Asian Techniques: Cooking In A Tandoor

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In Asian cuisine, cooking is either done in a pot or wok over a flame or charcoal. Oven baking is largely unknown, except for cooking in a tandoor oven. In Punjab in Northern India, the tandoor oven is a clay structure shaped like a beehive, fired from below by charcoal and which gets to very high temperatures. Pieces of meat to be cooked in the oven are generally marinated to keep them tender and succulent. The meat is often placed on skewers and inserted vertically in the oven where they are cooked quickly in the searing heat. The smooth sides of the oven are, also, used to bake bread, because the Punjab is a wheat growing area. Naan bread is a classic local Punjabi bread.