New Delhi, Sep.22 : For centuries, Tandoors or, the traditional clay ovens have been an integral part of Delhi's life. One can find them at Dhabas or roadside eateries or small restaurants.
Tandoors from Delhi have grown in popularity and are drawing a good business for traders dealing in them. Tandoors are even exported today, as a growing number of people are today drawn to Tandoori food.
Tandoors are used in cooking for baking Chapatis, Naans or roasting purposes. And, it is said the Tandoors add a special traditional feeling and taste to the meal.
"I have come here to purchase a Tandoor (Clay Oven) for my brother's restaurant in the US. I have to purchase eight Tandoors. Food cooked in Indian Tandoors has an unmatched flavor; that is why my brother wanted to buy a Tandoor only from India," said Kishan Lal, one customer.
"I have a restaurant and there is a huge demand for Tandoori items, by my customers and that is why I have come here to purchase a Tandoor," said Satpal, one eatery owner.
It is believed that Indians learnt the art of Tandoor making from Pathans, who came to India during Partition in 1947. Since then a lot of Indians have mastered Tandoor making art.
Owners of Munnilal Private Limited have been making and exporting clay ovens since 1965. The company manufactures over 2,000 Tandoors a year for domestic and international demand. It's been exporting almost 90 per cent of its production and generating revenue of around one million dollars per annum. Their clientle includes popular groups of hotels.
"People across the world are not aware as to how to make and fix Tandoors. They want readymade tandoors. They invite us to their country to prepare the same kind of Tandoor for them, infact today I have been to more than ten countries where I have made Tandoors for my customers," said Munnilal, Tandoor Maker and owner Munnilal Pvt. Ltd.
"Ninety per cent of our products go out of India and almost 60 of 90 per cent is exported to the US alone. Other countries are Japan, Australia, some countries in Europe, South East Asia, pretty much all over the world," said Raju, Head Exports, Munnilal Pvt. Ltd.
Over a period of time innovations and improvements have been made to the traditional Tandoors. Today, clay Tandoors are housed in metal casing, making them more user-friendly and durable as per international standards.
To meet the clients' requirement, today Tandoors are available in different variants. The oil drum Tandoors are a common with Dhabas and local restaurants whereas with steel finish, these wonder ovens, available in round shapes as well as square drum shapes, are popular among five star hotels in India and abroad. Different kinds of ovens with varying tops are available as per customers' wishes like--cement Finish, tile finish and even granite finish. And one is interested to display the delicacies being prepared before the customers at the restaurants, the designer Tandoors like--the rope Tandoor and teak wood finish Tandoors are the best advised. The price of Tandoors today varies between 40 to 700 dollars. They have different models catering to different markets.