|Place of origin||Iraq (Ancient Mesopotamia), India, Pakistan (Indus Valley Civilization)|
Cooking food in a tandoor oven has been done for about five millennia. Remains of a clay oven with indication of cooked food have been excavated in the Indus River valley site of Kalibangan, and other places in present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest India, Iran, and Central Asia.
Tandoor has been referred to as kandu in Sanskrit literature, in which tandoori parched, roasted cuisine is described as kandu pakva (roasted in a tandoor such as grains, meat etc.) along with roasting on coal which has been called angara pakva.
Tandoor ovens are not prevalent in the average Indian home because they are expensive to fabricate, install and maintain. Authentic tandoori cuisine in urban areas can often be found in specialty restaurants. However, in rural areas in India such as Punjab, the tandoor oven is considered a social institution, for a tandoor oven is shared among the community. Women would go to the oven place with atta along with their marinated meats to meet their neighbors and friends, so they could converse and share stories while waiting for their food to cook. The people in cities once engaged in this social activity, but as businesses and commercialism grew in these areas, communal tandoor ovens have become rare. Not uncommonly, people bring food to their local bakeries to cook it there at a fair price.
Because of the growing inaccessibility of a tandoor oven in urban areas, especially in cities outside of Southern Asia, people have developed ingenious techniques to replicate the cooking process and the food without the use of the oven. Common alternatives include an oven or a grill fueled by charcoal or wood so the food will be infused with the smoky flavor.
In Georgia and Armenia, a traditional tandoor is called a tone (Georgian: თონე) and tʿonir (Armenian: թոնիր), and the bread baked in the tone are called tonis ṗuri (Georgian: თონის პური or tʿonir hacʿ Armenian: թոնիր հաց). Canoe-shaped shoti (Georgian: შოთი) is a kind of tonis ṗuri. Lavash (Armenian: լավաշ lavaš, Georgian: ლავაში lavaši) is an unleavened variety of tandoor bread eaten in this region.
In the Indian subcontinent, tandoor breads are popular especially in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Punjab regions, where naan breads are baked in tandoor clay ovens fired by wood or charcoal. These naans are known as tandoori naan (Gujarati: તંદૂરી નાન, Hindi: तंदूरी नान).
Tandoori roti is commonly consumed in South Asian countries such as Pakistan and India This bread is served in restaurants, hotels, industrial canteens and at home. It is also gaining popularity in Asia, North America (outside of the Caribbean) and Europe due to migrants during British colonalism.
The Arabic name for tandoor bread is ḵubz al-tannūr (bread of the tannur Arabic: خبز التنور). In some places where it is especially common, such as Iraq, it may be called simply khubz (bread). It is similar to, or in some cases the same as, taboon bread.
Aroma, smell, appearance, color, size and overall texture are the general characteristics that are optimized by producers of tandoor bread. The texture and quality of tandoor bread are determined by the percentage of wheat protein, the number of essential amino acids and type of flour present in the bread. Various studies have demonstrated that the chemical and biochemical composition of flours affects the flour's ability to interact with the other ingredients in tandoor bread.
Response surface methodology is a process which allows for development of palatable tandoor breads that have a long shelf life and contain minimal amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may pose health hazards. For optimal sensory and chemical stability of tandoor bread, the water level is 720 milliliters per kilogram, protein concentrations range from 10.3% to 11.5%, between 1.2 and 1.6% salt is added, and the bread is baked in temperatures ranging from 330 to 450 °C.
Baking tandoor bread in Azerbaijan