Friday, April 8, 2011
Last week, for my first Curry-Palooza, I made Aloo Gobi. Here is the bread I made to serve along with it.
Naan is a lightly leavened flatbread traditionally baked in a tandoor oven. This is another Madhur Jaffrey recipe which has been simplified for home kitchens. It is cooked on top of the stove and under the broiler. The bread sits inert and flat during its skillet cooking but puffs dramatically on being placed under the broiler. The process has entertainment value, both for the cook and dinner companions, so invite others into the kitchen to watch.
(From the February/March 1993 Ed. of Herb Companion Magazine)
3 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
About 1 3/4 cups plain yogurt
Soft unsalted butter
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Slowly add as much yogurt as you need to gather the flour together and make a soft, resilient dough. Knead for about 10 minutes and form a ball. Put the ball in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in a warm place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Knead the dough again and divide into nine equal parts. Keep them covered.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium how heat and preheat the broiler.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten one of the dough balls and then roll it out until you have a round that is about 1/8 inch thick. When the skillet is hot, place the naan onto the heated surface. Let it cook slowly for about 4 to 5 minutes. Now put the skillet under the broiler for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until the puffing-up process is complete and there are a few reddish spots on the naan. Remove the naan with a spatula and brush with softened butter. Make all the naans this way, keeping them stacked and covered with a clean dish towel. Serve hot.