Tandoor ovens are a key component of traditional North Indian cooking, and a variety of breads and dishes were developed especially for these clay ovens. There are several popular Punjabi and North Indian recipes included in this, including tandoori lamb chops, chicken tikka, chicken seekh kabab, tandoori prawns, reshmi kabab, and a variety of other cuisines. Yet currently, very few of us are fortunate enough to have a tandoor at home. This article will look at a few alternatives to the tandoori oven cooking style.
Making Tandoori Meat
The design of the clay oven gives tandoori food a distinct smokey flavour. In a tandoor, lit embers at the bottom of the oven provide the heat (which has a similar shape to a pot-belly stove). The tandoor’s distinctly delicious smoke is produced as the food inside it cooks by the juices dripping from the dish onto these scorching coals.
Of course, it is difficult to find a tandoor’s precise equivalent, but there are a few options. Especially when cooked on a grill that allows food juices to fall over the fire or coals, barbecues may be rather appetising. Even while the flavour isn’t exactly the same, it is a reasonable approximation of the tandoor’s effect.
You might utilise a regular oven to prepare “tandoori” dinners. Despite having an enclosed space where heat is contained in both the oven and the tandoor, only the latter produces the characteristic smokey flavour of genuine tandoori food. This method is the best option for preparing tandoori breads (naan, roti, kulcha, etc.) without a tandoor since the bread is heated evenly throughout.
The concept of grill cooking is fundamentally the reverse of tandoori cooking, although you can still use a grill to cook things like lamb chops or chicken tikka. Because a grill lacks an enclosed space, the food is heated by outside elements. It is still feasible to make tasty cuisine, though. With the grill, you can prepare food rapidly (ie when the barbecue is not an option).
In general, the ideal alternative to a tandoor for North Indian-style cooking is a coal-fueled barbecue. Though they are now much more commonly available in the West, tandoori-style food can still be worth buying if it frequently appears on your menu.