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Home use tandoors


rstarobi
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For anyone who knows, is it possible to find a home-use tandoor in the US? Particularly in New York, or via mail order.

As is, I'm thinking about trying my Foreman grill for making tandoori chicken, but I know it's going to come out strange if I do.

"Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets; all improbable, glorious miracles that I have always believed in."

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I think there is a place doing mail order. Maybe even Williams Sonoma.

You may also want to do a search for Tandoor in the Indian forum.. we may have covered it already.

You can also find a link to the tandoor discussion through the topic posted in the begining of this Indian forum.

I shall be back tonight to answer in more detail.

Have fun in the meantime.

Monica, would you have any insight into this??? :smile:

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I think that tandoors can use either wood or gas. Most resturaunts use Gas due to its consistency, but traditional ones would probably use wood. The homeade one mentioned earlier used wood or charcoal I believe. The key to the tandoor's heat is not the fire though, it is the heat held in the earthen walls of the oven that is so intense. I believe there is alot of preheating involved when firing up the ol tandoor.

Man, I totally want a tandoor, but I would probably burn my house down.

Ben

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

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For anyone who knows, is it possible to find a home-use tandoor in the US?  Particularly in New York, or via mail order. 

As is, I'm thinking about trying my Foreman grill for making tandoori chicken, but I know it's going to come out strange if I do.

I love the Foreman Grill for making Indian inspired tandoori chicken, I say inspired cos the taste is not exactly the same.. very similar. I have been working on a booklet for them with Indian inspired recipes. If you would like to try some let me know and I will PM them to you. For a full time mom and full time professional like me, the grill is a life saver... the title of my booklet is " 7 minutes to Chicken Tandoori".

As far as buying a tandoor. I once inquired (will search my memory for who I talked to) and they cost of a portable tandoor was to exhorbitant for me. But I will find the information and send it to you

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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A Tandoor like those available in the US for Indian restaurants cost anywhere between $1200 - $1800

You can also get them shipped from India.  I know a student of mine did it at NYU and it cost him no more than $500.

Those are really good prices, I was quoted (3 years ago) $5000 for a small tandoor. Would love to hear where I can order one.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Cheapest one I've found online so far was around $650 (USD) from Canada.

Mainra Traders

This is for their "domestic" model, whatever that means in terms of size/quality.

Their site says they also offer gas versions for around $200 additional.

"Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets; all improbable, glorious miracles that I have always believed in."

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Suvir, tell us about the outdoor tandoor oven in the terrace of your NYC apartment? For example, is it a home or restaurant model? And is it made in the US or India?

Didn't you say before, that when you lived in Delhi, for a time, you had a tandoor oven in your home? Was it a indoor or outdoor model? Is it common for home owners in India, to have a tandoor for the home? Finally, are you seeing tandoor ovens showing up, in non-Indian restaurants? Just curious about all this.

----------------

Steve

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Suvir, tell us about the outdoor tandoor oven in the terrace of your NYC apartment? For example, is it a home or restaurant model? And is it made in the US or India?

Didn't you say before, that when you lived in Delhi, for a time, you had a tandoor oven in your home? Was it a indoor or outdoor model? Is it common for home owners in India, to have a tandoor for the home? Finally, are you seeing tandoor ovens showing up, in non-Indian restaurants? Just curious about all this.

----------------

Steve

The Tandoor I had on my deck till only a few weeks back was a restaurant model. Made in India, it was an Oil drum that had clay inside. It was easier to travel with. It was used for parties I catered where clients paid for me to tote my tandoor.

Unfortunately it was left uncovered 2 winters ago and had snow settle on it. It finally caved in a few weeks back and many 100 kilos of clay had to be thrown from my deck. A new one is ordered through a friend that owns a restaurant. It is on its way from India... I hope I can get it very soon.

When I was in Delhi, our family had a Chulha (small clay stove) and my aunt (dads sister) had a Tandoor. Her husband was the Director General of Border Security Force (Military wing of the Indian government that patrolled the border between India and Pakistan and India and Bangladesh. Since they entertained a lot and some very large banquets, they had a large tandoor in their garden and also had a Mini golf course in their home in New Delhi. But it all was lost when my Uncle retired. But well, they enjoyed it for as long as it lasted.. and so did I. That particular tandoor was designed for their garden and was most beautifully apointed. Tiles from Rajasthan lined the outside and the surrounding landing that was used when the tandoor was being used for cooking. It was an outdoor model and actually was kept covered and had the most beautiful mosaic lid.

It was common in India of yesteryears to have tandoors in homes. The rich had their own tandoors and each neighborhood had a few mcommunal tandoors in public areas at which women would come to chat and cook breads and meats for the meal that night. Today, gas stoves and ovens have replaced tandoors and restaurants fill the void created by the loss of tandoors in homes. I was lucky to see the very end of the Tandoor era in my own family. My grandmother (maternal) had devised something that she used instead of a tandoor over the stove. I shall ask my mother sometime to explain in more detail what it was. My granda is too sick for me to pose those questions to, or else I would have answers already.

I am not sure if tandoors have made it into non-Indian kitchens yet. I am sure there are a few.. .But not any that I can remember. I know Cornell University has a tandoor in their Culinary schools kitchen. That was a big first step in the acceptance of Indian cooking in mainstream America. I am sure it is a first step towards a trend that will continue to grow.

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I live in Forest Hills and there are a number of Uzbeki Bakeries and Restaurants that use Tandoori Ovens to bake their Lavosh Bread and meat kebabs. These are very eastern asian - european cultures. In this area all of them are also kosher - an interesting mix.

The restaurants also serve lots of kebabs and samosas, although the tastes are quite different from Indian per say. I think Indian food is far more refined. Having said this, I do love the lavosh bread - but there aren't too many freshly baked breads that I don't love!

I am going to Istanbul next week - it's so cool to stand on the edge of the Bosphrus and actually have Europe on one side, Asia on the other. Was this the birthplace of fusion cuisine :laugh:

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

www.cuisinetc-catering.blogspot.com

www.cuisinetc.net

www.caterbuzz.com

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Tandoori Cooking

The Tandoor has been known to the Indian region for many thousands of years. It is as old as its culture. A cylindrical clay oven that heats upto a very high temperature, it cooks unlike any other oven. The coal embers provide for a flavor that is at once very tasty and scrumptious.

The meats and vegetables cooked in the tandoor are different from other grilled stuff in their recipes. Tandoori foods are very simple to prepare and very light. Attention is paid most to the marination and the cuts of meats.

Even though the tandoor has been used in India for centuries, it was only afer the partition of India and it's getting freedom that one has seen a reintroduction of tandoori foods. Today foods cooked in the tandoor are the prominent dishes on many Indian restaurants.

The famous Indian flat breads (naans, kulchas, parathas) are prepared in this clay oven. The naans, stuffed and layered and plan parathas, kulchas and rotis are made in minutes in the tandoor.

Tandoori chicken, that famous rose colored (since many outside of India use coloring) grilled chicken cooks into a flavorful, crunchy and moist textured meat in just some quick minutes. The secret to this dish as also to many other tandoori recipes is mostly in the marination.

Grilled shrimp, succulent lamb chops, seekh kababs, malai kababs and slamon tikkas are some of the other famous dishes.

PS: The above is some text I had on my website about Tandoori foods.

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And those of you that have not followed the Diwan threads in the NYC forum, should read through them if you want to know more about Master Tandoor Chef, Hemant Mathur. His food has only recently been given a rave 2 Star review by Eric Asimov in the NY Times. Few mortals can cook better while working with a Tandoor. :smile:

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Suvir, I have something that functions a bit like a tandoor. It's a Portuguese "beehive" oven, made of thick terra cotta. You heat it with wood, and when the wood has burnt to ash you can cook foods in the heat stored in the terra cotta. It's so named because it looks like a beehive.

It gets very hot -- I would guess at least 400C. The first time I fired it I put in a whole chicken. The phone rang, a call from California. I didn't talk for long, perhaps 15 minutes. When I returned to the oven, the chicken was completely charred, not just the skin but about 1/2 cm of the flesh. But when we scraped the charred stuff away, the flesh underneath was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. The company that makes them is called Cesol Tiles, and they have a website: (click here).

They come in regular, large and professional sizes. The regular size, which I have (the large wouldn't fit through our garden gate) is very large and very heavy. It is a lot of fun to cook with, once you master the technique of firing it and regulating the heat. After you've done a roast or fish in the full heat of the oven, you can put in a dish of fruit to cook, gently, in the heat that remains, or a stew for the next day. It stays hot for a long time. You can also do pizza and breads, though these take a lot of technique.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Suvir, I have something that functions a bit like a tandoor. It's a Portuguese "beehive" oven, made of thick terra cotta. You heat it with wood, and when the wood has burnt to ash you can cook foods in the heat stored in the terra cotta. It's so named because it looks like a beehive.

It gets very hot -- I would guess at least 400C. The first time I fired it I put in a whole chicken. The phone rang, a call from California. I didn't talk for long, perhaps 15 minutes. When I returned to the oven, the chicken was completely charred, not just the skin but about 1/2 cm of the flesh. But when we scraped the charred stuff away, the flesh underneath was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy.  The company that makes them is called Cesol Tiles, and they have a website: (click here).

They come in regular, large and professional sizes. The regular size, which I have (the large wouldn't fit through our garden gate) is very large and very heavy.  It is a lot of fun to cook with, once you master the technique of firing it and regulating the heat. After you've done a roast or fish in the full heat of the oven, you can put in a dish of fruit to cook, gently, in the heat that remains, or a stew for the next day. It stays hot for a long time.  You can also do pizza and breads, though these take a lot of technique.

JD, many thanks for this great post and the link. :smile:

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I saw a small Tandoor (maybe 2ft tall, 1.5 square at the base) at Khalustyan's (sp??) on 28th and Lex. It was made of aluminum (or some other galvanised metal) on the outside. think it was in the 200 range. I do not have space for it or I would have bought one.

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JD - if you don't mind, how much did the beehive oven cost, and how much maintenance/TLC does it need? I quite fancy one myself.

Adam, I wish I knew. Once I'd researched these ovens, my wife bought one for me as a birthday present, so I never saw the price. I don't think they are particularly cheap, and you also have to pay to have the oven shipped. And you need a number of accessories, all of which add up, such as a very sturdy table to put it on.

If you e-mail Cesol Tiles (see the website) they will come back to you with pricing. I have had mine for about 3 years, and the prices have no doubt changed since then.

It doesn't seem to require any maintenance. The door should be closed and the oven covered when not in use (more accessories!), so that it stays dry. If you haven't used it in awhile, it's best to prepare a small fire in it, to drive moisture out of the terra cotta, before firing it in earnest. Otherwise moisture can turn to steam too quickly and crack the terra cotta. And, of course, before use the ashes from the previous cooking need to be cleaned out of it. However the oven gets so hot that there are usually few ashes left over.

My original plan had been to build a real pizza/bread oven. As it has turned out, the beehive has been a nice substitute because it only takes about an hour and a few logs to fire. One bread oven I looked at in Italy required almost 10 hours!

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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