Lest anyone who reads my posts think I know what I'm doing, I've decided to post my latest adventure as an illustration to the contrary.
The story of how the tandoor got into my back yard is one for which the world is not prepared, but it is there, the weather is too hot to turn on the oven, and I thought to myself “Well, this is a good time to learn to make naan.”
The first step is getting the right tools. After watching and watching the YouTube video of a chef making naan, I decided that the little tool seemed pretty handy.
Although it just looks like a wad of towels, it is actually a convex pad of compressed straw covered with a cloth. It is firm enough so that (if you know what you are doing) you can get the naan dough to make good contact with the side of the tandoor. It is pictured below:
Armed with the tool – the next step is to heat up the tandoor. It took about two hours for my model (pictured below) to heat to the point where the walls were nearly 700F.
So it was time to cook the naan.
I took about 4oz of dough and shaped it into thin disks and then draped them over the dough pad (sort of as per the video), gave them a quick spray of water (so they would stick better – hahahahahaha) and steeled myself to put my hand near a 700F tandoor entrance to stick the dough to the side.My first disk (of six)dropped promptly to the bottom to become a flaming dough ball.
Oh well. I learned that you really need to apply some firm pressure on that tool. Never mind the smell of burning feather as the hair was singed off my hand.
Finally disk three stuck. But it also stuck to the side of the tandoor when it was done and came off in shreds. Four was the turning point (or so I thought) and I moved on to five feeling like I had figured this thing out. Four and five are featured in the pictures below.
Number six showed me to be overconfident and slid off the dough pad without ever making contact with the tandoor wall.
Well, two out of six isn’t bad – and what bread I did get was eaten with relish. Of course, failure never deters me – it just makes me more determined. I’ll be back with a report when the whole thing has been perfected. In about a year or so...
Meanwhile my consolation prize is pictured below. It has been a long while since I had real Tandoori food…