The warm, puffy, oval-shaped flatbread is pretty much served at Indian restaurants now a days. Making your own naan from scratch and oh my goodness… The puffy, heat-blistered texture…homemade ones will truly knock your socks off. You will not believe how much better this tastes than takeaway naan. It is incredibly easy to make too. It’s the perfect accompaniment to my Kale, mustard greens saag or chicken butter masala – or dal makhani. Or stuff it with meat or veggies (or both) or turn it into a wrap. Naan will make you fall in love with Indian food over and over.
Naan is a soft and pillowy Indian-style flatbread traditionally made in a tandoor oven, or cylindrical clay oven. The dough gets slapped against the walls of the tandoor, where it adheres and bakes quickly over a burning fire. If you don’t have a tandoor, don’t worry. It’s possible to make naan at home and replicate the high heat and charred flavor of a clay oven by using a very hot cast iron skillet or in the oven at your home.
Plain or with a little extra flavor of garlic, melted ghee, onion, sesame or poppy seeds… It makes homemade naan more Yum!
This picture is taken in historic Charminar area in Hyderabad, India, hotel named Shadab. They make fresh Nihari (a type of naan bread traditional to Nizam) every night. Tandoor oven in the picture is flaming red colored one. He is sitting on top of it, slapping nihari with pillow. Used throughout India, the traditional rounded-top tandoor oven is made of brick and clay. It’s used to bake foods over direct heat produced from a smoky fire. The dough for the delicious Indian bread naan is slapped directly onto the oven’s clay using a pillow kind of stuffed bag to avoid burns. Naan is slapped to walls and left to bake until puffy and lightly browned. Meats are usually skewered and thrust into the oven’s heat, which is so intense (usually over 500 degrees F) that it cooks a chicken half in less than five minutes.
- 2 cups - whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp - yeast
- ⅛th tsp - sugar
- ⅛th tsp - salt
- About ½ cup - warm water
- Add sugar and yeast to warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes and let it bubble up.
- Add salt to flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly add yeast water, and knead well to make medium stiff dough. Add more water if needed.
- Cover bowl. Keep aside for 1-2 hours till dough raises. Make golf sized balls and keep aside. Cover.
- Rub little oil with a paper napkin to cast iron skillet. Heat skillet to medium high till you see smoke.
- Roll each dough ball with rolling pin. Dip your palms in water. Slap naan between your palms.
- Place naan wet side down on skillet. Wet part makes naan stick to skillet. Let it cook for 40 seconds to 1 minute. Depending on how hot your skillet is it might take a bit more time.
- Flip naan to other side. You will see black burns on cooked side. It is normal. Blackened naan is what gives it flavor and taste. Cook other side for another minute.
- Serve hot with Dal makhani or Chicken butter masala.