Indian food is delicious. And very accommodating of us vegetarians!
I am not only a strong advocate of Indian fare because of the way in which it conveniences my dietary decisions, but I also have to commend any cuisine that has developed a delightful double-duty food item that serves not only as a wonderful side dish, but also as an edible vehicle (a fork would just get in the way), capable of transporting delicious, saucy, food into my anxiously-awaiting mouth.
Wow. I’m wordy.
Naan bread is integral to all of my Indian meals, and I make my own flatbreads fairly often. As simple as naan may be, I find that it really does bump things up a notch on the meal-enjoyment scale.
I also like to give naan bread an opportunity to flex his moonlighting muscles. He’s quite a dexterous little guy when given the chance to spread his wings. *enter Seal*…allusion, anybody? or was this one much too cryptic…?
Oh goodness. Now I can’t get that song out of my head.
Enjoy the recipe as I enjoy reminiscing about the late 1990s.
Adapted from allrecipes
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, cilantro, or chives (or a combination thereof)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
extra virgin olive oil, as needed, to brush on the naan
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, garlic, herb(s), and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes in a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook or on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
- Punch down dough. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- During the second rising, preheat cast iron pan over medium heat.
- Next to your pan, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly brush the top side of your naan with extra virgin olive oil and place into the preheated pan oil side down. Depending on the heat of your pan, the naan will take between 30 seconds to 2 minutes to become puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with oil, and turn over. Cook on the second side until browned, another 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
**I place all of my cooked naan breads in a single layer on a cookie sheet which has been lined with a clean kitchen towel. I keep the cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep the flatbreads warm, preferably covered with another clean kitchen towel.
Be creative with these little champions. They really are good, in so many ways.