Naan of you are ready for this . Naan is a type of flatbread that is originally from Southern and Central Asia. It’s pretty popular in India. Naan is a yeast leavened bread that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven).
The small pieces of dough are usually stretched by hand and slapped onto the sides of the tandoor to cook.
Today, I share with you a very simple naan recipe that doesn’t require an oven, just a heavy bottomed pan. Such a pan is recommended since we want it to maintain heat and distribute heat evenly. The aim is for the naan to start cooking immediately it hits the pan.
As I said, naan is a yeast leavened bread, so you will need to use yeast. In case you are wondering where to get yeast, majority of the supermarkets stock. You can even buy it small satchets for single use.
In the event that you buy a lot of yeast, just empty it into an airtight jar and either store it in the freezer or in your pantry somewhere that’s cool and dry.
I always use instant dry yeast because it’s what I can easily get. For instant dry yeast, there’s no need to dissolve it water first. You can mix it directly with the flour works. Unless you want to check if it’s too old. That said, I still proof it.
Since yeast is a living organism, ensure the water is lukewarm or room temperature. This provides the right temperature for the yeast to flourish. Hot water will kill the yeast and cold water will delay the process. Add a little sugar to the water then sprinkle over the yeast.
After some time the yeast will be bubbly and you are good to go. Add the rest of the ingredients. The plain yoghurt and flour that’s mixture with salt.
Using a wooden spoon, combine everything together until you get a shaggy dough.
Onto a clean and lightly floured surface, put the shaggy and start to knead. Using the heel of your palm, knead the dough for about 7 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, dust it with some little flour. You can also add a little oil about a tablespoon to your hands. I prefer the oil option since no extra flour is needed.
You want a soft, smooth and supple dough.
Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough. Ensure the dough is also lightly coated with the oil. This ensures that a skin doesn’t form as the dough proofs.
Cover the dough and place it in the warm part of your kitchen. You can also put it in the oven with just the oven light on (the oven shouldn’t be on). You can also put it in the microwave. Allow the dough to proof for one hour or until it’s doubled in volume. If you are preparing this to cook the next day then let the dough proof while in the fridge.
As the dough proofs, prepare some garlic infused butter. In a pan add the butter and melt over medium heat.
Once melted the butter will make a singing like sound, and at this point add the crushed garlic. Stir and remove the pan from heat immediately to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside the garlic infused butter.
Once the dough is proofed, start by punching out the air.
Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. This will yield reasonable sized naan. You divide into more pieces for small sized naan.
Roll the pieces into small balls, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
As the dough is resting, prepare the dhania. The dhania will be rolled on top of the naan. You can also use methi leaves or basil.
Also put the tawa (heavy bottomed pan) on the heat. You want it to get very hot.
Roll out one piece of dough into an oval shape. Yes, naan doesn’t have to be round. Roll over some pieces of the chopped dhania onto the naan. Ensure the dhania is a little wet so that it sticks.
Onto the hot tawa, place the naan, dhania side up.
Within seconds, if your pan is sufficiently hot, bubbles will form.
Flip over the naan to cook the other side.
This will take about a minute or less. Once cooked, remove from the pan and brush it with the garlic butter.
Repeat the procedure with all the dough pieces.
Keep the cooked naan, covered for it to keep warm and soft.
Enjoy with your favourite curry.
Leftover naan is also perfect for breakfast pizza.
Garlic Butter Naan
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1/4 cup yoghurt
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil optional
- Fresh dhania/ basil/ methi leaves chopped
- For the garlic butter
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 6 garlic cloves crushed
- In a large bowl add the lukewarm water and sugar.
- Sprinkle over the instant dry yeast and let it stand for 10 minutes or until bloomed.
- In a separate bowl mix the all purpose flour and salt and set aside.
- Once the yeast is bloomed add the plain yoghurt and stir.
- Using a wooden spoon mix in the flour gradually until it forms a shaggy.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and place the shaggy dough.
- Using the heels of you palm,knead the dough for about 7 minutes by bringing it back and forth as you stretch it.
- The dough will become smooth and soft.
- Lightly oil the dough and place it a large bowl to proof for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
- Let the dough proof in a warm place in your kitchen. You can also place it in the oven with the light on, the oven should be off though.
- For the garlic butter, in a pan over medium heat melt the butter.
- Once melted the butter will make some hissing sounds.
- Stir in the crushed garlic and remove the garlic butter from the heat and set aside.
- Once the dough is proofed, punch out the air and divide it into 10 equal pieces.
- Form the pieces into small round balls and cover and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat up your tawa (heavy bottomed pan). Let it get very hot.
- Take one of the small dough balls and roll out into an oval shape.
- Sprinkle some dhania/basil/methi leaves over the naan and roll it out to allow them to stick. Ensure the herbs is slightly wet.
- On the hot tawa, place the naan dhania side up.
- Bubbles will form within 30 seconds.
- Once the underside is cooked turn to brown the top side. This should take less than a minute.
- Once off the pan, brush the naan with the garlic butter.
- Repeat the procedure for all the dough balls.
- Keep the cooked naan covered.
- Serve with your favourite curry or enjoy as is.
- Leftover naan is perfect for breakfast pizza.
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