Sunday, November 9, 2008

Naan


Naan and samosas are what I'm always going back for over and over at Indian buffets. I usually like to dip the naan in some sort of curry, but the naan is the true star of the show. I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with eating the curry and aloo gobi with boring old rice, so I knew I had to make some naan. Unfortunately, the samosas will have to wait until next time.

Making this naan was fun! A bit scary, but fun!

I preheated my oven at 500 degrees with a baking stone on the top rack for 30 minutes. Warning: Don't do this! Put that baking stone on the second to top rack, especially if you have a gas oven like we do. I'll explain later...

After preheating the oven and stone, I turned the oven to broil. This is the best way to simulate a tandoori oven at home and it worked like a charm! I tossed the naan on the baking stone, pushed it in and closed the door. Boy, does that thing puff up! So much in fact that it touched the broiler flames on top and caught on fire! Now do you see why I say it was a bit scary but fun? And also why you probably shouldn't put that baking stone on the top rack and why the second rack might be a slightly better option?

After that little scare, I watched that naan like a hawk. It only takes a few seconds on each side to cook, so I would've been watching it closely anyway, but this was just an extra incentive to pay close attention. As soon as the naan started puffing, I'd poke it and flip it. I don't think the hubz would be too happy if I burned down the kitchen, no matter how good dinner tasted!

The naan was so soft and tasty and was exactly what I was looking for. In the future, I'll try mixing in some onions and garlic for onion naan and garlic naan. YUM!

And I have one last tip before getting to the recipe. Your kitchen will get super hot because you'll be opening and closing that 500+ degree oven every few seconds, so this is definitely not something you want to try on a hot summer day.

Recipe:
inspired by Manjula's Kitchen

- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp active dry yeast

- 1 tsp salt

- 1 tsp sugar

- Pinch of baking soda

- 2 tbps oil
- 2 1/2 tbps yogurt
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water


Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it proof for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, salt, baking soda, flour, yogurt and oil to the water and yeast and knead until the dough is smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume (1-2 hours)

Knead the dough a few time and then divide into 6 pieces. Roll and shape them into tear drops.

To simulate a tandoori oven, put a pizza stone on the second rack from the top. Heat at 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Then turn the oven to broil. Toss the naan on the pizza stone one at a time and close the oven door, but keep a constant eye on it. As soon as it puffs up, flip it with tongs. It will only take about a minute or less on each side. You can brush it with butter or ghee if you'd like, but it's not necessary.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I'm submitting this to Joelen's Indian-Jewish Adventure! It's not your typical pairing of cuisines, but both are delicious and she's bound to have some great entries. I hope you check it out!

6 comments:

Katie said...

naan is seriously my FAVORITE! yum!

That Girl said...

I think I would have flipped out if my oven caught on fire!

toxobread said...

I wouldn't know whether to be horrified or laugh out loud if my naan ever caught on fire like that. I made garlic naan a couple of times using a basic roasting pan, but dare not ramp up the temperature too high for fear of warping my pan. Your naan looks great though - I'm sure it was fantastic with the curry and aloo gobi. Naan also goes extremely well with palak paneer.
p.s. thanks for dropping by my blog :)
p.p.s. I also have a lot of trouble of following recipes - glad I'm not the only one ha ha

gaga said...

Haha. I know, I can't believe how calm I was when it caught on fire!

Vicki said...

Oh, I love naan! I've only made it a couple times, and I'm not sure why so infrequently. I could eat just naan for dinner :)

shavedicesundays said...

haven't had naan before and am now curious. I'm glad you've got so much control over the situation.