Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread)

Unlike some other staple Indian breads, which are unleavened and made from durum wheat flour, or atta, fluffy naan is made with all-purpose flour and yeast. Traditionally, the dough is slapped against the chimney wall of a clay tandoor oven and baked over wood fires, however, we can now easily make it on top of the cooker. It tastes best hot and slathered with ghee (clarified butter). I am also quite happy to eat it with normal butter (full fat and salted – none of this tasteless margerine crap). It is, of course, also fabulous with curries.

MAKES 10

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup water heated to 115°F/ 46°C
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 (¼-oz.) packet active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (‘bread powder’ for you Sri Lankans out there 😉 )
  • ½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt or curd in Sri Lanka
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped coriander
  • Melted ghee or butter, for brushing

METHOD

  1. Stir water and honey in a bowl; add yeast and let it sit until foamy, approximately 10 minutes. Add flour, yogurt, oil, and salt; stir until dough forms. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth, approx. 5 minutes. Cover dough with a damp tea towel; let it sit in a warm place until doubled in size, for about 1 hour.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface; divide into 10 balls. Working with 1 ball at a time and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 7″ (18 cm) circle about ¼” (0.6 cm) thick. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. coriander; press into dough.
  3. Heat a 12″ non-stick skillet on medium-high. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, cook dough, plain side down, until bubbles appear over the surface, for about 45 seconds. Flip dough; cook until bubbles appear once more, for about 30 seconds. Transfer the naan to a plate and slide the skillet off the heat. Using tongs, cook naan about 2″ (5 cm) over the open flame, flipping once, until browned in spots, for about 1 minute. (Alternatively, finish cooking the naan in a frying pan until browned in spots, for about 1 minute). Return naan to plate, brush with ghee (or butter) and sprinkle with more coriander if desired. Serve hot.
Nom nom naan; credit: Ingalls photography

Nom nom naan – credit: Ingalls photography

This goes particularly well with Chettinad Chicken!

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2 Comments

Filed under Indian Recipes, Snacks, Travel, Vegetarian recipes

2 responses to “Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread)

  1. Pingback: Chettinad Chicken – Complete Taste Explosion | ankie renique's blog

  2. Pingback: Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread) | සතුටු වැස්ස බ්ලොග් කියවනය

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