October 24, 2012 in bread
Naan is a leavened flatbread which originated in Asia and is traditionally cooked in a clay oven or tandoor. Naan can also be cooked successfully using a baking stone. I had dismal failures in my attempts at making naan as I do not own a clay oven or a baking stone. I watched a masterclass by Gary Mehigan on Masterchef Australia where he cooked a pizza using a baking stone and he mentioned that a terracotta tile can be used instead of a baking stone. I then had the bright idea of using the terracotta tile to make naan – my first attempt was good but the baking time took longer. I did more research and found that the baking stone had to be placed towards the bottom of a very hot oven. I did this with the terracotta tile in my second attempt and ended up with a cracked tile – so much for naan making.
I was quite chuffed when I saw this recipe in the Indian Delight for naan where the cooking method is on top of the stove using a tava which is a kind of iron griddle. A tava is used to make roti, an unleavened flatbread, and is generally an item found in most Indian kitchens. A nonstick heavy based frying pan can be used in place of a tava.
There so many varieties of naan – here a few:
Plain Naan – simplest form which is brushed with ghee or butter.
Garlic Naan – topped with crushed garlic and butter.
Roghani Naan – sprinkled with sesame seeds, and is popular in Pakistan.
Peshawari Naan and Kashmiri Naan - filled with a mixture of nuts and raisins including pistachios.
Paneer Naan – stuffed with a filling of paneer (cheese) flavoured with ground coriander and paprika.
Amritsari Naan – stuffed with mash potatoes and spices and also known as ‘Aloo Naan,’ originating from Amritsar, India.
Kulcha Naan – has a filling of cooked onions.
Keema Naan – includes a filling of minced lamb, mutton or goat meat.
The naan that I made is brushed with garlic butter and has fennel seeds and resulted in a delicious soft flatbread. I made 10 naan – I will try making 12 the next time for a thinner flatbread and will cook the naan on medium heat rather than on high.
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp instant yeast.
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
2 Tbls butter ghee, melted
1 tsp sugar
Into a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt. Add fennel seeds and instant yeast.
In a separate bowl, add milk, water, sugar, ghee and egg. Beat well and add to the flour mixture to form soft dough (tip. Add the liquid mixture little at a time until the dough is soft and pliable). Add more liquid if necessary to get the correct consistency.
Knead well. Place the dough in an oiled dish and cover with a dish cloth. Leave to rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.
Knead the dough and shape into a long roll and cut into 10 – 12 balls. Roll out each ball of dough into an oblong shape.
Place a tava ( or non – stick frying pan) on top of the stove on high heat. Place the rolled out dough onto the tava and cook on each side for about 2 minutes until browned. Baste with garlic butter.
I made one of the quickest curries, tinned fish, from one of my earlier posts, took me less than 15 minutes to cook – I needed to taste the naan – it was delicious – did not last the day – hubby who is not a fan of roti enjoyed the naan very much.