Keep calm and naan on.


Why is it that I always seem to make curry when the weather goes completely bonkers? I know it’s Leap Day and everything is kind of crazy, but is snow really necessary? Really?? Lock it up, Salem! Sheesh.

And seriously. Leap day?? Like February really needs another day. If we’re going to have the random every-four-years extra day, can’t it be a holiday? Like a REAL holiday, that Willamette has to give us off (because apparently in Willamette’s book, Veteran’s Day, MLK day, and President’s Day don’t count. Whatever, private school, whatever). Or we should all get something awesome on Leap day, like free cookies! That would be awesome. At least I did something slightly productive with my leap day and thesised a bit more. Moving right along! Plus I had pilates… which is ALWAYS my favorite way to start a Monday or Wednesday, or let’s be real: ANY day. Props to Christine Folz for making me want to get up for a workout :)

Anyway, in other news… Vati came and had a nice dinner with me last night, so of course we had… naan’n’curry! What else? But I haven’t been too happy with the last two naan-like things I’ve made (and blogged about)–they were good, but not like the restaurant-type naan I was looking for. So this time, since I actually was on top of things and able to plan ahead, I made yeasted naan! The search for perfection in the search for naanness goes on… although this one came pretty close! It’s thick and soft, but the exterior isn’t as flaky as I think it’s supposed to be. It’s a fairly basic recipe and has good flavor, and I would definitely make it again (especially when I have access to a gas stove, and can get my char on!). I’m pleased with the direction my naan investigations are going! I’ve never really pursued a recipe/food type this consistently before, so this is rather fun. I’m determined to come up with some authentic naan sometime in the future. The curry in the pictures is the same sweet potato coconut curry I wrote about back in January. It’s still my reigning curry favorite!


Whole Wheat Naan

From eCurry, here! I halved the recipe and got 4, which was a perfect size for 3 people with some extras.

  • 2 c whole wheat flour (I used ww bread flour, since we had it… next time I might try pastry flour)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/16 baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 c warm water (Not too hot, don’t want to kill the yeasties!)
  • 2.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c plain yogurt
  • extra tbsps of water, if needed.

In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Stir in yeast until it dissolves as well, then cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. When it starts foaming, you know it’s proofed and ready to use! Sift or stir together flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add in yogurt, oil, and yeast, and use your fingers to incorporate all ingredients into a dough. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the dough looks too dry, but not enough to make it sticky! You want it smooth.

On a floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Oil a largeish bowl, plop in the dough, and then lightly oil the top of the dough itself. Cover and let rise for 2ish hours in a warm place. Kira and I will usually preheat the oven to the lowest setting (170), then turn it off and let the bread rise in the oven. It works like a charm!

I was quite proud of my twice-risen dough! And here you can see my rather futile attempts to divide it into naanlets prior to rising...

Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead it a few more times. Divide it into little naan-lets (however many you want, I made 4). Cover and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.

When you’re ready to cook them, flour a surface and the little balls o’ naan, and preheat an iron skillet (or something flat that can take high heat). I rolled mine out one at a time. Roll in one direction, stretching from the middle (don’t roll side to side). When the naan is flat, brush one side with water, and slap it down into your preheated skillet. Cover the pan (I just realized I forgot to do this) and cook for 30-45 seconds, until bubbles form and the naan comes up easily off the skillet. Flip, and cook the other side, uncovered. Repeat with the rest of them!

I found that mine didn’t bubble… but that might have been on account of not covering the skillet properly. My skillet is also warped, which caused excess browning on several (still delicious, obvs). I’ll be trying this again with thinner naan (rolled out a bit more), and with a covered pan.

Serve hot! With curry, of course.

this curry is BOMB... the picture doesn't do it justice.

3 Replies to “Keep calm and naan on.”

  1. Glad that you gave it a try. The restaurant Naans have a flaky exterior even with a soft interior is because they use tandoor and the extreme heat quickly cooks and and crisps it. It is disappointing I know to not have that at home. The flame in the gas stove helps a bit to do the little charring and crisping and that is the only reason I prefer the stove to the oven.

    Yes do try the pastry flour if you are keen on the whole wheat. The regular whole wheat tend to make it less stretchy and results in a denser naan. The light pastry flour should be better.

    The water helps in controlling the temperature while cooking and also prevents from hardening the bottom. Thanks much for the link back. really appreciate. Love the way you write… nanlets .. LOL

    1. Thanks for responding! And for the compliment :) I’ll definitely go the wwpastry route next time—I usually bake everything with that, but I thought I’d give bread flour a try! Maybe I’ll put a tandoor oven on my list of things to acquire later in life, lol!

  2. OK, where do I take action for this holiday!?
    Glad you are going further with the naan!
    I did like the flavor and texture, tandoor or not.

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