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Why is food cooked over charcoal so delicious?

Charcoal fired cooking may only arise a few times a year for most of us, when the summer sun shines and we take to the garden for our annual BBQ. But here at Royal Nawaab, and in Indian and Pakistani restaurants across the country, charcoal fired cooking is part of everyday life.

After all, it is only with charcoal that we are able to achieve those authentic flavours that our food is famous for. It isn’t just a personal opinion that charcoal cooking is tastier – it’s science!

Why is it that cooking with gas just can’t match up to the flavours achievable with charcoal?

Well, we might use flavour and taste as two interchangeable words, but they are in fact two separate things. Flavour is constructed of two separate compounds: taste compounds and aroma compounds.

Regardless of what you use to cook your food, similar things are happening to the food itself; amino acids are interacting with sugars, fats are breaking down etc.

It is the addition of new aroma compounds that you get when you cook with charcoal that you simply don’t get from other cooking sources that gives the food that additional flavour. And it is the aroma compounds which do a lot more in adding flavour than taste compounds do. This is because our tongues are actually quite limited in how much flavour they can impart, especially when you take away your nose’s sense of smell. Without the aroma, flavour is very much lacking.

When we cook on charcoal, it gives a smoky, charred finish, especially to fatty meats. It is this added aroma that adds so much extra dimension to the overall flavour and the reason we love to cook using our charcoal fired tandoors. Everything from kebabs to naan bread tastes better when cooked using charcoal. Don’t believe us? Come to our restaurant today and try it for yourself.