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Saturday, 23 March 2013

No - Yeast Naan

No yeast No Oven…It can’t get easier than this.

NAAN is an Indian Flatbread traditionally cooked in a clay oven or a tandoor in a very high temperature. Its a favourite for many and tastes great when dunked into any gravy or curry. You can make so many varieties of Naan; cheese naan, garlic naan, onion naan, butter naan, you can add just about anything.

There is a phrase ‘Third time’s a Charm!’, which means something attempted for a third time will turn out better than the first two attempts. And this naan is a third time’s at a charm for me :) My first attempt at Naan turned out crisp and biscuit like; my second attempt was much better. I once had Naan at Muthu’s Curry an Indian Restaurant in Little India, Singapore. That’s the best of all the Naans I have ever tasted. It was so delicate and so soft, I ended up eating three or four.

My first two attempts on Naan, I used dried active yeast and cooked in my oven. And it took lot of time to prepare the dough. First you need to wait till the yeast proofs, then make the dough and let it raise double its size. It was not at all working out for me. Yeast can be tricky at times, you need good quality yeast and the dough smells of yeast even after its cooked. It was big NO. I adapted this recipe from Anjum Anand cookery show ‘Indian Food Made Easy’, where she used baking powder and baking soda instead of yeast. Making this dough with these two chemical leavening is easy and fast. But unlike yeast the dough doesn't double in size but just a little. Adding eggs to the dough is optional, the taste and texture is hardly noticeable.

I cooked these on a hot tawa instead of oven. I like it soft and somehow cooking them in oven never helped me. It tasted delicious with Paneer Butter Masala (it’s always paneer butter masala for me) or any of your favourite gravy.

Makes 6 Depending on the Size You Make Them…

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You Will Need:

2 Cups of All – Purpose Flour
A tsp of Baking Powder
1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
Tsp of Salt
2 tbsp of Thick Yogurt
Approx. 1/2 Cup of Lukewarm Milk
1 1/2 tsp of Sugar
An Egg Beaten
2 tbsp Oil
Melted Butter

The Cooking:

In a bowl combine together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
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In a cup, stir together milk, half of the beaten egg, sugar, yogurt and oil. Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly pour in the liquid mixture.

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Now, combine this well with your hand to form a non – sticky soft dough. If the dough is too dry, add bit more of the milk. If its becomes too sticky add bit more of the flour. Apply little oil on the dough to avoid it from drying out. Cover and let it sit for 30 min.

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The dough will rise a little, unlike the dough made with yeast which doubles its actual size. Put this on a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 min. The dough will become softer and smoother when you finish kneading it.

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Make small lemon sized balls out of these and roll it out (thin or thick however you like your naan to be), sprinkling little flour to avoid it from sticking. After rolling it out apply little oil on both the side and place on the hot tawa. Immediately after a min or so you can see the top of the naan begins to bubble up.

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Flip the naan and apply oil and cook for another 2 mins on low heat. Take off heat and brush the naan with melted butter / ghee.

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These are plain naan, for making garlic naan gently press down chopped garlic when you roll out the dough and cook just like the plain ones.

Serve hot with any of your favourite sides.
Happy Cooking!

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