Soft and buttery, these Butter Naan have an added kick with wonderful herbs and spices to take them up a notch!
I think one of the things I love most about butter naan is it's simplicity that delivers on flavor and satisfaction. While admittedly I don't eat too many white carbohydrates, every once in a while I will make an exception!
While traditionally cooked in a tandoor, your everyday non-stick frying pan will also do the job quite nicely - a crepe pan also works well too. I also like to use a glass lid as a cover during the cooking process because it just makes it easier to see what is going on and facilitates the even cooking of the naan.
While naan is traditionally served with Indian dishes there is nothing stopping you from adding your own toppings and making something truly your own. I have been known to top mine with cheese and a pinch of chilli powder or dried herbs and melt it in the grill - it tastes so good! It is also the perfect accompaniment to my scrumptious Butter Chicken recipe and can also be cut into quarters and served up on your dip platter - they taste great with my Hummus recipe too. If you were to make larger round naans I think it would also make great kebab bread too because it is soft and flexible enough to be rolled once cooked.
Though not a traditional ingredient, sour cream can also be used in place of yogurt in this recipe for a nearly identical result.
A wonderful trick I learned when I was staying at the lovely Mahindra Resort in India was to add different chopped herbs and seeds into the dough as you roll it out - it adds so much more depth to the flavor of the bread, (you can do the same with rotis too). I really love black cumin seeds/nigella seeds (known as kaljoni seeds in Hindi) as well as finely chopped chilli, coriander/cilantro and/or parsley.
Fun fact: black cumin seeds are an ancient superfood, full of health promoting properties, so is worth working them into your diet as it is excellent for improving immunity and digestion and also contain a very powerful compound called Thymoquinone which is prized for it's amazing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and other important biological activities.
These naan can be frozen after cooked and defrosted as needed. Keep well wrapped and sealed in the freezer until needed and microwave for that fresh, just cooked taste
Don't be afraid to add flour as needed to prevent sticking when rolling out your dough
Ensure you have a clean plate with a cloth kitchen towel ready to cover your naan after cooking to keep them warm
A well floured silicon baking mat makes a great surface to roll out your dough
Ensure you roll your dough out quite thin as they will rise during cooking
YOU WILL NEED
2 cups plain/all-purpose/white flour/maida
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup warm milk (I just pop it in the microwave for around 30 seconds in a glass cup/bowl)
1/2 cup plain yogurt OR sour cream Some finely chopped coriander/mint/parsley/chillies and/or some sesame seed/nigella seeds (kaljoni seeds)
Small bowl of water 1-2 heaped tablespoons melted butter or ghee for coating the naan after cooking (either works fine)
Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl making a well in the center.
Pour in the milk and yogurt OR sour cream and combine to form a soft dough. (I like to use a spatula to combine everything and then just use my hands at the end to bring it together into a ball.)
Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 2 hours.
After two hours, knead the dough gently for a couple of minutes. It should feel soft and springy.
Melt the butter and keep aside ready with a pastry brush.
Keep your chopped herbs and seeds ready in small bowls.
Divide dough into eight balls. Use some extra flour if you need to to keep the balls from sticking too much to your hands.
Flour your working surface.
Roughly flatten dough with fingers so it is a thick oval shape.
Sprinkle and lightly press in the herbs/seeds of your choice (a small sprinkle of whatever you want before rolling out is good).
Sprinkle a little plain flour over the top and then roll out the dough into a thin oval-like shape - don't worry too much if the shape turns out a bit "rustic" but it should not be too thin or two thick - around 3mm/0.1 inches is fine.
Dip your clean fingers in your reserved bowl of water and then flick/sprinkle a little water over one side of the rolled out naan dough.
Heat a non-stick pan or crepe pan over medium-high heat and once it’s hot, place the naan wet side down first and place a lid on the pan and cook until you see "bubbles" form on the top side of the dough or the under side has some brown spots.
Now turn over and cook uncovered until the under side has some brown spots and looks cooked through
Brush your naan with the reserved melted butter/ghee over the top of the naan (this keeps it soft and moist).
Place you cooked naan onto a clean tea towel on a clean plate and wrap/cover with the tea towel to keep the naan warm and prevent it from drying out.
Repeat this process until you have finished making all the naan and then serve immediately or allow to cool and wrap tightly in foil or store in an airtight container store in freezer. When ready to use defrost, warm in microwave if necessary and use as needed.
MAKES 8 PIECES
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