The beauty of the Tandoor oven
For most of us, the word ‘tandoor’ brings to mind deliciously hot Naan or succulent Seekh Kabab. Cooked until tender in a traditional clay oven over charcoal. More than anything, it reminds us of home and South Asian cuisine. For tandoori cooking has long been part of our shared cultural heritage, particularly in the Punjab.
Why has tandoori cooking remained so popular?
Long ago, the people of the Subcontinent would dig a pit in the ground and fill it with charcoal. The modern tandoor has evolved into a large, bell-shaped oven and stands several feet high. It is still operated manually.
Meat is placed on skewers and lowered into the tandoor. Concave in shape, the oven boasts thick walls with a single opening on top. In this way, heat is successfully trapped. Temperatures can rise up to 500 F. This locks in the flavor. No wonder, then, that tandoori meat is so uniquely appetizing.
At Chit Chaat, we treat all our meat the tandoori way.
Tandoori cooking is healthy
This technique requires no oil. Because when the meat is lowered into the tandoor — its juices are automatically drawn out. These form a layer on the bottom of the oven. This seasons not just the meat — but also the bread (or panner or even vegetables) that are cooked afterwards. Hence, the mouthwatering aroma as well as the melt-in-your-mouth texture. Tandoori cooking is fast. Good news for hungry guests.
The absence of oil is a plus for those suffering health issues or who are simply watching their weight. An additional benefit is that there is no risk of chemical reaction that might otherwise occur due to high cooking temperatures.
Debunking the Tandoori Chicken myth
Tandoori chicken is a favorite the world over. And with good reason. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. When we tuck into this dish, our taste buds go into overdrive. The chicken is delectably juicy since it has been typically marinated in yogurt and spices beforehand, Thus, Tandoori Chicken refers to the cooking technique. Not the final dish.
It is nourishing. A lean white meat, chicken is a good source of protein as well as iron and vitamin B12; both of which are crucial to overall health well-being. In fact, chicken (and other poultry) naturally boosts serotonin, a mood booster.
All our Chit Chaat kitchens feature a traditional tandoor oven. We couldn’t cook without it!