The South Asian Times

17 January 2020 22:54 PM

'Homdoor' Bringing Authentic Indian Flavor To Your Backyard

By Vikas Girdhar

The name Ron Levy will probably not ring a bell for anyone, no matter how interested in Indian cuisine. But he has shaped the way you view and consume some of the most integral parts of Indian cuisine at its finest.

That’s because the product Levy developed can be found in Indian restaurants of every US state and overseas too—and now in any backyard as well. Homdoor, pronounced “home-door”, is the tandoor oven designed specifically for home use and available for purchase through the Levy’s own brand, established in 2010. While Homdoor came about recently, Levy began the art of perfecting the tandoor’s shape and optimizing its performance three decades ago.

In 1980 while living in New York, Levy sold his first tandoors to restaurants. Since then, he has sold over 3,000, designing them himself using the same elements he learned as a ceramic artist—but incorporated one simple formula. Each tandoor oven had to be a large pot with a tapered mouth and without any bottom or glaze.

Homdoor epitomizes the concept of all tandoors: vertical barbequing. It creates intense heat (700-850 degrees F) that quickly sears food, while keeping it moist, tender and infused with the flavors of the grill and marinades. It is a healthy, low-fat cooking method for meats, poultry, seafood, and the naan, which is slapped on the inside wall and baked in 90 seconds. It’s also the perfect grill for vegetarians, offering a variety of ways to easily prepare meatless dishes. The Homdoor is available in a charcoal, propane or gas version.

Homdoor is not even limited to Indian food.

“Though most associate the tandoor with Indian food, the Homdoor is also uniquely suited to American-style barbecue – steaks, chicken, hot dogs, even corn on the cob,” says Levy. “It’s uncomplicated, fast, tasty, exotic, and with just a little attention, almost foolproof. Plus it’s plain fun.”

Homdoor, available in a charcoal, propane or gas version, has been received well by restaurant owners and chefs for its simplicity and ability to offer tastes rivaling the richest reputations from back in the motherland.

"I’ve been using Ron Levy's restaurant grade tandoors for catering, fairs and special events,” said Manoj Bhatti, owner of Imlee, the No. 1 rated Indian restaurant in Miami, Florida. His tandoors cook naan to perfection and tandoori items such as shrimp, vegetables and fish come out of the tandoor moist, succulent and delicious. Recently, I used the Homdoor and it cooks with the same perfection as his commercial tandoors. The Homdoor is perfect for family meals and social gatherings up to 40 people."

Made in Ohio, USA, Homdoor is distinguished from other home tandoors because it has been pre-fired to 2,000 degrees F making the clay strong and durable. It is more sanitary and the insulation is cast and bonded on to the tandoor, giving it structural strength. It is placed inside a stainless steel jacket on 10 inch wheels.

Beth Kaminstein, head of Homdoor Marketing and Sales, told the SATimes, “You can do almost anything in Homdoor that you can do in a regular barbeque. Vertical barbequing is really a healthy way to cook and a key thing is having a way to cook the bread. Indian food is exciting to the American public now. People are genuinely interested in the cuisine, more so than 30 years ago. For the second generation Indian Americans, there’s a certain nostalgia. The Indian community, for sure, is ready for it.”

While the authentic carrying-over of native flavors from India was once overlooked immediately upon mention, Homdoor has made possible the experience of that same, rich tandoori taste—anywhere.


Update: 06 May, 2012