Naan is a traditional flatbread made using the dough enriched with ghee (clarified butter) & curd (yogurt) and cooked at a high temperature inside a clay oven called tandoor. Lately, naan dough is prepared just like any other bread dough using leavening agents such as yeast, baking soda, or baking powder and baked like pizza over a hot stone kept inside the oven. Earlier the dough was simply left covered for several hours allowing the process of fermentation to take place naturally.
Our ancestors were wise enough to follow natural & safe procedures to preserve/ enhance the food by using natural additives although such procedures were time consuming. They were content with food in its natural form as they respected each & every produce. Now we’ve grown greedy that we like to enhance the texture, color and aroma of our food by using chemical additives. We could have simply satisfied with soft naan, instead we are craving for pillowy naan.
So I have added yeast into my dough to get the desired texture, turmeric powder for the vibrant yellow color, and grated garlic to enhance the aroma of naan. I have also reduced the quantity of plain flour (maida) by half and added whole wheat flour and added cumin seeds that aid in digestion. Now lets prepare garlic flavored turmeric naan:
|Whole wheat flour||125 grams|
|All purpose flour (maida)||125 grams|
|Dry yeast||2/3 tbsp (2 tsp)|
|Curd (yogurt)||100 ml|
|Turmeric powder||1/2 tsp|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 tsp|
|Grated garlic||as desired|
|Chopped coriander leaves||as desired|
- First we need to prepare the yeast solution by adding sugar & yeast into warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile add whole wheat flour, plain flour, cumin seeds, salt, turmeric powder & ghee into a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Then we can add yeast solution & curd into the flour mixture.
- Knead this mixture into a soft dough for 10 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and leave the dough aside for 3 hours.
- At the end of proofing, place a stone used for rolling roti (or pizza baking stone) on top of the lower rack inside the oven and preheat at 230 deg C*.
- When the dough is proven, knead again & divide it into 8 balls of equal size.
- Roll out each ball into a thick sheet of dough of desired shape after sprinkling some garlic & coriander leaves as shown below.
- Place it on the hot stone and bake for 4 minutes.
- Grease each turmeric naan with ghee and serve hot with spicy curry or creamy dal.
*This is the maximum possible temperature setting in my oven, but naan may be baked even at 250 deg C.
Tips & Tweaks:
- I tried making the dough with no added additives and left it for fermentation for 36 hours. I found the naan (shown in the first photo) super soft and flavorful.
- I also tried making the dough with baking powder (1 tsp) instead of yeast, and cooked the naan on the stove top as shown below. This naan was bit crispy outside and soft inside.
- We can add any other spices like carom seeds (omam), dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), etc. into the dough for adding different flavors.