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The word tandoor came originally from the Middle East with the name deriving from the Babylonian word 'tinuru' from the Semitic word nar meaning fire. Hebrew and Arabic then made it tannur then tandur in Turkey, Central Asia and, finally Pakistan and India, who made it famous worldwide. Understandably, many people assume the tandoor to be native to India as evidence exists of early tandoors around 3000 BC. Used throughout India (and found in Indian restaurants throughout the world), the traditional rounded-top tandoor oven is made of brick and clay. It's used to bake foods over direct heat produced from a smoky fire. The dough for the delicious Indian bread NAAN is slapped directly onto the oven's clay walls and left to bake until puffy and lightly browned. Meats cooked in the tall, rather cylindrical tandoor are usually skewered and thrust into the oven's heat, which is so intense (usually over 500°F) that it cooks a chicken half in less than 5 minutes...

 

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