International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Cooking Food in a Tandoor Oven (Video)

Naan bread in a tandoor oven

Ever wonder how a tandoor oven works, and just how they bake naan bread and tandoori chicken in it? These videos show you how it's done.

Tandoor ovens have been around for a long time. Seven thousand-year-old remains of these cylindrical clay or brick cooking powerhouses have been found in the ruins of the Indus Valley civilization located in modern-day Pakistan.

In modern times, tandoor ovens are used to cook food and bake bread everywhere from Turkey to Bangladesh. Their high temperature (as high as 900°F) cooks food quickly and seals in moisture and flavor. Coal is the traditional fuel, though modern gas-heated versions are often found in restaurants.

Naan bread (recipe) and tandoori chicken (recipe) are two of the more popular foods cooked in a tandoor. Khoubz araby, the Arab version of naan bread is cooked in a similar oven Arabs call a tannuur.

Baking Naan Bread in a Tandoor

It's interesting how the bread sticks to the side of the oven when they slap it on. I couldn't tell for sure, but it looks like he uses a smooth rock to slap the dough in the oven. And a hooked tool to take the baked bread out.

Broiling Tandoori Chicken in the Tandoor

(Be ready for some dramatic music.)

That chicken looked great! This makes me want to have my own tandoor at home!

Building Your Own Tandoor

If you like outdoor grilling and have a little extra space in your backyard, it's fairly easy to build your own tandoor. You have to buy the clay liner premade from a vendor. Or just use a very large, food-safe clay flower pot. The rest can be made with items from your local Home Depot. Here's a great guide from eHow on building your own tandoor.