A big shout out to Linda @thedutchbaker for recently requesting the recipe for Indian Naan bread. There you go Linda!! Hope this will help you.
Naan is a popular Indian bread commonly served in restaurants and hotels. It is a leavened bread prepared at very high temperatures in a tandoor oven. Usually we don’t have tandoors at home. Still you can make restaurant-style naan at home using a conventional oven.
At restaurants, one can find a variety of naans, the most popular being plain naan, butter naan and garlic naan. Although they taste exceptionally good with curries, yet on a daily basis Indians prefer to eat rotis or parathas at home using wheat-flour. An occasional visit to restaurant on a special day calls for loosening the guards about eating healthy food. 😀 Be it any festival or wedding, our event is considered incomplete without Naan bread. These flatbreads are an amazing way to enjoy Indian curries like chole (Chickpeas), palak paneer, paneer butter masala or even butter chicken.
I must say I am a little obsessed with flatbreads. Making rotis and parathas is a part of the daily chores at my place. Although I had made naan several times before, it is not a usual affair. All thanks to Linda when she asked for this recipe, I realized it has been quite long I made these wonderfully delicious breads at home. This is the first time I made these for my 4 year old and she absolutely loved it!!
Yeast is an ingredient commonly used to achieve fluffy naan breads. But if you do not want to use yeast, you can substitute it with other leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda. I haven’t used any yeast. I have used a tad bit of baking soda, no baking powder which is pretty alright too. Some people prefer to add an egg, but I did not. So overall this is a simple easy recipe requiring only a few ingredients and you will end up with perfectly soft and fluffy naans.
Maida (Plain flour) / All purpose flour – 2 cups
Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Plain Yogurt – 3-4 tbsp
Take the plain flour in a mixing bowl.
Add the baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix well.
Add the whipped yogurt and the vegetable oil.
Mix well. Add warm water very little at a time and knead until you get a very soft and smooth dough.
Cover this and keep it in a damp warm place for around 2 hours.
After 2 hours, the dough will have risen and expanded.
Now take some oil in your hand and knead the dough again. It is important to knead the dough well. The softer the dough the better the naans will turn out.
In the meanwhile, preheat your oven to 240 degree celsuis.
Now divide the dough into equal sized balls.
Oil your hands and work on each dough ball. Flatten and spread the dough ball gently pressing with your (oiled) fingers.
Now dust this with some flour and roll it out with a rolling pin.
At this stage, you can leave it as it is and pop them right into the oven. But, if you want to give them an oval shape, just wrap it on the edge of your arm and give it a slight pull downwards. In this way, you can get an oval shaped naan.
Line your baking tray with an aluminium foil. Place your naan on the baking tray and pop right into the oven. The naans will take hardly 5-6 mins to cook.
Keep a check on them while they are inside the oven.
Once you see black patches appearing on top, take them out.
Below are the pics of my second batch of naans that came right out of the oven.
Spread some butter on top.
If you are not serving these immediately, wrap them up in a clean kitchen towel and store in an air-tight casserole. This way they remain warm and fresh for long.
In this post, I will also include the recipe for Palak Chole (Spinach and Chickpea curry) that we had with the butter naans. It was an awesome combination and made a super delicious meal.
Spinach – Washed and chopped finely
Chickpeas – 1 cup (washed and soaked overnight)
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Ginger – 1 large piece
Green chillies – 2
Tomatoes – 3 large
Ground turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Ground red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Ground coriander- 1 tsp
Ground cumin – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Pav bhaji masala – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Amchur powder / dried mango powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas until soft. Do not discard the water used for boiling the chickpeas.
If you are using fresh spinach, wash and rinse them at least 3-4 times in order to remove dirt thoroughly. Below my spinach leaves are resting in a pan of water.
Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies into a fine paste.
Puree the tomatoes into a fine paste.
Heat some oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Cook this until you don’t find the raw smell any more.
Then add 3/4 of the tomato puree at this stage. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Mix well and cook it down until the oil separates.
Wash and finely chop the spinach leaves. Add the spinach to the tomato gravy and mix well. Cook this down along with the spices. Then turn off the heat.
Transfer this mixture into the pressure cooker and mix well with the cooked chickpeas. Turn the heat on. Add salt, pav bhaji masala, amchoor powder and the remaining tomato puree. Mix everything well. Close the lid and pressure cook for 2-3 more whistles. This helps the spices mix well with the chickpeas.
Once the pressure is down, open the lid. Turn the heat back on. Add the garam masala powder. Mix well. Cook down the gravy till you attain the desired consistency.
This wonderful Spinach Chickpea curry goes excellent with any Indian bread or even Jeera rice.