Naan. Also know as flatbread. Oh how I miss the warm round pieces of heaven and the steam that escapes every time you break off a piece. But here’s the truth. As much as I miss eating naan freshly made in a tandoor, I make them at home almost every week. And yes, they come very close to the ones I eat back home. They go great with just about anything, and I literally just had a garlic naan for lunch. Once you get the basic recipe down you can add toppings. Garlic, cheese, kalongi and sesame seeds are my favorite.
Just a heads up. If you’re in a hurry you can start rolling out the dough after just an hour of rising time, but they turn out much better if they’ve had a few hours. And you can even refrigerate the dough in an airtight container to use the next day.
This recipe will make 6 naan.
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1-2 Tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
3-3 1/2 cups flour
butter for brushing
Mix the yeast and sugar in a large bowl and add the warm water. Set it aside until the yeast starts foaming, which it usually does after about 5-10 minutes. Whisk in the egg, oil and yogurt.
Mix in the salt and two cups flour with a spoon until most of the flour is combined with the liquids. Then start kneading the dough, adding more flour as you need it. Knead the dough until it forms a ball, then cover it and set it in a dark corner to rise for at least an hour.
Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll out to flatten.
There are two ways you can make the naan; on a frying pan or in your oven. If you opt for the oven preheat it to 200 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and bake two naans at a time on the center rack, for about 5 minutes, or till they puff up and start turning golden brown. Take them out and brush them with butter.
If you want to make them on a frying pan (or crepe pan) heat the pan on a high flame. The pan does not need to be greased at all. Don’t flip the naan until it starts rising and air bubbles form. Once you see air bubbles flip it and let it cook for another minute or so. Take it out of the pan and brush the top with butter. Wrap them in foil or keep them in a covered bread basket so they stay warm. If you have leftovers you can use them the next day, or freeze them for a lazy day. All you have to do if defrost them and heat them up on a pan or in the oven and they’ll taste fresh!