Indian cuisine for me is directly linked to a number of personal anecdotes. I remember Mr G. took me to an Indian restaurant for the first time. And not the least: we went to The Red Fort in London. The seekh kebabs, tandoori chicken, saffron rice and kulfi: it was one big feast. In addition, I remember the bill, but the love for Indian cuisine was born. When years later, after my graduation, I got to choose where to go for dinner with the family, I choose Indian cuisine. Now, over 10 years later, I shall still hear some relatives didn’t think that was a great choice; another beautiful memory ;-).
At home we cook Indian food regularly; I love homemade butter chicken. And my new favourite is vegetarian masala with sweet potato. Up until recently we served it with store-bought naan, which is so different from the naan you get in restaurants. Since a failed attempt by Mr G. to make his own naan, that seemed the only option though (you must know that he is the best cook of the two of us; if he fails why should I try?).
While Mr G. was abroad for work, I started experimenting (with or without milk, oil or ghee, pan or oven) and after a few attempts I ended up with the delicious recipe below. Once you’ve tried these, I’m sure you will never buy naan at the supermarket again!
Freshly baked naan
Serves 2 or makes 4 pieces
- 225 gr of wheat flour
- ½ bag of yeast (3 ½ gr)
- ½ tsp. of sugar
- ½ tsp. of salt
- 1 tbsp. of melted ghee
- 45 ml of Greek yogurt
- 90 ml of lukewarm water (this could be a bit more or less, don’t add all the water at once)
- Extra: melted ghee to brush the naan just before and after baking
- In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt
- Pour and mix in the melted ghee and yogurt
- Add the water and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth (it’s ready when the dough springs back when you press the surface lightly with a finger)
- Form into a ball, loosely cover with a cloth or cling film and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1-1 ½ hour
- After rising divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a small ball
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat
- Working with 1 piece at the time, roll it out on a floured surface. The thickness should be around 5mm; the naan will grow when you bake them
- Grease one side with a thin layer of melted ghee and bake in the hot pan until golden brown and the characteristic large bubbles have formed; meanwhile you grease the surface with ghee as well
- Flip the naan and cook the other side until golden brown
- Take out of the pan cover with foil to keep warm while baking the rest of the naan
There you go, a really simple recipe for homemade naan. It’s delicious if, just before serving, you brush the naan with some extra melted ghee.