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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homemade Naan

I really like Indian food, especially Chicken Tikka Masala. The only thing is that I prefer dark meat chicken in my curry, but most Indian Restaurants cater to the American palate and use white meat chicken. Unless the chicken is really well prepared, I find white meat chicken pretty dry. Since I have no confidence in my Indian food cooking skills, plus I'm just lazy, Indian food involves alot of prep and tons of spices ... I buy Maya Kaimal Simmer Sauces to make Indian curry. My boyfriend and I have gone through and tried every flavor, but our favorite is the Tikka. To make it a bit spicier, we add in a chopped jalapeno to our mix of chicken thigh chunks, onions, and extra garlic.

Since we both prefer naan over rice, I recently decided to try making homemade naan. The dough itself is very simple to make. Pretty similar to pizza dough. But its a bit harder to make the naan. Its stickier, so its hard to work with. And, you need to fry each one on the pan separately, so it can be pretty time consuming if you want to make a big stack of naan.

Naan Recipe

1/2 package dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 T white sugar
2 T milk*
1 egg beaten
2 C all purpose flour
1 clove garlic minced
2 T butter**
butter/oil for cooking

Mix yeast into warm water, allow to incubate until frothy, about 10 minutes

Mix the yeast/water into sugar, milk,egg, flour mixture. Usually, my doughs are too wet, so add extra flour until it makes a soft dough that comes together but doesn't stick to your hands too much. You don't want to add too much flour or the dough will be dry and tough. Knead for 6-8 minutes.

Place in oiled bowl and cover with clean damp towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size. About 1 hour.

Punch down dough and break into about golf sized balls. Melt 2T butter with the chopped garlic in the microwave for approximately a minute. To cook the naan, heat a frying pan over medium high heat with a mixture of butter and oil. Roll out each ball of dough on a flat surface with flour on the outside of the dough and on the surface and the rolling pin to keep it from sticking, it sticks really easily. Try not to add too much flour at this point, since it will make your naan taste floury and dry. Roll it out as thin as possible. Fry it on the pan on one side for 2-4 minutes, it should start forming bubbles in the dough (this is caused by moisture in the dough forming steam pockets in the naan). Drizzle the the top with the melted butter (no garlic cuz it'll burn on the pan), flip, and fry another 2-4 minutes. Where the bubbles were should form nice dark spots like naan at Indian Restaurants.

*The original recipe calls for milk, but I just used half and half cuz thats what I have around for my coffee. It makes the naan very rich tasting. Yum!
**I'm sure real naan uses ghee (clarified butter), but once again, I'm lazy. I don't know the difference enough to make an extra effort to clarify my butter!


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