"Naan" is a name well-known in Indian cooking, and this is one kind of flatbread that is appreciated all around the world, by Indians and non-Indians alike. Soft and tender, Naan can be made with several different variations, but I bet every one loves a bite of Garlic Naan! It pairs well with any kind of curry, and is filling as well as appealing to the eye. Determined to try a homemade Naan recipe, I set out on an adventure last weekend, and was happy to see that my Garlic Naans turned out nice and fluffy! And you can bake them in regular oven too, though it would be great to own a Mini-Tandoor; nevertheless, the experiment was absolutely successful, as you can see from the picture!
Yields about 8 to 10 naans
4 cups of fresh all-purpose flour
1 to 2 cups of yogurt (a little sour is preferred)
2 tbsp of melted ghee at room temperature
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
Olive oil - for brushing the naans
finely chopped garlic cloves - according to taste
finely chopped cilantro - to garnish
In a small cup, take 2 tablespoons of warm water, add a pinch of sugar, and stir in 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast. Mix well, leave in a warm place and wait for it to rise (about 10 mins)
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt; add the sugar and ghee slowly to this mixture, followed by the yeast water. Mix by gradually adding the yogurt. Add and mix until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and comes together in solid lump. You can use a little water to make the dough, but only if needed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands and knead it for 7-8 minutes. Cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rest and rise for at least 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. When you are ready to bake the Naans, take the dough out and knead for another 5 minutes to soften it. Divide the dough into lemon sized rounds. On a cutting-board or counter-top, dust a little bit of flour, and roll out each ball into a big round with 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.
Roll out all your Naans and place them on a greased or parchment-paper lined baking tray for baking. Brush them all lightly with melted ghee or olive oil. Then evenly sprinkle the finely chopped garlic on each piece, pressing it gently into the dough so it doesn't fall off.
Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the bread is cooked through and turns into a golden yellow color.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with some freshly chopped cilantro, and serve your hot Garlic Naan with any delicious curry of your choice.
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