These are the dishes cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven that roasts at high temperatures and provides the charcoal flavour. Along with kebabs, these are dry dishes, i.e. without a sauce or gravy like curries.
Tandoori chicken (or meats or paneer cheese) are marinated in a mix of yogurt and spices.
Tandoori chicken was invented by a Punjabi Hindu called Kundan Lal Gujral. He was the first to put a tandoor oven inside his restaurant in Peshawar. Then when he had to migrate to India following the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he introduced this technique of cooking meats and kebabs, and developed the idea of the yogurt and masala marinade. He also came up with butter chicken, which was inspired by simmering cooked tandoori chicken in a rich butter/cream sauce.
Chicken tikka is basically tandoori chicken without bones, and smaller pieces of meat. (And chicken tikka masala is where a tomato sauce/gravy is added).
Where to eat tandoori in Sandringham
Paradise – 591 and 595 Sandringham Road
Follow your nose to Sandringham’s premier tandoor oven which draws people from all over Auckland. Most of the tandoori dishes are listed on the menu in the ‘entree’ section, and cost around $12-$14. Also try the Afghan style kebabs from the tandoor.