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What is the difference between balti, karahi and tandoori?

Balti and karahi are the same style of cooking, originating in Kashmir, where the curries are made in a cast-iron pan with a rounded bottom and two handles, rather like a Chinese wok. You can use a wok to cook balti-style dishes at home.

Typical spices used in balti curries are aniseed, cardamom, cassia bark, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger and the spice blend called garam masala. Balti curries are often eaten without rice or cutlery, using large, flat breads such as naan instead.

Tandoori cooking, from the Punjab, is named after the tandoor, a clay oven used for roasting or baking. It is shaped like a large jug, and is traditionally sunk into the ground up to its neck. The ovens used today have a plaster layer on the outer walls for added insulation. Burning charcoal is placed in the bottom of the oven and the food to be cooked is hung inside on long spits over the coals.

Before cooking, tandoori meats are usually marinated in a mixture of chili, garlic, ghee, ginger, onions, paprika, peppers, salt, spices and yoghurt. The characteristic red stain of tandoori meats once came from cochineal, but now a vegetable coloring is used.

21:11:02 on 01/29/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -