I make Indian food quite often. My hubby and I also eat out at our favorite Indian restaurant as often as we can. Every time we go eat at our fav restaurant, we order extra garlic naan bread and every time, I vow to try and make it at home the next time I cook Indian. Two things always stopped me from trying…1) I don’t own a clay tandoor oven and 2) our local grocery store sells a naan bread that is “good enough” and so easy to just throw in the oven for 4-6 minutes.
My love of Indian food comes from my dad. We both love to eat it and cook it. And my dad is a damn good cook. Last weekend, we had my mom and dad over for Sunday dinner and I decided to prepare an Indian meal. Because my dad is such an amazing chef and has mastered the art of Indian cooking, I wanted to step up my game and desperately wanted everything to be perfect. Perfection doesn’t come from store bought naan bread so it was time for me to try and make it from scratch. A risky move but one that ended up paying off big time!!
I made the dough the night before with intentions of making a “trial run” of the naan that night and then, if successful, making another batch of dough in the early morning the next day. After letting my dough rise for more than two hours, it still had not risen very much and I was feeling defeated. I left the dough in my bread proofing oven overnight and went to bed with very little hope of success the next day. I woke to a dough that had not risen any more in the morning than when I had left it the night before. Again, I was feeling defeated. But I’ve already told you that it was a risky move that paid off so let’s stop drowning in my sorrows and move on.
I left the dough alone for about three more hours while the family enjoyed some much needed R&R by the pool. When I returned to the kitchen, the dough was a bit drier but hadn’t grown at all so I just decided to go for it. I divided it into 8 even pieces, rolled it out and prepared it for the grill by brushing each piece with butter and minced garlic. One piece was set aside for my mom who hates butter. That piece was brushed with olive oil and off they all went to the outdoor bbq grill. I wish I owned a Tandoor oven but I don’t so the bbq would have to suffice. My husband and dad did the grilling while I prepared the rest of our Indian meal inside. When they brought naan in to the kitchen, it was do or die time. Either I nailed it or it was going straight to the trash. There were no other options. It looked fantastic with beautiful grill marks and the aroma was spot on. But let’s be honest here, it’s the taste that matters. People may try and tell you that we eat with our eyes first and while that might be true, let’s face it…even if it’s pretty, if it tastes like crap, you’re not going to eat it. Period. Argument over. Anyway…the naan bread…
NAILED IT!! TO PERFECTION!!
Yep I’m bragging. It’s ok to brag when you’re cooking because you are sharing your wonderful creation with others. And sharing is caring.
Here is the recipe I used (I didn’t use the poppyseeds. I did brush the naan with butter and garlic. I chose to grill instead of using the oven):
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
6 tablespoons plain yogurt (room temperature)
3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons ghee, melted
1 cup of luke warm milk (may use a little less, just add gradually until soft dough forms)
1 tablespoon poppy seed (optional)
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a nice sized bowl.
Stir in the beaten egg, yogurt and 2 tablespoons of the butter/ghee.
Gradually stir in enough milk to make a soft dough.
Knead dough very well.
Lightly grease bowl and cover the dough with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Or warm grill.
Knead dough on a floured surface for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth.
Divide into 8 pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball, and then into ovals about 6 to 8 inches long.
Grease a baking sheet with oil and brush both the sides of the rolled out Naan with oil.
Sprinkle one side with poppy seeds if you wish to use them.
Place the Naan on a baking sheet.
Bake for 6 to 10 minutes until puffy and lightly golden brown.
The bread puffs slightly, and will lightly brown on the sides.
You can enjoy these Naan’s plain or with your favorite Indian dish, such as a curry dish!