Naan breads

Naan breads

Naan breads are Indian breads cooked in a Tandoor oven. I always order them when eating at Indian restaurants, and enjoy eating them when I cook Indian themed food myself. The ones you can buy pre-made are not really that great, though, so I try to make them myself.

You can’t get the special taste of cooking them in a real tandoor that you would get in a restaurant, but this recipe from Wenche Frølich’s Brød comes pretty close. They are fried on a stovetop before finished off in an oven.

This recipe is interesting, since normally naan bread is a yeast bread, but this is made with baking powder. It is still left to rest for a significant amount of time – the original recipe called for 3.5 hours. It is not as the bread will rise, but I assume the yoghurt will start some biological process with gluten – I have not looked into the science behind this. I made these twice recently, and the second time I did not have time to let them rest for more than 1.5 hours. They still turned out fine, but they were a little tougher.

Ingredients

  • 375g all purpose flour ( 13 1/4 oz)
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 200 ml yogurt (scant 1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)

Method

1. Mix the dry ingredients together and add the rest. Mix well and knead for a couple of minutes

Mixing

Mixing

2. Leave to dough to rest for 3.5 hours, though shorter will do. The dough will not rise.

Resting the dough

Resting the dough

3. Turn on your oven on broil. Form the dough into a short roll, and cut into 6 pieces. Strech each piece to a triangle shape.

Forming the breads

Forming the breads

4. Brush one side with water, and fry them on the stovetop for about 2 minutes wet side down, until crispy brown on the back.

Frying the breads

Frying the breads

Nice and browned

Nice and browned

5. Put the breads on a sheet, and bake under the broiler until brown on the top and nicely risen – about 7-10 minutes (but broilers vary, so keep an eye on them!). I made 2 at a time like this.

6. Wrap the breads in a tea towel until all are done, and eat while still warm.

I made these for Simply Recipes’ Red Lentil Dal, which I modified for the slowcooker and played with the spices a bit. Two hints here: Don’t skip the nigella seeds, even if you can’t get panch phoran, and the red lentils needed more than 4 hours on low (this was what I saw in slow cooker lentil recipes), probably closer to 6 or 3 hours on high? (I ended up with 4 on low, 1 on high). Dal is such a great winter comfort food, and my son loves it. There are many different ways to make and spice it, what is your favorite?

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