The Tandoor Oven

The Tandoor Oven

Made of brick and clay, this is a tandoor oven. When you visit an Indian restaurant, many of your dishes will be cooked with this cylindrical and fiery-hot piece of equipment. It runs at over 500-degrees and within five minutes has your skewers of marinated chicken cooked to a perfect tenderness inside with a bit of delicious char on the outside.

Naan by Mango Chutney, Cambridge (Photo: WREats).

Naan (with “hole”) by Mango Chutney, Cambridge (Photo: WREats).

That naan, light and fluffy and browned (and sometimes slathered in butter) that is so delicious? The bread is made with a dough of flour and baking powder enriched with a touch of yogurt and fennel seed and shaped on a small “pillow” that is then slapped onto the side of the rocking hot oven to cook.

You may often note a small hole the size of a pencil’s diameter in your naan: that marks the spot where the bread was extracted from the tandoor’s inferno by the cook — whose arms are often quite marked by reaching down into the oven.

 

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