I love bread, but who doesn't?! I also love Indian food, though due to its spices and heat it's not everyone's favourite... What goes well with almost any Indian meal is bread, Naan bread to be exact. I admit, I used to buy it, do it the "easy way", but... it turned out that the "easy way" is to actually make it myself. It's easier, cheaper, healthier, more delicious, I can also flavour it if I chose to do so (think coriander, garlic, mixed seeds, onion, chives...) and on top of all that, there's no need for the plastic bag as a packaging!
You can easily make more and freeze the surplus, that way you'll have Naan at hand whenever you need it (which is exactly what I'll be doing next time I'll be making them).
This recipe comes from a great Indian cookbook by Amandip Uppal "Indian made easy", if you enjoy Indian cuisine, this might be a cookbook for you (there are all kinds of recipes there, it's not exclusively vegan/plant based cookbook, but easily adaptable as such - think swapping paneer for tofu, chicken for TVP or seitan).
How to make it...
- 7 g dried yeast (that's usually 1 sashet)
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar (optional, but I highly recommend to use it)
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 400 g strong bread flour
- 2 tablepoons veg oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a jug, mix together yeast, sugar and water, stir well and leave for few minutes.
- After about 5-10 minutes, add oil.
- Ina bowl put flour mixed with salt, pour your wet mix from a jug into it.
- Mix in the wet into dry with one of your hands.
- Flour your hands and begin to knead the dough to form a ball. Your dough should be soft, not sticky, keep kneading for about 5 minutes. The final consistency of the naan dough should not be very soft or hard, more like springy to the touch.
- Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover with cling film and rest for 25 minutes.
- Using slightly oiled hands divide the dough into about 8-10 equal size balls.
- Place on lightly oiled tray, cover and leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes, until double in size.
You can bake/cook your naan in two ways:
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high, with a heavy based baking tray placed on the top shelf. Roll our the dough balls thinly and evenly, to about 1 cm thick. One by one place the rolled out naan onto the baking tray, brush lightly with water and grill for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and puffed up.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Take one of the balls of dough and roll it out to form a teardrop shape, about 1 cm thick. When the pan is very hot, carefully lay the naan bread into it. Let it dry fry and puff up for about 3 mins, then turn over and cook on the other side for another 3-4 mins or until cooked through and charred in places.
Serve hot. If you have any leftover naan you can eat it at a later time - I put mine in the toaster to reheat it.
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