Today's recipe is very popular and common one but we never think of making it at home. If we go to Indian restaurants, along with some veg or non-veg dish, we must order this one too. Nowadays you get them in American retail chains like Costco. I am taking about Naan. I have found several recipes for Naan but never dared to try out at home. Finally I got the courage and went ahead with the experiment. The end result was really satisfying. Didn't imagine that it could be just like restaurant's one.
Naan is a thick flat and soft bread, more like pillow. It is served hot and when brushed with ghee or butter, it tastes too delicious. It can be used to scoop other foods or served stuffed with a filling. Naan has many variations and it may be made in different flavors too. You may use whatever spice or flavors you like and can stuff with your favorite fillings. It may be with your choice of verbs, vegetables or meat. There are number of ways to enjoy this bread. It goes well with different non-veg dishes like Mutton Rogan Josh or Chicken Tikka Masala. At the same time, vegetarians can have it with Matar Paneer or Baigan Bharta. Nowadays western cousins are making fusion dishes based on Naan like Naan Pizza, Naan wrap or Naan burger and they are slowly growing popular.
The Black and white photography I have sent it to a Black and White Wednesday event. Deepali Jain of Lemon in Ginger is hosting this week BWW. The original creator Susan, here is the Susan's event page, and Cinzia, is the current admin of this event. Here is her page
Recipe of Homemade Naan : Serves 3 to 4 ( for 8 Naans )
All purpose flour / Plain Flour : 4 cups
Baking Powder : 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Soda : 1 teaspoon
Sugar : 1 tablespoon
Salt : 1 teaspoon
Hot water / warm water ( but not boiling hot water, use hot tap water )
Active Dry yeast : 1 teaspoon
Warm Milk : 3/4 cup
Yogurt : 1 cup
Butter ( melted ) : for brushing ( you can use white oil too )
Nigella seeds or cumin seeds : 1 tablespoon ( for topping )
Fresh Cilantro or your choice of herbs ( for topping )
1. In a medium sized bowl or in a deep mug or in a measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water ( 115 F or about 45 C, use a food thermometer, but if you don't have one just feel it, quite warm to touch, more than body heat, that is 98- 99 F) . Add the sugar, and stir it until they are dissolved. Let it rest for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and almost double in size.
2. Take a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda to it.
3. Once the yeast is foamy, add the warm milk and yogurt to it.
4. Now pour wet mixture to the dry ingredients mixture and mix it with a wooden spatula. Once they are well mixed use your hands and knead to finish mixing together. It should be sticky but form a soft ball.
5. Cover the bowl with a wet towel and let it sit in a warm place for at least 1 hr or until it doubles in volume.
6. Once the dough rises up in double, punch down it lightly and divide it into equal sized 8 portions. First make round balls, use loose flour if needed. Now take a rolling pin and roll each piece of into an oval shape. It should be 5 to 7 inches long and enough thick. Repeat the method with the rest of the dough.
7. Take a cast iron skillet or iron tawa warm it up. Brush both the sides of the Naan with melted butter and sprinkle nigella seeds and place it on the hot skillet. Cover it with a lid and bake for 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until large toasted black spots appear on the other side. Brush with more butter, sprinkle chopped cilantro. Repeat the same process for the rest. Serve hot. If you have leftover freeze it or keep in a Ziplock bag for next 1 or 2 days at room temperature.