Naan is by far the most popular Indian flat bread that is usually served with traditional curries like chicken makhani or even with kebabs. This Indian flat bread is baked in a tandoor or a traditional outdoor clay oven but you can also make it in your oven at home. However, make sure that you prepare the dough well in advance because it takes time to get it ready.
Here is what you will need:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp yoghurt
1 ½ tsps dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp purified butter or ghee (available in any Indian supplies store)
3 tsp onion seeds or a tsp of chopped garlic
To prepare the dough
Start by mixing the flour and the salt and sifting it through a fine sieve—you absolutely don’t want any lumps. Put the mixture aside and start working with the dry yeast. Mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water and stir the mixture till the yeast dissolves. Now cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Once the yeast is active the mixture will begin to froth indicating that it is ready to be used
Transfer the flour and salt mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the yoghurt, 3 tbsps of ghee and the yeast mixture. Kneed the ingredients to form soft dough. Once it is ready, put some dry flour on a clean flat surface like your kitchen counter and kneed the dough till it is smooth and easy to stretch without tearing.
The next step is to let the dough ferment for about 90 minutes so put it in a greased bowl, cover it and set it aside for 90 minutes by which time it should have doubled in size.
Now get the dough back on the kitchen counter and kneed it for another 10 minutes and it’s ready.
Make about 8 round balls with the dough, put a little flour on the kitchen counter and with a rolling pin roll the balls into a circle of about 7 to 8 inches. The thickness should be about half an inch, gently pull on one edge of the circle to form a triangular or teardrop shape. Be careful not to pull too hard otherwise you may tear it. If you don’t want to use the rolling pin, you can always pat the balls into a circle with your hands
Now preheat the oven ( 200 C/ 400 F) and cover the oven tray with aluminum foil, grease it lightly and place the naans on this surface, You can place as many naans as you can without touching each other, brush each naan with the left over ghee and sprinkle some onion seeds on it or chopped garlic for garlic naan. Alternatively you can leave it as it is with just the brushing of ghee.
Put the tray in the oven and bake till the naans begins to puff, now flip and let them cook on the other side
Remove and serve hot with any Indian curry.