The term tandoor (Arabic: , Persian: تنور, Turkish: tandır, Urdu: تندور, Armenian: Թոնիր, Azerbaijani: təndir, Hindi: तन्दूर, Bengali: তন্দূর, Georgian: თონე, Punjabi: ਤੰਦੂਰ, Uyghur: تونۇر, ULY: tonur, Chinese: 馕坑, Korean: 탄두르,Sanskrit: कन्दु,) refers to a variety of ovens, the most commonly known is a cylindrical clay or metal 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Tandoor cooked dishes
- 3 Types of tandoor
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
The word tonir is used in various languages like 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) e.g. 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 "tin" means mud and nuro/nura means fire, and is mentioned as early as in the Akkadian Epic of Gilgames (as reflexed by Avestan tanûra and Pahlavi tanûr). As such, tandoor may have originated from Semitic. In Sanskrit, the tandoor was referred to as kandu. Tandoor’ is also said to have been derived from Persian word ‘Tannur’, derived from Babylonian word ‘tinuru’ based on Semitic word ‘nar’ meaning fire. In Turkey, Tannur became Tandur. Evidence of the use of Tandoor has been found near northern Pakistan dated to 9300 BCE.
Tandoor cooked dishes
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.
Potatoes stuffed with cottage cheese, vegetables and cashew nuts, roasted in Tandoor.
The chicken is marinated in yogurt marinade 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 (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, a popular snack in South Asian cuisine, is made by marinating chicken drumsticks and placing them in a tandoor. Various freshly ground spices are added to the yogurt to form a marinade for the chicken. Traditionally, the marinaded chicken is given 12 hours at the least. When prepared, the drumsticks are usually garnished with mint leaves and served with laccha (finely sliced half moons, with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt) onions.
Samosa 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.
Types of tandoor
The Punjabi tandoor is traditionally made of clay and is a bell-shaped oven, which can either be set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching temperatures of about 480 degrees Celsius (900 Fahrenheit). or rest above the ground. Tandoor cooking is a traditional aspect of Punjabi cuisine in undivided Punjab.
In India & Pakistan, tandoori cooking was traditionally associated with Punjab as Punjabis embraced the tandoor on a regional level and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when Punjabis resettled in places such as Delhi. In rural Punjab, it was common to have communal tandoors. Some villages still have a communal tandoor which was a common sight prior to 1947.
From ancient times till now the Tonir was worshiped by the Armenians like other sun symbols and it is known as a symbol of Sun in the ground. Ancient Armenians made tonirs in resemblance with the setting sun “going into the ground” (Sun being the main deity). The underground, clay Tonir is one of the first tools of Armenian cuisine, as an oven and as a thermal treatment tool. Everything that is made in pots and in tonirs has Armenian origin, but only Armenians had underground tonirs.
In Pakistan, the tandoor is found nearly every village and many homes and restaurants have their own tandoors. The Naan bread, Kabab and meat (Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Goat, Fish) is cooked in the tandoor.
- The Barbecue! Bible 10th Anniversary Edition.
- Raichlen, Steven (10 May 2011). "A Tandoor Oven Brings India's Heat to the Backyard". The New York Times.
- Raichlen, Steven (10 May 2011). "A Tandoori Oven brings India's heat to the backyard". New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Leviticus 2:4".
- "Tandoor". tandoorexpress.ca.
- "Metro Plus Delhi / Food : A plateful of grain". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- "Where does biryani come from?". Hindustan Times.
- For instance, see the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery pp66-69
- "Recipe Of Chicken Tikka, Indian Barbecue".
- "Chicken Tikka Masala". khanakhazana.com.
- "Tandoori Chicken". vahrehvah.com.
- "Alop Ho Reha Punjabi Virsa Harkesh Singh Kehal".
-  The Rough Guide to Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra By Daniel Jacobs, Gavin Thomas
- "What is Mughalai Cuisine?".
- Raichlen, Steven (10 May 2011). "A Tandoor Oven Brings India’s Heat to the Backyard". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Pind Diyan Gallian PTC Channel - Bilga (Jalandhar) has a communal Tandoor also known as tadoor in Punjabi
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tandoor.|
- Curry Club Tandoori and Tikka Dishes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1283-9 (1993)
- Curry Club 100 Favourite Tandoori Recipes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1491-2 & ISBN 0-7499-1741-5 (1995)
- India: Food & Cooking, New Holland, London — ISBN 978-1-84537-619-2 (2007)