The naan post continues to garner an encouraging number of views daily, much to my surprise and almost every week since its publication , I have gotten requests for a garlic flavoured version. I've so far resisted posting another naan recipe as I felt insufficient time had passed since I posted the first.
Two weeks ago however, I found out that a reader had tried my recipe, for her Indian food loving husband, with trepidation, as she's not well versed in Indian cooking at all. Much to her surprise, and my delight, the naan turned out "absolutely wonderful" in her own words. They were, apparently, her first Indian food triumph, and one which she has since repeated with equal success.
She wrote me a warm and appreciative email, requesting a garlic and herb version. Under such circumstances, how could I possibly refuse? The recipe below is my basic yeast free naan recipe, jazzed up with home made garlic butter, fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds, all gently kneaded into the dough itself, not just sprinkled on top.
Its tender,fluffy and flavourful crumb makes it delicious enough to eat on its own, as a light meal or substantial snack, with a mug of thick, frothy teh tarik. Pairing it with your favourite curry, sambar, my green chilli chicken or easy keema will make it an even more delicious and satisfying meal. If I have no curry, I'll happily eat it with Indian style mango pickle, lemon pickle or lime pickle and crushed green chillies.
You could use commercially prepared garlic butter, which makes this even easier. I prefer to make my own gently cooked version as it infuses the naan with a more subtle and layered garlic flavour and aroma compared to the single note pungency of raw garlic, which is what your average store bought garlic butter contains.
Feel free to use either, but whatever you do, make at least a full batch of these gorgeous breads; they are even better than my original recipe and one per person will almost certainly not be enough! Halve the recipe and you may find yourself back in the kitchen, sleeves rolled up, wrist-deep in another bowl of flour, stirring up more, at your family's insistent request.
easy garlic herb and sesame naan
prep 25 mins cook 35 mins makes 10
3 tbsp soft butter
8 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely minced
300 g (3 cups) plain or all purpose flour
2/3 - 1 tsp fine salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
1 cup chopped fresh coriander, Indian borage or flat leaf parsley
60 ml (1/3 cup) plain unsweetened yoghurt
140 ml (2/3 cup) water
5 tbsp runny garlic butter (cooled)
A little extra garlic butter or plain melted butter for brushing
Make garlic butter by combining butter and garlic in a small pot and cooking over very gentle heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, to prevent burning. When fragrant and garlic is limp, turn off heat and leave until cold.
Combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder,baking soda and chopped herb in a large mixing bowl and mix well with fingers. Add yoghurt and water and mix into flour until well incorporated. Mix in the garlic butter and knead for a minute or two, or just enough to form a ball of soft dough. Do not overknead or breads will be tough.
Snip dough into 10 pieces with scissors and flatten them into discs. Dust both sides of discs generously with flour and stretch each out into small oval or tear drop pieces.
Roll out a piece into a thin ovoid or tear drop shape. If dough resists rolling and keeps stretching back (not likely unless dough was overkneaded) cover and rest for 15 minutes then roll again.
Heat a heavy pan or griddle until very hot. Put naan on griddle and cook about 1 minute or until top of naan puffs and bubbles. Flip over and cook other side for 1 minute. Flip over and cook each side a further 1 minute each, until puffed and lightly scorched here and there.
Remove from pan and brush top lightly with melted butter. Keep warm and repeat for remaining pieces of dough.
Serve warm with curry, tandoori chicken, keema, green chilli chicken or sambar.