I love naan. Love it. It’s my favorite part of the Indian food experience. Hot, fresh, preferably garlicy… one of the best things in the world.
I’ve made naan before. I’m not an expert, or anything, but I’ve tried several recipes and methods. And they’re all generally a pain in the ass. Why? Kneading. I hate kneading. I don’t know what it is… maybe that it’s tedious and exhausting and… just… ugh. Do not like.
Enter the KitchenAid. I was gifted one for Christmas, and it’s basically the best thing on the planet. And it makes naan (among many other things) about a billion times easier. The dough hook does all the kneading for me! Just set the timer and let it rip.
The recipe that’s closest to my favorite is this one. Being me, I make some changes. Here’s what I do:
First, I proof the yeast. I combine 1 Tbsp yeast, 1/4 cup of white sugar, and 1 cup of warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it’s nice and foamy. Then I put the mixture in the bowl of my mixer and add:
3 Tbsp milk
2 tsp salt
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
I mix it together by hand for a minute or so until the flour is moist. Then I pop the dough hook on the mixer and let it knead for about 8 minutes. At this point, I took the lazy route and lifted the dough ball off the mixing bowl, sprayed the bowl with olive oil cooking spray, plopped the dough ball back into the mixing bowl, and covered with a damp cloth. Let it rise for 1-2 hours, then punch it down and knead in some minced garlic. The recipe linked above calls for 2 tsp, but that’s not nearly enough. I use about 4x that much because I LOVE garlic.
This is the fun part where you get your hands messy. Pinch off golf-ball sized pieces of dough, roll them in your hands, and place them on a greased baking sheet (or tray or whatever – you’re not actually going to bake them). Cover with a damp cloth and let them rise for about an hour (the recipe says 30 minutes, but I don’t think that’s long enough), until they are doubled in size.
After they’ve risen, you’re ready to grill. I use an enameled cast iron grill pan, but you can use a griddle (an electric griddle works well), an outdoor grill, an open George Foreman grill, or just a skillet (I’ve tried all of these methods, with varying levels of success). Preheat your grill (not too hot!) and oil it. Flatten your dough balls into disks, and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Brush with some melted butter (or, better yet, melted garlic butter), and you’ve got hot, delicious, naan. It’s also great garnished with cilantro (I didn’t do it last night because I have a cilantro sensitivity in the group).
Serve with curry or kabobs or… well, anything. I’ll just eat it plain.
Pictured here are the only two pieces left out of the 30 or so that I made. For 4 people. That’s how good it is.