The first time that I had Indian was not that long ago, maybe three years. I was visiting my good friend in Boston and she had always mentioned how much she loved it. Since I had never had it, we decided that it was about time I was introduced to Indian food. And OMG was it goooood! I LOVED it. Now every time I see an Indian Restaurant my mouth waters. There was a point when I was living in Alabama, pregnant, and having a serious craving. I made my Husband drive me an hour and a half to the closest Indian restaurant. That’s how serious I take my Indian food now. I still don’t get to eat it nearly as much as I like, only once in a great, big, blue moon. My Husband isn’t a fan of exotic food so there really is no point of going to the restaurant if I am going to be the only one eating. And it’s pretty hard to make at home if you don’t have the spices or aren’t able to get them without ordering online. Regardless, there is ONE Indian dish that I am able to replicate at home- Naan.
I make Naan a lot and use it for wraps and different things. Like for my falafels. It works perfectly. For the longest time I’ve used this recipe. I’ve recently decided to try something new. This particular recipe I am sharing with you now is pretty similar to my standard one, but it uses yogurt and garlic which I found to be quite interesting. I actually noticed that most Naan recipes are pretty basic, a lot using yogurt, but not many having eggs or milk. There are a lot of small quantities of numerous ingredients in this recipe so I was interested in seeing how they all played out together.
It was pretty hard to compare this recipe to my usual Naan recipe because I used a different cooking method. Typically I cook them on the stove. Since I was rolling my Naan out so thin to achieve the perfect shape for this batch, I didn’t have a skillet big enough to fit them. I had to use my oven. There is a HUGE difference with the texture of the Naan in the oven and the stove top Naan. The oven Naan bubbled and pocketed more significantly than that of the skillet. It was also much more crisp. BUT the oven made Naan was half as thick as the stove top Naan, so who can really say if this difference in texture wasn’t partly due to that. Most likely it was, but in the end I found that I much preferred the stove top method and my old recipe to this batch here. Next time I will use a different recipe, but cook it on the stove top a little thicker and then see if there is much of a difference in texture. I’ll keep you posted ; ) Until then enjoy this great recipe.
- 1 envelope or 2½ tsp dry yeast
- 2 Tb sugar
- 4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting and rolling
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 3 Tbs milk
- 2 Tbs plain Greek yogurt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbs vegetable oil, more for the bowl
- 3 Tbs ghee (Indian-style clarified butter) or melted unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced for garnish
- For the Dough: Place the sugar, yeast, and ¼ cup warm water (110 to 115 °F) in a small bowl and let sit 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes foamy. Put the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor fitted with a dough blade or a mixer bowl with the dough hook and blend. Pour the yeast mixture, 2 cloves of minced or crushed garlic, milk, yogurt, egg, vegetable oil, and ¾ cup warm water into the bowl and knead until the dough forms a ball that is smooth and elastic. Estimates are 2-3 minutes in a processor, 5-8 minutes in a stand mixer, and 8-10 minutes by hand. The dough should be soft without being sticky. If it’s sticky, add more flour. Put the dough in a lightly-oiled large bowl. Turn the dough around to coat oil on all sides and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for 60 to 90 minutes or until double in size. Punch down the dough and cut it into 8 pieces. Roll them into balls and set on a floured baking sheet. Cover with damp kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size (about 40 to 60 minutes).
- There are many ways to cook your naan- You can heat a tandoor to 450°F, use your oven broiler, grill on medium-high heat, or you can use a hot skillet. Roll the dough balls out on a floured work surface to a disk about 6 inches in diameter. Stretch one end to make an oblong teardrop shape.
- If using tandoor: drape one piece of dough over the round cloth pillow called a gadhi. Press the bread onto the hot clay wall. Cook the naan until the top is puffed, blistered and browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a skewer, gently pry the bread off the tandoor wall, taking care not to scratch the clay. Brush the top of the bread with ghee or melted butter, then place in a cloth-lined basket for serving. Repeat with remaining dough.
- If using an oven: turn on the broiler. Lay 1 or 2 pieces of dough on the pizza stone. Cook until the bottoms are browned and the tops blister, puff and are lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven, brush tops with ghee or melted butter, and place in a cloth-lined basket for serving. Repeat with remaining dough.
- If using the grill: brush and oil the grate. Lightly brush top of dough with butter and place butter-side down on grate a few at a time (do not crowd the grate). Grill until the bottoms are browned and the tops start to puff and blister, 1 to 2 minutes. Lightly brush the tops with a little butter. Invert bread, and grill the other side until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cloth-lined basket, brushing tops of each with any remaining butter.
- Or if you are using a skillet: Melt a little butter on a hot skillet. Brush the naan with water and place it water-side down. Large bubbles should begin to puff up within a minute. Brush the top of the naan with water and flip it over for another minute or so. Remove to a basket or plate and brush with melted butter and sprinkle some minced garlic. Repeat until you have 8 naan.
Adapted from Use Real Butter