Everyone has at least one food obsession- something that you can’t say no to no matter how full you are. For me, it’s bread. Soft, fluffy, and fresh from the oven. While trying to think of words to describe the satisfaction that comes with making this bread, I suddenly had a craving for it. Considering all the ingredients are kitchen staples, making a decision has never been so easy. As I type away now, there is a bowl of dough rising in the corner that will soon become steaming fresh naan.
This flatbread is versatile because you can eat it bare in its simplicity or pair it with some tikka masala or other saucy dish to scoop up the flavors as pictured above. You can also add a spread on it like za’atar (oregano thyme spice blend) with some olive oil and toast it for a few minutes for a fulfilling breakfast or midday snack as shown below.
- 3/4 cup warm water (not hot)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes. You will see a thin layer of foam develop.
- Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar together and set aside.
- Add the yogurt and olive oil to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Pour this into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork initially till most of the flour is incorporated into the dough.
- Knead the dough with your hands for a minute or two forming it into a ball. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft. If you feel that it is too sticky, add flour as needed (I added about an extra 1/4 cup of flour).
- Lightly oil a medium sized bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Warm a large cast iron pan or a nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Dust a clean surface with flour and separate the dough into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece into an oval shape, taking care to dust the dough with flour so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
- Put the dough into the dry heated skillet and cook until you see the top bubble up, which should take a few minutes. Flip the dough and cook the other side for another minute or two until you see the browned spots.
- Remove the naan from the pan and brush generously with the melted butter on both sides. Place the naan in a towel lined basket or dish to keep it warm.
Adapted from OnceUponAChef
Step By Step Photos
Yeast mixed in with the warm water and sugar, notice how it is starting to foam up
Dough ready to rise in an oiled bowl
After dough is done rising, cut it up into 6 pieces
Roll each piece out into an oval shape to your desired thickness
Place the rolled dough into a heated cast iron or nonstick skillet and you’ll see it bubble up
Flip it over to cook the other side
After a minute or two, flip it and you’ll see these beautiful brown spots
Be creative, eat your naan in its simplicity or spread some za’atar on it
I recently went to a local Indian restaurant that opened up in town where I ended up ordering Chicken Tikka Masala which came with some basmati rice and naan. It turned out to be a little on the sweet side and the naan was an embarrassment- a thin and small piece of pita bread that supposedly passed for naan. No pictures survived the incident haha. If I ever go back, I’ll have to order another dish to see if another menu item will be able to redeem themselves.
A few weeks later, I decided to recreate the meal and take a shot at making homemade naan too. The meal was a success. The Tikka Masala was rich and silky with an acceptable spice level. The creamy tomato sauce was perfect for scooping up with naan. Sooo the naan. The joy I felt was indescribable after seeing the naan rise on my cast iron pan and that first fluffy soft bite sealed the deal. The best part about it was that I was able to use it in other dishes even breakfast. The naan recipe will be coming soon so keep posted this weekend!
Chicken Tikka Masala
Printable Recipe Here
For the Marinade
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
For the Tikka Masala Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
- In a medium bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients: the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Mix in the chicken with the marinade and refrigerate for an hour. If you are patient or have some extra time, you can refrigerate it for 4 hours or overnight.
- Cook the chicken on a grill or in an oven or pan and set aside. I used an indoor grill and it took about 15-20 minutes to cook it because of the heavy marinade. Timing will vary based on the size of cuts and cooking method.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Season with the garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. Stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the tomato sauce.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens over low heat. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice and chopped cilantro.
-If you do not have garam masala I suggest checking the ethnic foods aisle at your grocery store or going to your local Indian grocery store. I ended up making my own garam masala and I found it to be a good substitute for me. Recipe can be found here. You can click on the serving size and change it to 5 otherwise you will have some extra garam masala.
-One of the key parts to making a sauce is taste, taste, taste! Always taste it after adding spices and adjust it to your own liking.
-Double the recipe for a larger serving size since this recipe is only for two. Be careful with spices though because the ratio does not apply to them. Best option would be to add spices slowly and taste as you go.