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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

NAAN

NAAN
Naan is a very popular Indian bread served in most Indian Restaurants. People all over the world eat it with relish. The Naan is usually baked in a Tandoor which is a barrel shaped earthen oven. Coal is burnt at the bottom and heats the clay interiors. This makes the temperatures inside very hot, around 800 F. The Tandoors cook food at very high temperatures. It is impossible to have that high a temperature in a domestic oven. But for people who want to enjoy homemade Naans, you can cook it in a closed charcoal grill or in an Oven.

Eggs are usually used to soften the dough and make it more stretchy, Here is a recipe without eggs. One thing to remember is that if you are not using eggs you need to substitute it with equal amount of Yogurt in volume. If you don’t have good homemade yogurt available, substitute it with equal volume of buttermilk or whole-milk.

NAAN
Ingredients
Maida or Self Raising Flour- 2 cups
Baking powder - ½ tsp
Soda - ¼ tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Fresh Yeast - 1 tsp
Warm Milk - ¼ cup
Yogurt - ¼ cup
Oil or Ghee - 2 tbsp
Onion Seeds (Kalonji) – 1-2 tbsps as required(optional).

Method
In a Big bowl mix together 2 cups Maida, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp soda and 2 tbsp of oil or ghee.

In another small bowl, combine ¼ cup warm milk, ¼ cup Yogurt, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in it. Add 1 tsp fresh yeast and add this liquid to the flour mixture in the big bowl. Now mix all this together. Add warm water to make a very soft dough. Once you make the dough, Add a tablespoon of oil and mix well, so the dough becomes glazed with oil. Cover the dough with a wet cloth for around two hours. The dough will puff up and become almost double in volume.

Now make equal sized balls apply a little oil and put onion seeds on top. Roll it into a round shape. Stretch it from one side to give it a triangular shape like the ones you see in a restaurant.

Now put it on the wall of a preheated Tandoor or cook in a preheated oven (250 degrees Celsius) by placing it on a greased tray.

Remove when it is crisp and golden brown on both sides. Your Naan is ready to be served with any nice curry.

VARIATIONS TO THE PLAIN NAAN

BUTTER NAAN
Once the Naan is cooked. Add a dollop of butter to it. The butter will melt ans settle on top of the naan. Serve the Naan with the melted golden butter. That is your restaurant style butter Naan.

CHEESE NAAN (Naan with Mozarella Cheese)
When the Naan is almost done, remove it. Sprinkle it with grated cheese and put it back in the oven, till the cheese melts. Don’t add grated cheese to the uncooked naan as the cheese will cook very fast and the naan wont be done.

PANEER NAAN (Naan with cottage cheese)
When the Naan is almost done, remove it. Sprinkle it with crumbled or grated paneer and put it back in the oven, till the paneer and the naan get cooked.Don’t add the Paneer to the uncooked naan as it will cook very fast and the naan wont be done.

GARLIC NAAN
Chop the around 5-6 cloves of Garlic into fine pieces and mix it with some cooking oil and a pinch of salt. With a butter knife spread the mixture onto the unbaked naans, before putting it in the tandoor/oven. So when the Naan is cooked, the Garlic will also be cooked and when u serve it will stuck onto the top of the Naan, so you can easily identify which Naan it is, incase you are serving assorted breads.

PUDINA NAAN (Minty Naan)
Take fresh mint leaves and mix it with some oil and salt. You can chop the mint leaves or use them as a whole leaf. Apply the mixture to the Naan, in such a way that the leaves stick on to the upper side of the Naan. Apply it when it is half cooked else the leaves will get charred in the Tandoor / Oven.

DHANIYA NAAN (Coriander Naan)
Take fresh coriander leaves and mix it with some oil and salt. You can chop the coriander leaves or use them as a whole leaf. Apply the mixture to the Naan, in such a way that the leaves stick on to the upper side of the Naan. Apply it when it is half cooked else the leaves will get charred in the Tandoor / Oven.

Note: The Naan has to be always served hot, Once it is cold it becomes very chewy and hard.

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