Garlic naan and cilantro chutney

Gah, I took these photos nearly a year ago, but in the inundation of weddings and baby showers last spring I never got around to posting about it.  Until, that is, we made it again over the weekend and I remembered just how awesome fresh, homemade naan is and that I must share this news with the world!

You know the best part of going out to eat at an Indian restaurant is the bread.  So soft and fluffy and chewy and garlic-y.  Oh my god.  Well, surprisingly you do not need a tandoori oven or other such equipment to achieve the same results at home — just a baking stone and your regular old oven!

Garlic Naan
Adapted from recipe at Manjula’s Kitchen

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
pinch baking soda
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
2.5 tablespoons strained (Greek), plain yogurt (DO NOT USE FAT FREE)
3/4 cup warm water

dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let sit until bubbly, about 5-10 minutes

Sift the salt and baking soda with the flour.  Combine with the oil and the yogurt.  The dough will be dry and crumbly, you may need to use your hands.

Add the water and yeast and knead; it will be come the more smooth, elastic doughyness you know and love.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in volume, 3-4 hours.

Move the pizza stone to the bottom rack, which should be placed as low as it can go.  Heat the oven to 500°.  It will take 30-60 minutes to really get the stone as hot as it needs to be.

While you’re waiting, prepare some ghee.  Finely mince some garlic and stir into the ghee.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each piece out with a rolling pin into oval shapes on a lightly floured surface.

Place no more than two pieces of naan on the baking stone at once.  They should cook until they are golden brown and inflated a bit, about 2-3 minutes.  If your oven heats unevenly, you may need to reverse them front-to-back once.

Brush each piece with the garlic-infused ghee.  Heaven.

Cilantro chutney

This tastes, to me, like pure, unadulterated summer (I truly pity those who “don’t like” cilantro!) and is the perfect accompaniment to fresh naan, or onion fritters with dal (or, you know…both.  And perhaps some saag paneer…). Again from Manjula’s Kitchen.

1 bunch cilantro
3 green chilies, coarsely chopped
1/2 inch piece ginger, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon safflower or canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch asafetida

Blend everything together in a food processor except the cilantro leaves until it is a paste consistency.  Add the cilantro leaves and blend that in.  Add salt or ground cayenne pepper to taste.

Tastes like going out to eat at a restaurant…but you did it yourself!

-R

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