Bhatti | What is a Bhatti?

In the context of Indian cuisine, “bhatti” refers to a traditional clay or brick oven used for cooking and grilling.

It is commonly used in North Indian cuisine, particularly for preparing tandoori dishes and kebabs.

Here are some key features and aspects related to bhatti:

1. Construction: A bhatti is typically made of clay or bricks and is designed to retain and distribute heat evenly. It is often built in a cylindrical shape with an opening at the front for placing and removing food.

2. Tandoori Cooking: The primary use of a bhatti is for tandoori-style cooking. In this method, marinated meats, such as chicken, fish, lamb, or paneer, are skewered and cooked in the intense heat of the bhatti. The result is a smoky, charred flavour and a slightly crispy exterior while retaining the tenderness and juiciness of the meat.

3. Charcoal or Wood Fire: Bhattis are traditionally fueled by charcoal or wood, which provides the necessary heat and imparts a distinct smoky flavour to the food. The fire is usually situated at the bottom or side of the bhatti, allowing the heat to rise and cook the food placed on skewers or grates.

4. Versatility: While tandoori cooking is the primary use of a bhatti, it can also be used for other grilling and roasting purposes. Vegetables, bread, and even desserts can be cooked in a bhatti, adding a unique smoky touch to the flavours.

5. Cultural Significance: Bhattis hold cultural and historical significance in Indian cuisine. They are associated with traditional cooking techniques and are commonly found in street food stalls, restaurants, and homes, particularly in North India.

6. Modern Variations: While traditional clay or brick bhatti are still used, modern variations made of metal are also available, providing convenience and ease of use. These metal bhatti often use gas or electric heat sources instead of charcoal or wood.

Bhattis play an important role in Indian culinary traditions, particularly in tandoori cooking. The use of a bhatti imparts a distinct flavour and texture to the food, making it a beloved cooking method for many Indian dishes.

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