Everyone loves good old naan bread.
If you’re a desi in a foreign country, you’ve had your fair share of visits to curry houses. It starts with crispy poppadoms, kachumber salad, raita, then a curry and of course – the majestic tandoori naan bread. Slathered in ghee and ready to mop up your curries for you!
Any Indian restaurant worth its weight in salt prepares these yummy flatbreads in a tandoor oven. What’s that, you might ask (and we’ll be extremely disappointed if you do!) In layman’s terms, a tandoor oven is a clay pot with a fire at the base.
They reach high temperatures of over 500°C with a single load of charcoal. The dough is then slapped on the side walls and comes out with an explosively flavorful crust and uncommonly fluffy center.
And the best part – you can achieve similar results at home!
Freshly baked naan bread recipe
Making the dough isn’t difficult and requires no special skills. If you’ve made any bread in the past… literally any kind of bread…you’re already overqualified!
All you have to do is combine water, sugar, and yeast, then set aside. Add in milk, yogurt, flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until the dough comes together with your hands. And that’s about it. Transfer it to a lightly oiled mixing bowl to rest for an hour until it’s doubled in size. Easy, right?
The true secret ingredient to a deliciously crispy naan bread is monitoring the tandoor oven as closely as you can. The dough sticks to the walls of the tandoor and bubbles up and chars to perfection for a truly authentic tandoori flavor.
What if I don’t have a tandoori oven?
Consider investing in one! They aren’t too expensive – a good one time investment for years & years of homemade naan bread – about $500 and they’re so versatile. You can use them to make pizza bases, breads, and loaves. They’re also perfect for cooking different types of meats such as tandoori chicken, tandoori lamb, chicken tikka, and lamb kabobs.
An alternative to tandoori oven could be a hot skillet or a tawa. Brush both sides of the bread with butter and transfer onto a hot skillet until golden brown. You know you’ve achieved the perfect cook when it’s crispy and bubbly on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside!