Sunday, October 20th 2019

What is Tandyr or how traditional bread is baked in Baku

Tandyr is a an oven on ground or dug into ground, usually built of clay. In different countries it is called – tundur, tunur, tanur, turn, Tandr, tendir, tandoori, tandyr, etc. This type of ovens is widespread in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, and China.

Tandyr in a cafe in the old town of Baku, Azerbaijan

Tandyr in a cafe in the old town of Baku, Azerbaijan

Mostly it is used for baking bread and cooking meat, but generally any type of food can be cooked in tandyr ovens. The secret of tandyr oven is process of heating up the oven. Wood is put on the ground and ignited. It is necessary to wait till it becomes glowing charcoal. By this moment the oven will reach temperatures of around 400*C. The food is basically cooked from the heat of the walls. High temperature ensures very fast cooking.Bread on the walls of tandyr oven

This fast way of cooking preserves more minerals and vitamins compared to normal cooking. Besides cooked food does not get too dry.In Uzbekistan I was told that a whole lamb is put inside a heated tandyr and completely seal the lid, and leave it for up to 24 hours. The meat gets extraordinarily soft and tasty.A lady checking the bread inside the tandyr

Many regional varieties of flatbread, such as tandyr naan, afghan bread, lavash, are baked in the tandyr oven.Tandyr bread is only one of the variety of breads prepared in Azerbaijan, ranging from the paper-thin sheets of “lavash” to the dark, round, whole-wheat Russian-style loaves. The bread pictured here is called “tandir chorayi” (oven-bread). the bread is very often decorated with sunflower or poppy seeds.Bread is ready

A special metal hook is used to hold the bread to the walls or take it out of the oven.Tasty bread

In Azerbaijan bread is a “must” with every meal and is served sliced beside each individual plate. When the process is over and the bread is taken out, it is served to customer still hot and aromatic. Time to enjoy our freshly baked tandyr bread and delicious Azerbaijani cuisine (about which i will write in my next post) .

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6 Comments on “What is Tandyr or how traditional bread is baked in Baku”

  1. Looks really great ! I am surprised how similar cuisine is spread all around asia. Not so much in South East asia but India, central Asia and middle east countries are so much connected food wise.
    I now am looking forward to visit this countries as well.
    Thank you for the post!

    1. Hey Debbie, yes, countries in this area have very similar food. I especially like their dishes with lamb/mutton. And what is interesting in Azerbaijan, they have great variety of food from North to South of the country. Food can be very different depending on climate. They have a great combination of both food for cold and warm climates. Very tasty vegetables and fruits.

  2. […] and eat it. Uzbek bread, called generally non or lepeshka, is round and flat and is baked in tandyr (clay oven), after which it comes out toasted and crispy. Samarkand […]

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  4. Hello, my name is Jenni and I study in Turku University of Applied Scienses. We have one projekt going on, so i want to ask you is it okay if we use some of these bread making pictures in our presentation ?

    1. Hi Jenni, Sure, feel free to use them. Just please give a reference to our blog.
      Thank you! Good luck with the project!

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