If supply of LPG is assured the traditional Kashmiri tandoor may soon become a thing of the past. Nisar Ahmad Khan reports on efforts to popularize Gas Tandoor in the valley.
In a first of its kind, Hyacinth Agro products is introducing the gas tandoors specially designed for the local bakers (Nanwayis) for making traditional
breads like nans, lawasa , tchachworu, kulcha and shirmal. With its quality and features, gas tandoor is said to be more economical than the traditional ones
besides being smokeless and fast.
“It could become a boon for the restaurants, canteens and dhabas. But here our focus is on local bakers.
It is light and portable and has a pre-heating time of 8-10 minutes as compared to 60-90 minutes for traditional mud tandoors,” says Shah Jahan, CEO of the
Hyacinth Agro product.
Traditional tandoors produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses making them hazardous to the health of the bakers. Studies show that
there are numerous cases of lung ailments in them. Modern gas tandoors, however, are said to be safer.
One of the important features of the gas tandoor is that the consumption of the fuel can be controlled, which makes it economical. Lesser consumption of gas
gives higher out-put producing more nans/ rottis per hour.
“Once the traditional mud tandoors burn, the bakers have no choice to control the fuel consumption even if there are no customers.
But in gas tandoor he can simply switch it on or off whenever he wants to. Besides bakers have a choice to make bread at any time of the day. Unlike with
traditional tandoors, the bakers need not wake up before dawn as the heating time of these tandoors is less than ten minutes,” says Shah Jahan.
The designer of the gas tandoor claims that the rotis made in this it are well baked and remain crisp and soft for hours as they contain higher amounts of
moisture. Unlike mud tandoors, the modern tandoor is based on heat waves or radiation system, so it retains moisture in the bread. The heat in the tandoor is
generated from its walls which surround it.
Nans, rotties and even chicken kababs –as meant for restaurants are baked fully along with bones without losing the necessary amount of moisture or making it
hard or rubbery. This maintains the taste and nutritional and value as well,” says Shah Jahan.
The tandoor is designed in a dome shape with three metallic walls.
The gas burner, that is at the bottom generates the heat of about 350-400 degree Celsius and are available in five different models – Jumbo, Super King,
King, Medium and Deluxe. They vary in size depending upon their use for commercial or domestic purpose.
The fuel efficiency for Jumbo and Super King models is 10-15 cylinders per month on if used for seven hours daily. For King, Medium and Deluxe models the
fuel efficiency is from 8 to 3 cylinders.
To meet the continuous fuel supply to the users, the tandoor distributors have an agreement with the fuel suppliers. “Hindustan petroleum has agreed to
provide a connection of five cylinders per month to those who buy these tandoors for commercial purpose”. Said Shah Jahan.
The tandoors are available in different price categories ranging from Rs 35,500 to 2,950.
Farooq Ahmad Sofi, a local baker of Haba kadal says that is a good initiative. “It will save our time as well as of the customers, but there should be some
relaxation in cost of these tandoors,” he says.
“The tandoors are at the affordable price range. The customer has to pay a minimum of Rs 100 a day and we bear the interest for the first six months,” says
The company has a plan to popularize the gas tandoor. “ We are going to conduct joint seminars in different districts in collaboration with Food and supplies
department and Nanwayi Associations. We will love to give demonstrations for the satisfaction of the customers,”