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The term tandoor /tɑːnˈdʊər/ 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,[1] as well as in the Caucasus.[2]

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.[2] 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.

The term tandoor /tɑːnˈdʊər/ 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,[1] as well as in the Caucasus.[2]

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.[2] 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.

Types of tandoor

Afghan tandoor

The Afghan tandoor sits above the ground and is made of bricks.[citation needed]

Punjabi tandoor

The Punjabi tandoor from the Indian Subcontinent 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),[9] or rest above the ground. Tandoor cooking is a traditional aspect of Punjabi cuisine in undivided Punjab.[10]

In India and Pakistan, tandoori cooking was traditionally associated with the Punjab,[11] as Punjabis embraced the tandoor on a regional level,[12] and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus resettled in places such as Delhi.[13] In rural Punjab, it was common to have communal tandoors.[10] Some villages[14] still have a communal tandoor, which was a common sight prior to 1947.[15]

Armenian tonir

In ancient times,[when?] the tonir was worshiped by the Armenians as a symbol of the sun in the ground. Armenians made tonirs in resemblance with the setting sun “going into the ground” (the Sun being the main deity). The underground tonir, made of clay, is one of the first tools in Armenian cuisine, as an oven and as a thermal treatment tool. Armenians are said to have originated underground tonirs.

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