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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Naan Bread


Naan is a staple accompaniment to hot meals in Central and South Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, India, Tadjikistan and many other regions.


In Turkic language the bread is known as naan. In Burmese, naan is known as naan bya. The first recorded history of Naan is available in the notes of Amir Kushrau (1300 AD) as naan-e-tunuk (light bread) and naan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven) at the imperial court in Delhi.


In Mughal times naan was one of the most popular breakfast foods. It is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tava.



Naan is available in many flavors. Keema naan, peshwari naan, and Kashmiri naan are filled with a mixture of nuts and raisins; aloo naan is stuffed with potatoes. Possible seasonings in the dough include cumin and nigella.



Ingredients


  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk (works well with Soya milk too)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


Preparation


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 soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Place dough in a well greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise, until the dough is doubled in size.



Punch down dough, and knead in garlic for few minutes. Divide the dough into pieces and poll into balls, and place on a tray. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. Cover an oven tray with foil and grease the foil. Brush the naan with remaining ghee (butter) and sprinkle with some spices. Cook naan one at a time under a very hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side or until puffed and just browned.



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