Naan

Naan

Meera Sodha's Naan recipe in her book Made in India

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Naan (pan baked, pan-fried, or grilled) is a yeasted, yogurt-enriched flatbread which proofs for just about an hour.

I've always loved Indian food but never got the hang of cooking it at home, or I should say, cooking it well at home. It never tasted like what I got from a restaurant. It's still a work-in-progress but Meera Sodha's Made in India has brought my level of Indian cooking up to a respectable amount, even if only for a few dishes right now.

Her auntie's naan is easily the dish I've made most often from Made in India. The quick-proofed Indian flatbread rises for just about an hour making this perfect for tonight.

Whenever we have yogurt in the house, you can pretty much be guaranteed naan will be made before the supply runs out.

Here's what to know about this recipe:

  1. According to Chowhound, it's not truly authentic if not cooked in a tandoor oven.
  2. It's delicious anyway.
  3. You can do this in a dry skillet, on the grill, or go all out and add oil before cooking.
  4. If you leave just-cooked naan near people, it'll disappear quickly.
Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour, or 480 grams

2 tablespoons oil + a glug more (Meera’s aunt uses canola, I’ve had luck with olive oil and grapeseed oil) 

+ Optional, more oil to lightly pan fry

4 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt

1 packet of active dried yeast, or 7 grams

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 level teaspoon baking powder

1 cup whole milk (we’ll get it to hand hot in the directions below)

Steps

Put milk in a saucepan and place on stovetop. 

Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and to it add two tablespoons of oil, yogurt, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder.

Turn on milk burner to medium, and allow to get to hand-hot temp while you combine the ingredients in the bowl with your fingers until they resemble crumbs.

When it’s hand-hot, add milk to the bowl and mix until it comes together into a dough.

Transfer the dough to a clean, well-floured surface. Flour your hands, and knead the dough for five minutes or so, scraping any off your hands as you go and incorporating it all into the dough. Form dough into a round ball, coat with a teaspoon of oil, and transfer to a clean bowl where it can double in size. Cover with a towel or plate and allow to double in size in a warm spot, about one hour.

Pull off a fist sized round of dough, roll it into a ball and flatten between your hands. Roll into an oval on a well-floured surface. 

To cook in a dry sauté pan: 

Place pan over medium-high heat and allow it to get hot. Add one naan at a time to the hot pan. Cook for 30 to 40 seconds on one side, or until it begins to bubble, then use a spatula to flip it over to cook the other side for about the same amount of time. Check often that it doesn’t burn. Flip the naan to the first side for 10 to 15 seconds, then remove to a warm platter, or stack in a low oven, until ready to serve. Repeat until all the dough is gone. 

To cook with a bit of oil: 

Follow instructions as above, but before you add the each naan, pour in a tiny bit of oil, just enough to get a thin slick of oil over the entire pan. Place naan carefully, as the oil might spit. When you flip to the second side, you can add a light sprinkle of kosher salt to the oiled top. Add additional oil for each naan.

To cook on the grill:

You can toss it on with or without a paint of oil.

Notes

While naan is best directly off the heat, you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. Just let it come to room temp or reheat in the oven or toaster oven.

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Naan
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