Indian Clay Ovens - Tandoor Ovens
Though you will often find indian clay ovens, also called tandoor ovens, in restaurants, they are available for use in the home. The best recommendation is to use a Tagine. A tagine works like a clay oven but is smaller and less expensive. So what is a clay oven and what can you cook in it? The ovens date back to the Mesopotamian area, somewhere around the year 3500 B.C. Tandoor clay ovens were used to cook different types of meats and breads. To this day they are still used in the same fashion. Clay ovens can get extremely hot resulting in the dishes being cooked in the oven to become crispy, but also very moist on the inside.
Popular dishes include naan, which is a flat bread, clay chick, lamb kebab, and vegetable kebab. Most people living in Iran, India, some parts of Turkey, Armenia, and some countries in the Middle East, cook their meals in clay ovens. In all, these ovens make great dishes that anyone would enjoy.
Clay is a great material for cookware. It is porous, which means that you need to soak it in cold water for fifteen minutes before adding the ingredients to it. As the pot becomes heated in the oven, the steam evaporates slowly inside the pores of the clay and the food forms its own juices.
These juices stay inside the pot as steam until the food is cooked and the pot is dry. Meat cooked in an indian clay oven will stay really juicy. Wet clay does not heat up as much as metal so you need to use a higher temperature for clay pot recipes and cook them for longer.
100 degrees F more and half an hour more is a good guideline. If you usually cook chicken for an hour at 375 degrees F, you will need to cook it for an hour and a half at 475 degrees F if you are using a clay pot. Clay pots should always be put into a cold oven and heated up with the oven, to minimize the risk of cracking.
Food does not stick to clay unless it is burnt on, so to clean your clay pot you just need to soak it in warm water, sprinkle salt over it, and use a stiff brush to scrub it. Rinse it and let it air-dry. Do not use detergents on it because it is porous and you cannot rinse them away properly.
For a very thorough cleaning, perhaps after using it to cook a strong-smelling fish, add a few tablespoons of baking powder to a bowl of hot water, and soak the pot in that. Clay pots are hardier than they might first appear to be and they survive many bumps and knocks. Store the lid next to the pot, rather than on it, in case the pot is not totally dry inside and mold forms.
How to build an Indian Clay Oven (Tandoor Oven)
Indian food is amazing and the methods which are used to prepare them hold a prominent place in it. The most notable feature about the preparation of Indian food is the clay ovens. A clay oven is basically a cylindrical oven that is made out of clay. It can be used to cook different types of food up to a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you can also taste these delicious foods made with an Indian clay oven. From this article, we will let you know how to build an Indian clay oven in a convenient way.
First of all, you need to get a pot of clay. These clay pots can easily be purchased from a nursery or plant shop. When you are purchasing a pot, you need to make sure that it is in the perfect size, not too small or not too large. The type of clay pot you use to build an Indian clay oven plays an important role behind the quality of food you cook out of it. If you are handy enough, you will be able to make your own clay pot with customized design. There are several guides which are available on the Internet, which can guide you on how to create your own Indian clay pot.
When you decide the clay pot, you need to think about insulation. Whatever you use, you need to give priority towards the heat inside the pot. Clay is a material which expands and contract as a result of heat. Therefore, you need to use the proper insulation methods to get rid of hassle. If the Indian clay oven loses its heat quickly, you will not be able to prepare delicious food. It can even reduce the lifetime of your clay oven. So, you need to take some time and insulate the clay oven in a proper way.
An Indian clay oven is no good unless it lies within an enclosure. Having an enclosure prevents the continuous holding of expansion and contraction of your clay pot. This increases the durability of your Indian clay oven. You can use a mortar, metal or an aluminum enclosure for this. Once you finish these steps, you are good to go and prepare a delicious meal on your Indian clay oven. However, you should also note that the clay oven is a fragile product. Therefore, you need to take caution and care when handling it. If you don't have any experience in handling this type of work, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional.