Indian cuisine is made up of a thousand shades, colours, flavours and traditions, but there is a type of cooking widespread throughout the country: tandoori Indian recipes best represent the ancient and most authentic culinary traditions of India. Who among us has never tasted the delicious tandoori chicken?
Yet, few people know that tandoor is a very special type of oven whose origins date back centuries and which allows us to taste many delicious Indian food recipes.
In this article we discover everything there is to know about tandoori cuisine: how it was born, what are the best recipes and where to taste them in Florence.
The tandoor oven is a very old clay oven in the shape of an inverted bell or of a cylinder, with an opening at the bottom that allows the air necessary for combustion to circulate. Used not only in India but in almost all of the Middle East and South Asia, it has been used in Indian cuisine for many centuries.
Traditionally, the heat was generated by coal or wood burning at the base of the oven: the food placed inside, in this way, is both exposed to the heat of the open flame, to the hot air and, eventually, to the smoke. After an initial heating phase, which reaches around 480°, the food is placed in the tandoor oven: the cooking is generally very fast.
In order to always keep the right temperature, the oven is kept on for a long time.
Tandoor is an ancient word of Semitic or Iranian origins and the first appearance of this typical oven dates back to the 3rd millennium BC when, between India and Pakistan, a sort of terracotta jar open at the bottom was found.
Originally, in the tandoor oven, water and flour were spread on the walls to transform them into typical unleavened bread. Around the 18th century, many delicious Indian tandoori recipes began to be made.
Cooking in the tandoor oven requires technique and experience to obtain soft and tasty food. At Haveli, an Indian restaurant in Florence, we have dedicated an entire section of our menu to tandoori Indian recipes: we use our oven to cook every kind of dish, from the typical Indian plain flat loaf to traditional tandoori chicken.
Come and taste our tandoori Indian recipes.