I never change one of your tandoor
to Paris’s most beautiful restaurants.
The poet did raise our tandoors which are made of ordinary soil to such an extent. The reason for this, bread which the uzbek people consider as sacred and miracle is baked in this tandoor. From ancient times, the uzbek people used the tandoor to bake bread.
Even today, the tandoor is revered as a part of the history and culture of our people. We can say that making a tandoor is a special art and craft.
The Yunusov familiy, who live in the Yukori mahalla of Pakhtaabad in Andijan region, are engaged in making tandoors, a profession which is inherited from their fifth-generation ancestors.
We visited the artisans’s house and watched how the tandoor was prepared.
Rakhimjan ota (grandfather) and Muminjan ota (grandfather) who are two older masters supervise and advise to their apprentices in the workshop.
Our ancestors have been worked on handicrafts for 100-200 years. Firstly, our potter Yunus ota (grandfather) began this work. Our ancestors made pottery, dishes and jugs what the people needed. After that they taught our grandfathers. We became tanners because of the importance of tandoors to our people.
We took this craft from our ancestors and our children learned it from us. And now our great grandchildren too. Now the fifth-sixth generation are making tandoors. The tandoor is an important item for the country. We are very happy about choosing this profession. In our neighborhood young people also come to us and learn this trade. Almost all the guys around us know about how to make tandoors. All of them learned this skill as a student from us and our children. We found the respect in our country through this handicraft,–said Rakhimjan yunusov Grandfather.
“Pakhtaabad tandoors” are very famous in the Ferghana valley. The tandoors made here are sold in three regions of the valley–Andijan, Namangan and Fergana.The tandoors which are prepared in the workshop, are loaded onto the trucks and sold in towns and villages. Last year Russia and Kazakhstan ordered 50 tandoors and took them.
The tandoor is built with hard work. With our operators, we took a photograph the process of making the product from a mud state to the appearance of a tandoor.
Our profession is this tandoori that is inherited from our fathers. Thank God, through this profession we built a house, made opportunities to our children and bought cars. We earned all of them by our honest labour.
This is my skilled-craftsman son Ayatillakh. My elder son is engaged in selling tandoors.
What is the difference between Pakhtaabad tandoors and other tandoors? The quality, and this girvon’s (the lip of a tandoor) processing is different from other tandoors which are made elsewhere. Then we pay more attention to making mud. We demand our learners to make mud perfectly.
We go and check the soil closely and try to make mud. If that “arzik” soil will be sticky like a chewing gum, we bring it and use to make tandoors. The main treating occurs in the mud. The mud is overturned 3 or 4 times, then put onto the shovel and kicked. After that tandoor which is called takki, is kicked individually”,– said Muminjan Yunusov grandfather.
The expert says that if the owner of the house cooks the tandoor well on a low heat on that day, he or she builds the tandoor in the house, it will serve for 15-16 years whether the tandoorʻs top is covered. Here different tandoors like nonvoy tandir (tandoor for breadmakers), yer tandir (ground tandoor), somsa tandir (tandoor for pie), nimcha (quarter), yarim nimcha (half quarter) and a big wedding tandoor for 50 bread are also made for bakers.
Ayatillo, the son of Muminjon, the fifth generation of tandoori, introduced us to the process of making a ring to the tandoor, adding wool and straw, and kicking them.
Another master Mukhammadumar Abdurakhmonov showed us how to make a hole from the mud, to combine the lower and upper parts of the tandoor and to stick the girvon to the tandoor.
On a hot summer day, 3 or 4 artisans work to make one tandoor ready. Tandoor growths and goes to its own shape and dries, then it will be decorated and taken in order to sell.
We witnessed that making a flower from the mud is possible with the craftsmen’s labor during the day in the workshop.
Author, Elmurod Ermatov