I love our local corner Indian restaurant. Every afternoon they have a fantastic buffet, chock-full of tandoori and chicken tikka masala, aloo mutter and veggie korma; as well as pakora, tikki, and samosa galore.
But best of all, to scoop up every spicy bite - hot, soft-yet-crispy naan, that buttery Indian flatbread that is to die for. Well, on the buffet at India Palace, the naan is the first thing to disappear. Usually you and your fellow diners enjoy your lunch with one eye on the buffet - once the piping hot naan hits the warming plate, you lunge to get yours before it's gone again, which doesn't take but a minute or two. Good stuff, that naan.
This one has a smiley face!
If you are like me and eat Indian out a bit too much for your pocketbook, then you decide to just make your own Indian at home. Much more economical. And yet, you strike out again if you try to get your naan at the grocery store: for one, it's a poor substitute to the fresh stuff. Secondly, you're going to pay a ton for 2 measly pieces. Ladies and gents, let me tell you: this is the point where you realize you just have to make the naan yourself.
Making your own naan is easy, cheap, and this recipe makes A TON so no worries about running out! Almost exactly what you get from the restaurants (I don't have the clay tandoor, but the grilled version here is pretty darn close). Give it a shot next time you make your own Indian at home - well worth the effort.
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. white sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. bread flour
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.