Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Punjabi Naan

Naan with walnut-raisin toppings

Hot and fresh from tandoori oven, light and chewy, Naans epitomize everything that is good about wheat flour. But preparing naans at home means inviting disappointment most of the times. Recreating the tandoori magic in a home style-baking oven is impossible and invariable comparison to the Indian restaurant tandoori baked ones will lead to frustration.

But sometimes, mainly because we don’t have an Indian restaurant in this town, I’d prepare them at home following a traditional Punjabi recipe. (This recipe is again from our kind neighbor, an old acquaintance Deviji.) The dough is prepared with milk or yogurt. I usually go with fresh homemade yogurt, for naans with little bit of sour note.

I can’t say the end result is excellent; of course the culprit is the baking method, not at all the recipe fault. What I can say and recommend is they are worth the effort, good in taste department, and come close to the original in texture and softness. So give it a try. But please don’t expect the tandoori magic.

Naans all ready to go into oven
Naans all ready for baking

(For 8 to 10 naans)

4 cups of fresh all-purpose flour
1 to 2 cups of yogurt
(I usually use home made yogurt. Fresh yogurt gives a unique taste to naan. If you are not sure of quality of yogurt, go with milk)
2 tablespoon of melted ghee at room temperature
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Yeast mixture:
In a small cup, take 2 tablespoons of warm water add pinch of sugar
Stir in 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Mix and wait for it to rise.
To top:
I went with walnuts and raisins this time.
(Cumin, Sesame seeds, Minced onion, garlic, they all work too.)

Baked Naans
Oven Baked Naans

1. In a large bowl, sift flour, stir in salt, sugar and ghee. Add the yeast water. Mix by gradually adding the yogurt. Add and mix until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and comes together in solid lump.

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands and knead it for 5 minutes. Keep it covered overnight or for at least two hours. (I usually leave the dough covered for overnight.)

3. When you are ready to bake, take the dough out, knead for another 5 minutes. Divide the dough into lemon sized rounds. On a board or countertop, dust a little bit of flour, and roll out each ball into a big round with 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.

4. Prepare all the rounds like this and neatly place them on a greased or parchment paper lined baking tray for baking. Brush them all lightly with melted ghee. Sprinkle and press toppings (walnuts).

5. Preheat the oven to 425 F. When oven is ready, place and bake for about 5 to 10 minutes. White dough changes in color from light cream to pale pinkish red like baby’s cheeks. Keep an eye on oven and take care not to brown/over bake. Remove and serve hot with a curry.

Naan and Turnip Kurma
Naan and Masala Turnips (Shalgam)

Flour choice: King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
History of Naan : Link
More Naan Recipes: Sugar and Spice, Gattina, Egullet

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida) (Tuesday June 6, 2006 at 3:05 pm- permalink)
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