(Adapted from Garlic Naan Recipe: Veg Recipes of India)
My little S is not much of a rice person. Unlike typical Bengalis, she loves anything that is related to rotis. So she is always clamoring for roti, paratha, kulcha, pita bread, bread....etc etc. This is too much for a bhaat-maach loving Bong like me. But what can I do? Once a mother...etc etc.
Last month, we were lunching at Aminia restaurant, where S fell in love with soft, spongy Butter Naans. Since then she has been pestering me to make them at home. Last Sunday, I decided to plunge right in and try making the Naans at home.
Naan is a type of Indian flatbread that is flat but also leavened. There are ways to achieve this leavening process without yeast too. But since I am great friends with yeast, why not give it a try?
I referred to a very nice and easy recipe that I got from my friend Dassana's blog. You can find her recipe here.
Here is how I made it.
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups all purpose flour (APF)/maida
2 tsp sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast or 1 and a half teaspoon active dry yeast
1.5 or 2 tsp lemon juice or 3 to 4 tsp yogurt
4 tbsp oil or butter
¾ cup lukewarm water... add more if required
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic (optional)
1 tsp nigella seeds/kalonji
1 to 1.5 tsp salt or as required
extra oil or ghee for frying or smearing on the naan (optional)
1. Take 3/4th cup luke warm water and dissolve the sugar in it. Now add yeast to the water. Keep undisturbed in a warm dry place for 10 minutes.
2. Now take the W.W flour (Atta) and mix with the APF. Add salt, lemon juice, and butter. Rub the butter nicely into the flour till the flour resembles breadcrumbs. Now add the water containing yeast to the flour and start kneading with your hands. Add more lukewarm water depending on the stickiness of the flour.
3. The dough should be soft and pliable, yet firm and should spring back if touched.
4. Cover the dough with a moist cloth and keep in a warm place for nearly one and a half to two hours. The dough will double up in size.
5. Make medium-sized balls of the dough and keep aside for a further 20 minutes.
6. On a board take some Nigella seeds. Press each ball on the nigella seeds and then roll out into a chapati of moderate thickness. Optionally, you can also add crushed garlic and celery to this mixture and add it to the dough balls.
7. Heat a tava or frying pan. Place each Naan on the hot tava and roast till each side is evenly browned.
8. Next, you can add oil directly in the tava and fry it like a paratha. But I roasted it further on the open flame like a roti/phulka.
If you want to bake the Naan in an oven, pre-heat the oven at 300 degrees C for 20 minutes. The maximum temperature in my oven is 250 degrees so I use that temperature. Next, place the rolled Naan on a greased tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes using both the filaments on middle rack.
9. Smear the Naans with a dollop of butter and serve it with any side-dish. We had it with chicken curry and some mixed vegetable curry.
Yummy on a winter evening!