What, how and why the tandoori , this unknown word recalls a dish, an Indian cooking technique, the tandoori spice mix, a set of cookware or an English colony in the middle of the Pacific?

What is tandoori?

Starting from the beginning, the tandoor is a terracotta oven in which the most varied dishes are cooked. Among these the most well-known joints on our shores are the bread (roti, paratha and naan), the tandoori tikka chicken (tikka means in Hindi “in pieces / bites”) and the whole tandoori chicken. At the Rayners Tandoori Restaurant you will taste the best one.

And here we come to the meaning of our interest. The tandoori masala is a mix of spices traditionally used to cook in Northern India, in the terracotta oven. In the mix we find, hot peppers, cumin, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, curcuma, nutmeg, cloves, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and some other typical local dishes, such as fenugreek (which one would not say but is also Indian), the mace (nutmeg hull) and the red food coloring. The tandoori spice base is made from garam masala (which means “hot / spicy mix” where ‘gram’ stands for hot and ‘masala’ for mix) which is the basic spice mix that contains a part of those listed above, the strongest and other mixes and the dye.

Tandoori spices

It is used on meat and vegetables and gives the typical flame red color to Indian dishes. On the market you will find different types, even at the supermarket below the house in practical cans prepared by known brands. But they are bad, too spicy to be enjoyable and they do not give any prominence to the aromas. Therefore we would warmly recommend a brand of spices, the TRS Asia’s finest foods, which is very easy to find in shops and mini-markets specialized in ethnic food. Moreover, it is very recognizable; certainly a small parcel with the figure of a woman in a sari grinding spices will have come into your hands. This particular tandoori mixture differs from the others because it is coarsely ground, so it is not a powder.

If you are wondering if the tandoori spice mix will please you know that it is spicy, very much, you may have guessed this. However, it is possible to dampen this spiciness by following some indications that come from the Indian cuisine: to accompany the food seasoned with tandoori spices with yogurt sauce or coconut milk or lemon.

How to Use Tandoori Spices

As for the taste of this mix of tandoori spices I find it particular and very enjoyable from a European palate, if not delicious even a drug. Less sweet than curry and also less fragrant, that’s why I consider it an excellent representative of Indian cuisine and suitable for a greater number of amateurs. I served it to anyone and never received any complaints.

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