Naan & Love

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Photo Dec 11, 8 17 06 PM

A long time ago, while chowing down at an Indian restaurant with Colin, he looked at me from behind a delighted mouthful of naan and curry, and said: “Kim, if ever learn how to make naan, I will just have to throw a ring at you on the spot!!” Ever since then, I’ve teased him about it, and friends who’ve heard the story have threatened to send me recipes from across the globe. And still, I kept that dish in my back pocket, as we spun our way through many years of loving, living, laughing, cooking, and eating.

Well, last week, he proposed to me with a naan recipe and promise to always be my constant in our ever-growing, ever-changing world… and I said YES!!! I laughed and cried at the sweet perfection of this foodie proposal. 🙂

So, this week, I figured he’d finally earned that home-made naan by putting a ring on it, and I set about to research how to make this delicious bread.

There were SOO many different variations out there! Yeast vs baking soda. Yogurt or milk? Pan or oven? I searched and searched, poring over pictures of the resulting naan from these blogs to try to determine if the recipe would give me that wonderfully chewy soft texture, or if I’d end up with a mere pita-bread like imposter.

Finally, I found Journey Kitchen’s recipe, and the pictures of the beautiful naan she made really drew me in. Gorgeous! This was the one that would be worthy of my first naan attempt in a lifetime of feeding Colin delicious things!

Photos

As I worked my way through the recipe, I couldn’t help but connect the process to what it takes to make a loving relationship work and last. I took that initial leap of faith in picking the right recipe (based on looks and a little gut feeling. heehee!). But then patience, a little sweat, and persistence to keep working and learning through the small failures eventually lead me to the glorious victory of delicious crispy outside with beautiful bubbles, tender-chewy on the inside naan! I couldn’t be happier to be able to present him with this small token of my love, made by my own hands.

A few key things I learned:

  • Don’t try to form a well in a pile of flour on the counter. It will explode your flour mountain and spill everywhere!
  • Do not skimp on the kneading post rising! I forgot to re-knead and my first naan was a sad, flat, thick pancake disk.
  • Thinly rolled out dough + HOT pan = Awesome Bubbles in your naan!
  • Mix in some fennel seeds for a nice flavor POP!
  • It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. 🙂

On to the recipe now. Thanks Journey Kitchen!

Servings: Served about 10 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 4 Tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 10 Tbsp plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds (optional)

Steps:

1. Mix lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Leave it for about 15 minutes or until you see air bubbles at the top.

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2. Mix the flour & salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast/water, ghee, yogurt and start mixing and kneading! It’s going to be VERY sticky at first, but keep going and eventually you will end up with a lovely ball of dough like this.

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(Feel free to give it a lil hug)

3. Set the dough aside, covered with a towel in a warm/dry place and let it rise for about 1.5 hours.

4. Once the dough has risen, take it out and knead it another 5 minutes or so.

5. Cut off a large chunk and knead some more. Then cut it up into pieces about the size of a lemon and roll each one into a ball.

6. Heat up a heavy bottom pan to high and add butter in the pan.

7. Roll out the naan into whatever shape you like, just make sure it’s pretty thin.

8. Place the naan in the hot pan and put the lid on top. Cook about 2 minutes until you see bubbles coming up. Give a cheer when you see your first one!!
Then flip it over and cook another 2-3 minutes until you have a nce toasty char.

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9. Place in a basket and brush with ghee. Serve immediately, or heat up again when you are ready.

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Enjoy!

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