Homemade Naan

Most afternoons I come home to find a takeout menu hung on my door knob.  Usually the neon doortag is advertising pizza or Chinese and quickly finds a home in my recycling bin.  Last week the menu was for Indian, and instead of instantly tossing it, I stood on my front porch and perused it.  When I lived in Boston I walked by an Indian restaurant everyday on my way home from work.  Sometimes I’d pop in and order some naan to eat while walking home.  How can you go wrong with warm, fluffy bread?  Better yet, warm, fluffy bread flavored with butter and garlic.

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I managed to avoid the temptation of $20 takeout, and instead started googling around to determine just how hard it would be to recreate my favorite Indian food in my own kitchen.  I found this recipe for naan on Tasty Kitchen from Indian Simmer.  The recipe looked totally approachable, and I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.  Perfect!

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Things were a little difficult when I was trying to stretch the dough out to the proper shape.  Once I gave up on stretching the dough and pulled out my rolling pin, everything went smoothly.  I couldn’t get the dough thin enough with just my hands, but the rolling pin easily solved that problem.  I wasn’t brave enough to finish the naan over an open burner (my only kitchen tongs are plastic, so this seemed like a bad idea), but doing both sides on my cast iron skillet worked perfectly.

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I was so surprised at how the texture and coloring of the naan was so similar to the naan I’ve had in restaurants.  The trick of brushing one side of the bread with water before laying it down in the skillet worked very well.  I burned my fingers, impatiently pulling off pieces to taste.  I made some garlic naan, and a number of basic naan brushed with butter.  Burned fingers were a small price to pay.

In fact, the success of this recipe gave me enough confidence to tackle another kitchen project.  Homemade cheese, anyone?


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