Today here I am with an easy yet rarely known recipe of flat bread that I like so much to eat with various curries. I like to order that most of the time at restaurants when I have to eat some bread. It is flat bread called Naan. Naan is yeast fermented all-purpose flour flat bread cooked traditionally in tandoors. Here I should elucidate what a tandoor is. Conventionally Tandoor is a cylindrical oven made of clay in which charcoal/ coal keep burning consistently in proscribed manner, at the bottom. Naans or tandoori rotis are made and thrown in with a force to get stuck well on the peripheral walls of tandoors and are taken out with tongs when they get cooked. These days steel tandoors are being used in big restaurants instead of clayed ones.
There are many kinds of naans that are made like simple plain naan, butter naan, roghani naan (red naan), Paneer naan etc. and I think aloo naan are also made. They all are cooked in tandoors. So what to do if you don’t have tandoor, can’t we cook in our kitchen? We can! Here I am going to tell the recipe of a plain basic naan that can be made in your kitchen using flat pan instead of Tandoor that is dearer in usage and monetary terms both. I had wish to make naans at home, so I thought, can there be any way to cook using our regular utensils. I googled here and there on web. Finally a solution to the problem I got on a food blog EdibleGarden owned by Nags, the all time food blogger and a pro in food blogging, whom I admire for her great recipes and her food photography. Every ingredient used there in the recipe was so perfect in ratios and my naans came out so perfect in first attempt of mine.
The only thing that is necessary to keep in mind that every time you make naans, you use fresh yeast and has not passed its expiry date otherwise, they won’t be puffy and not at all like perfect naans. I have experienced that only a day old yeast can deteriorate in its ability to ferment. You can see when yeast is fresh; it can ferment the dough greatly in 30 min only. But when it is only 5-6 days old and you allow it to ferment, it won’t ferment same as it did first time in that duration. It takes much longer time to do so. So it is better to use fresh yeast every time to make perfect naans. Naans can be cooked easily on pan very much similar to restaurant like naan through the way I have told in my recipe, but you will miss that earthy flavor and aroma of tandoor cooked conventional naan. But I can say it is best way to have naans sitting at home. These naans are soft puffy delicious and go well with any curry of your choice. I have kept them brown and cooked well on medium flame because I like them so. When they are getting cooked on pan & not in tandoors, they won’t give you charred kind of texture but here flavor and texture is almost same. If you wish, you can make them dark-black brown, keeping them on flame for a bit longer duration. It will give similar kinda texture same as of tandoors. Adding some more ingredients in this basic recipe of naan, you can get other kinds of naan too like Mint, garlic etc to make Mint Naan, garlic Naan etc.
Naans may look to you similar to tandoori roti-s but both are different in taste, way of cooking and ingredients used. Unlike naan, tandoori roti is made of 75% wheat flour and 25% all-purpose flour with some baking powder/soda and other required ingredients.
Recipe inspired from: Edible Garden (adjusted to the quantity I was required to make)
Time Taken- For Preparation- 30 min or more (on wish)
For Cooking– 3-4 min for 1 naan
Servings- 8-10 naans
Category- Main Course (Breads)
All Purpose Flour/ Refined white flour- 2 cups
Fresh Yeast- ¾ tsp
Salt- ½ tsp
Lukewarm Water- 1 cup
Butter- just to grease (optional)
Steps to follow-
- Take lukewarm water and mix fresh yeast until yeast granules dissolve evenly.
- Mix salt in all purpose flour and knead it to dough adding yeast dissolved water very carefully so that dough must neither be very tight or too sticky
- Keep it aside covered with wet muslin cloth for 30 min or more to get fermented well.
Let’s get prepared to make naans (when you’ll remove cloth, you would find that dough has got enhanced in size and has become so soft and light due to fermentation. I find it so pleasing to see it 🙂 ).
- Take out one ball of dough and roll it out in any shape you want of 5mm thick, it can be triangular or rectangular (well I made them oval, slight different from regular circular roti shape)
- Heat a flat pan, put these oval naans. Cook naans until it turns light brown and then flip (you can also flip when it turns dark brown, if you like it such colored)
- Grease it a bit with butter (optional). Cook it lid closed for ½ a minute on medium flame or until it gets light brown and cooked well, (it will puff up meanwhile)
- Open the lid and grease this side too (optional). Greasing with butter will give you naan similar to butter naan.
- Serve hot with curry of your choice or yogurt or sour cream.
Hope you liked this easy Naan recipe. Now you can prepare restaurant like naans at home without any tandoor. So what are you waiting for… go have a try!And yeah…. do intimate about your experiences with trials of the recipe in your kitchen.
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