Though you will often find tandoori clay ovens in restaurants, they are available for use in the home. The best recommendation is to use a Tagine. A tagine works like a tandoori clay oven but is smaller and less expensive.
So what is a tandoori clay oven and what can you cook in it? The ovens date back to the Mesopotamian area, somewhere around the year 3500 B.C. Tandoori clay ovens were used to cook different types of meats and breads. To this day they are still used in the same fashion. Tandoori 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, tandoori 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 tandoori clay ovens. In all, these ovens make great dishes that anyone would enjoy.
To make tandoori chicken, which by far is the most popular dish made in tandoori clay ovens, you’ll need the following ingredients:
* about 3 pounds of chicken, make sure you cut it up into pieces
* 1/3 cup yogurt
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 tablespoon of garlic
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon of cumin
* 1 tablespoon peeled ginger root
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin
* 1/2 tablespoon of cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
* a couple of pinches of salt
* 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
* Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
* Slices of cucumber, red (Spanish) onion, tomato and lemon, for garnish
Take all of your ingredients into a large bowl and mix together, This mix is your marinade. The place the chicken in the marinade, cover it up, and then place it in the fridge overnight. Don’t let the chicken stay in the bowl for more than 48 hours. When you’re ready to cook the chicken on the next day, let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes.
Cook the chicken on a grill or in a tagine. Remember we are using the tagine in place of the tandoori clay oven. If you don’t want to use a tagine, then roast the chicken in a regular oven for at 430 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
Cooking in a Tagine
When cooking in a tagine, you have to cook the food slowly over a low fire. When making tandoori chicken with a tagine, just place the chicken in the tagine on low heat. Periodically check on it to make sure that it’s cooking thoroughly and not burning. If your tagine does not have a place for steam to let out, then leave the lid cracked a little bit so that the steam can escape.