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What is Tandoori?

Learn the history of tandoori, how to prepare it, and what it tastes like.

Tandoori Hero

What is tandoori?

Tandoori is a type of Indian cuisine that involves cooking meat, vegetables, or bread in a tandoor. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven. The tandoor is heated to a very high temperature and the food is cooked by the intense heat coming from the walls of the oven.

Tandoori dishes are typically seasoned with a variety of spices, such as cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric, which give them their characteristic flavor. Tandoori chicken is a popular dish that’s made by marinating chicken in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and oil, and then cooking it in a tandoor.

What does tandoori taste like?

Tandoori tastes spicy and flavorful, with a slightly smoky taste due to the high heat of the tandoor. The spices used in tandoori dishes, such as cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric, give them a warm, aromatic flavor. Tandoori dishes are often served with a side of chutney or raita, which are condiments made with yogurt and herbs that help to balance out the heat and flavor of the dish.

What is the history/origin of tandoori?

Tandoori cooking is a traditional style of cooking that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Tandoors have been used for cooking in India, Pakistan, and other parts of South Asia for hundreds of years, and are an integral part of the region's cuisine.

The word "tandoor" comes from the Persian word "tandur," which means "oven." Tandoors are believed to have originated in the region of the Indus Valley, where they were used for baking bread and cooking meat and vegetables. Tandoori cooking was originally a way to cook food quickly and efficiently in a hot climate, as the tandoor retained heat well and could cook food quickly. Over time, tandoori cooking became an important part of the culinary traditions of the Indian subcontinent, and tandoori dishes are now enjoyed all over the world.

How is tandoori served? 

Tandoori dishes are typically served hot and are often accompanied by rice, bread, or vegetables. Tandoori chicken, for example, is typically served with rice or naan bread and is often garnished with fresh herbs or lemon wedges. Tandoori lamb is often served with rice or roti and may be accompanied by a side of chutney or raita, which are condiments made with yogurt and herbs.

Tandoori dishes are often served at special occasions and celebrations, such as weddings, parties, and festivals. They’re also commonly found at Indian restaurants and can be ordered for takeout or delivery.

How do you make tandoori? 

Here's how to make tandoori chicken:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, tandoori masala, salt, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger. Mix well to make the marinade.
  2. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat a tandoor, grill, or oven to high heat. If using an oven, line a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the excess marinade.
  5. If using a tandoor or grill, skewer the chicken and brush with oil. If using an oven, place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and brush with oil.
  6. Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to ensure food safety.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges, and serve hot with rice or naan bread.

Tandoori is a flavorful Indian dish that’s enjoyed around the world. 

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