Naan - Indian Flatbread
The first Indian meal that I had was when I lived in New York but now I love the intense, aromatic flavors. Back then one of my favorite Indian dishes was Indian flatbread with meat filling. Now as a vegan, I wanted to try veggie versions and the picture above shows actually three different types of Naan - plain, a simple garlic stuffing and cauliflower stuffing. I served them with soy yogurt and chili sauce at dip. It was a great meal!
Servings: 4-6 Naans
Duration: 2 1/2 hours
Utensils: heavy skillet or frying pan
Cooking surface: stove top
2+ cups flout
1.5 teas active dry yeast
1 teas salt
2 teas raw sugar
1/2 teas baking powder
2 Tab Oil - olive or canola
3 Tab soy yogurt
3/4 cup lukewarm water
Black sesame or black cumin seeds for topping
Dissolve active dry yeast and sugar in 1/4 lukewarm water and let it sit until frothy, 5-10 minutes. Mix flour with salt and baking powder. Add oil and yogurt. Add yeast mixture. Knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and non-sticky. Place in a greased bowl, rolling the dough so that it is covered with oil and let it rise for 2 hours or until doubled. Then knead the dough using a little flour on the board and divide into 5 or 6 equal parts. Using a little flour to keep from sticking, roll each piece into an 8-inch oveal shape.
Use a large skillet, which can withstand high heat. Heat it on medium heat until hot. On the Naan, press some seeds on top and spritz the bottom with a little water. Place the Naan with the bottom in the pan. Let cook until the dough starts to puff. After a minute or so, flip. Serve hot with vegan butter, olive oil or as a sidedish to Indian Curry.
For Garlic Naan:
Press finely chopped garlic and cilantro on top of the Naan and one side on to the other and press it shut. Cook as above.
Ingredients for Cauliflower Stuffing:
1-2 cups grate cauliflower
1 green chili chopped
1 teas ginger grated
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1/2 teas salt
1/4 teas carom seeds (opt.)
1/2 teas cumin powder
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach, kale or chard.
Mix everything together. Press into the top of the Naan and fold one side over the other and press it shut. Cook as above.
There is an oven method for cooking Naan but it requires a pizza stone and an oven grill - neither of which I have! Actually the oven with the grill function is on the list. When I moved to Germany, it never occurred to me that you can buy an oven without a grill function. I thought they all just came that way and so I didn't even look when we bought ours! The frying pan method works well though. Just be careful of the hot pan!