Naan is a Persian word which means bread. Naan is eaten all over South and Central Asia. It is one of the most favourite types of bread that is eaten in Indian restaurants all over the world.
The basic ingredient of Naan is refined flour and curd, egg is also added in some recipes to soften the dough. Traditionally Naan is cooked in a clay oven called tandoor. In early times every Indian household would possess a tandoor for tandoori preparations, but nowadays you can cook Naan in an oven. But the taste and aroma of a tandoori Naan cannot be surpassed by an oven baked Naan.
Naan is cooked and served in various ways. It is commonly served with dal makhni (whole urad dal) or masala chana.
Naan is used as a wrap for different fillings like meats, vegetables or cheese etc. It is also used as flat bread like pizza and can be served with various types of toppings.
Another variation of Naan is that it can be stuffed with different ingredients for example you can stuff Naan with a mixture of minced meat (keema). Kashmiri Naan is stuffed with nuts and raisins. In Amritsar, stuffed Naan is made with a mixture of mashed potatoes, onions, coriander and green chilli and is popularly called Amritsari Kulcha.
Ingredients to Make Naan
Refined flour (maida) – 600 grams
Milk- 1 cup
Butter- 75 grams
Salt- 1 tea spoon
Sugar- 1 tea spoon
Khus Khus (poppy seeds)- ½ tea spoon
Onion Seeds (Nigella)- ½ tea spoon
Baking Powder 1 tea spoon
Cooking Soda or yeast -1 tea spoon
1. Mix 50 grams butter with curd, baking powder and cooking soda/yeast. Keep it aside.
2. Sieve maida and salt together. Add this to the butter and curd mixture and make soft dough with milk.
3. Cover the dough with wet muslin and set aside to rise for 2-3 hours.
4. Knead the dough again. Divide the dough into 12 balls.
5. Roll each ball in an oblong shape to make Naan. Stick poppy seeds and onion seeds on each Naan.
6. Heat gas tandoor to maximum. Wet one side of Naan and stick this on the inside of the Tandoor lid. Press lightly with fingers and close the lid. Cook till one side of Naan is done.
7. Remove the Naan with the help of a tong and roast from the other side on tandoor grill.
8. Brush the Naan with butter and serve hot with dal makhni or any other vegetable.
9. Naan can be cooked in an oven on toast mode.
10. If you do not possess a gas tandoor or oven the next best option is to use pressure cooker for making Naans. Heat the cooker without lid to maximum and stick Naan on the sides of the cooker from inside. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the heat.
Naan should be served fresh and hot. If kept for a long time they may become hard. The rising time may vary according to the seasonal temperature.