After last week’s warm and comforting Chapati-Roti, this week the Indian-bread Fest takes on a homemade version of India’s much-loved ‘Naan’ bread…
I vividly remember the first time I made Tandoori Naan, the feeling of singeing hair on my arm, as it went into a 900 degrees Fahrenheit Tandoor oven, to slap Naan dough laid over a cloth cushion, on its wall. Many successful and unsuccessful Naan-makings later, none could beat the flavor of triumph in that first over-charred outcome.
North Indian Naan bread needs little introduction to the global palate, but probably does need some explanation, since not many home-cooks know how simple and versatile Naan dough is to make at home…plus it’s an all-time kiddie-favorite.
This soft Indian bread dough has complex flavors like yogurt, milk, sugar, butter and egg mixed into all-purpose flour, with added yeast or baking soda to aid fermentation. Kulcha, a smaller version of Naan, also uses a similar dough preparation.
A note for the vegetarians among us; egg adds depth of flavor to authentic north Indian Naan, but lack of it doesn’t affect the texture of a Naan in any way.
Generally, Naan made and sold in stores and restaurants don’t use egg in order to keep it vegetarian. If in doubt, ask the server or check the ingredients on the package; it’s an optional ingredient in my recipe.
Most popular cooking technique for Naan is a high temperature convection cooking clay-oven Tandoor, an above-ground barbeque pit and the predecessor to modern day grills, used to make Indian breads like Tandoori Naan, Kulcha, Roti and Paratha.
Big Tandoors can reach an impressive 900F (480C) and are never turned off in order to maintain their core temperature.
My Garlic and Thyme Naan recipe is baked in a home oven…and can be topped with your choice of fun toppings from the list below; or create new favorites with this versatile Indian bread like Naan pizzas, Naan hamburgers or Naan chips.
This recipe has attained nirvana – it now appears in our cookbook ‘Tikka Tikki & Spicy Bites’ which features our global twist on Indian Kebabs, Tikka, Chutneys and more. Click here for details and get your copy soon – you will enjoy using it!
Coming Up Next Week: Cheese Dosa (Rice-n-Lentil Crepes)
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