One of my favorite things in the world is a spicy chicken curry over rice with a buttery, garlic naan bread. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because you use your hands with a chunk of the naan bread to scoop up a heaping mouthful of rice and chicken.
It’s a throw-back to simpler times and a culture that most Americans have come to embrace…or at least their food. Some of my favorite people that I’ve met on the road have been from countries that prides themselves on naan bread and the best that I’ve had is Indian-influenced naan.
They get pretty creative with their flat breads in this massive country but a simple fluffy garlic naan drizzled with a good olive oil or slathered in melted butter.
Here is the recipe:
2 1/2 tsp. Dry Yeast
2 tablespoons Sugar
4 ½ to 5 cups All-Purpose Flour, more for dusting and rolling
2 teaspoons Salt
3 tablespoons Milk
2 tablespoons Plain Yogurt (Greek Yogurt gives a nice tang)
1 large Egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, more for the bowl
1/2 lbs. Melted Butter with Garlic, Salt, and Pepper added to it
Heat the milk, butter, and sugar up until it’s lukewarm.
If you stick your finger in the liquid and your finger is the same temperature as the liquid, it’s probably ready. Then add the yeast, mix, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a stand mixer with the dough hook, add the yeast mixture to the bowl with 4 1/2 cups of flour, the salt, yogurt, and egg.
Mix on low until combined and turn it up to medium. Mix for 3-5 minutes until the dough is smooth. The dough will still be pretty wet and slightly sticky. If the naan dough covers your finger when you poke it, add the extra half a cup.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for an hour in a warm place or overnight in a greased bowl in the fridge.
If you do it in the fridge, let the dough warm up for a couple hours to get the chill out.
Heat a cast iron pan on medium high heat or your oven to 425 F.
You want the cast iron pan to be hot but not hot enough to burn the butter before the naan is done cooking.
Roll the dough out into small 1 1/2” balls.
Let them rest for a half hour. Then flour the counter to flatten the dough and stretch them into a long oval. Do that to all the balls and brush them with the seasoned butter.
Put the naan bread in the heated cast iron with some melted butter.
You can also put the naan onto sprayed sheet pans and put the naan into the oven. They only takes a minute and a half to 2 minutes per side in the cast iron pan or roughly 6-8 minutes in the oven. You want them to be golden brown. When they come out of the pan, brush them with butter again and serve immediately!
This is my favorite recipe for naan. I’ve been using it for years but I have to adjust the recipe according to where I am.
Also, if you can find “Ghee”, it would be worth your while for this recipe. Ghee is a clarified butter that is used in Indian cooking. Ghee is made by skimming all the fat solids out of the butter and evaporating all of the water.
It has a high smoking point (the point where your oil will catch on fire, low smoking point=bad.) so it is ideal for sautéing vegetables, meats, or curries. Ghee can be used in anything as a substitute for olive oil, canola oil, or anything else.
I simply buy ghee off of Amazon.
Make sure you keep an eye out for the word “vanaspati” or “dalda” ghee. This means it is partially hydrogenated vegetable ghee. Vanaspati ghee=not true ghee. Here is a link to the stuff that I buy:
Viva Naturals Organic Ghee 32 oz – from 100% Grass-Fed Cows, Non-GMO, and Certified Paleo Diet Friendly
If you find that your dough does not rise correctly, add a little more yeast. If you think you like your naan more firm, add slightly less liquid and adjust it to your preferences. That is why cooking is so great 🙂
***Also, side note. You can grill naan! It has a different flavor than regular naan but it gives it the appealing grill marks. It is a great alternative to regular bread at your next BBQ!
If you have enjoyed this recipe, let me know in the comments! If you are having troubles, let me know in the comments or email me from the contact form I have set up. Enjoy!
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