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Flatbreads are the foundation of Indian cuisine and with good reason, I mean how else are you going to mop up those delicious curries? Back in the day, Naan was enjoyed by the royals of India for breakfast with kebabs and kheema (spiced minced meat), but today it is a staple of Indian cuisine. And if you’ve yet to try this tender creation, please make it your mission to change that! Kidding! (Not really.) Simply make this recipe! Purists will say naan is only good if it’s been cooked in a “tandoor” oven (read more about what it is here). However, I beg to differ because life doesn’t always allow you to have access to a piece of fancy kitchen equipment, and I am not going to let that stop me from making one of my favorite things.
Over the years, I have tried at least thirty different naan recipes borrowed from aunts, uncles, cooking teachers and even made my dad track down an old chef friend to give me the secret ingredient list. Fun fact, there is none. All recipes were pretty much the same and consisted of flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, milk and yogurt. The key was to play around with the quantities, cooking method and how thin it’s rolled out. Years of failure led to this recipe that’s pretty darn perfect considering it’s not on the tandoor. Once, the dough has risen and you have rolled out your naan, brush it with butter or oil and throw it on a ripping a hot cast iron skillet. Once puffy and blistered, just give a generous brush of garlic butter and sprinkle with fresh herbs, nigella seeds and flaky sea salt. Okay, I am going to toot my horn here and tell you that these are darn amazing. Everyone at FeedfeedBrooklyn couldn’t stop eating them!
Get ready to become a master of naan!
For the Naan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/ 4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/ 4 cup water, warmed to 115ºf
- 3/ 4 cup whole milk, warmed to 115ºf
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/ 4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt
- Butter, melted, to brush
- Olive oil, as needed, to grease bowl
- Garlic butter, as needed (recipe below)
- Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Black cumin seeds, nigella seeds
- Flaky sea salt, as needed
To Make the Naan
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warmed milk, water, honey and yeast. Whisk gently to combine. Allow yeast to sit in the warm milk for 15 minutes to bloom. After 15 minutes it should be frothy – this indicates that your yeast is active and ready to use. If you come back and the yeast isn't frothy, discard the contents in your bowl and start over with new fresh packages of yeast and bloom again using the same technique.
Add yogurt to the yeast mixture and process with the dough hook until roughly combined. Set mixer to medium speed, add flour mixture to the dough and knead at medium speed until a large smooth mass forms.
Place your dough into a large greased bowl, lightly grease the top of your dough and cover with a dry tea towel. Set your dough aside to rise in a warm place for 1 - 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Once your dough has risen, punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a disc with an 8-inch diameter. Cut into 8 wedges, and roll in balls. Each ball should weigh about 3 ounces.
On a lightly floured surface roll each dough ball into an oval sheet about 6 inches wide, 9 inches long and ⅛ inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat (it should be ripping hot), brush one side of naan with butter and put that side down on the skillet. Now quickly brush the other side and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Once you see bubbles form flip over and cook for 45 seconds. Take off heat and brush with a generous amount of garlic butter and sprinkle with some sea salt and chopped cilantro.
Store naan, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm and soft. Serve with your favorite curry.
For the Garlic Butter
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
To Make the Garlic Butter
Heat small saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Once melted, add garlic and sweat for 2 minutes. Take off heat and set aside in a bowl.