I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Like…when it rains, make Indian food! I brought my umbrella this time, but even when you’re taunting those storm clouds with knee high suede boots, it does not rain. Not until you step inside. Its a cruel triumph, I know. Anyway, we had leftover Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) in the fridge and I decided to make some naan. Murgh Makhani and naan are culinary soul mates very much in the same way milk and cookies are. Great dunkability exists in both partnerships.
Traditionally cooked in a tandoor, naan can also be made on the stove top or, as demonstrated here, in the oven. It keeps for a least one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator and only needs to be briefly revived in the oven.
Adapted from Easy Indian Cookbook by Manju Malhi
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp milk
Put the yeast in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Incorporate the sugar and stir well so that all the yeast granules are wet. Leave the bowl uncovered in a warm place for 5 minutes, or until the yeast has produced enough gas that the mixture looks frothy.Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and pour the oil, yogurt and milk into the well. Add the yeast mixture. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. You will need 1 to 2 tablespoons of water sprinkled over the top to help the dough come together.
Prepare a bowl of warm water and dip your knuckles in the bowl. Knead the dough with wet knuckles until a soft, smooth dough forms. This will take about 10 minutes.Cover the bowl with a clean, damp paper towel, dish towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise. The dough is ready when it increases in volume and is no longer sticky. This will take 3 to 4 hours but if you’re impatient, you may let it rise for 30 minutes.
Adjust your oven rack to be in the middle and preheat it to 400˚F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside. Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 balls. Roll out each ball to an oval on a lightly floured counter to about 1/4 inch thickness. Be careful not to roll the dough too thin, or else your naan will be crispy instead of fluffy.
Place the naans onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they have puffed up to a golden deliciousness.