and Indian bread.
Samosa (Samsa) is a stuffed snack consisting of a fried or baked triangular, semilunar or tetrahedral pastry shell with a savory filling, which may include spiced potatoes, onions, peas, coriander, and lentils, or ground lamb or chicken. The size and shape of a samosa, as well as the consistency of the pastry used, can vary considerably. In some regions of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) samosas are typically baked in a tandoor, while they are usually fried elsewhere.
See also 
- Curry Club Tandoori and Tikka Dishes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1283-9 (1993)
- Curry Club 100 Favourite Tandoori Recipes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 07499149 & ISBN 0-7499-1741-5 (1995)
- India: Food & Cooking, New Holland, London — ISBN 978-1-84537-619-2 (2007)
- Raichlen, Steven (2011-05-10). "A Tandoori Oven brings India's heat to the backyard". New York Times. Retrieved 5/9/11.
- Leviticus 2:4
- "Metro Plus Delhi / Food : A plateful of grain". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- For instance, see the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery pp66-69