Many of my favourite Indian dishes have a really tasty sauce that I can't let go to waste, which can sometimes be the case if my rice hasn't soaked it all up. Enter the humble naan bread, a sauce hoover and plate cleaning wonder! I have no shame in tearing up naan and using it to extract every last drop of flavoursome curry sauce. I used to think that making them at home would be problematic and difficult but it really isn't. I have a couple of 'go to' naan recipes and thought I would share one of them with you here.
Two of the first Indian cookbooks I owned are by Vivek Singh of The Cinnamon Club and I have lost many an hour in the kitchen vainly attempting to recreate his wonderful dishes, with varying degrees of success. One of his recipes that even I can't get wrong is for naan bread which should be a staple of your curry night.
The key to getting these right is a very hot oven. Don't be afraid to turn it up high, the results will be worth it. Unfortunately, as the picture shows you, I didn't let my oven get quite hot enough so there are no charred blisters on last nights naan's.
Ingredients (for 16 mid size naan)
750g of plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp of salt
400ml of whole milk
35g of sugar
50ml of vegetable oil
1 handful of garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
To make the dough, place the flour in a bowl and mix in the baking powder and salt.
In a separate jug, combine the milk, sugar and eggs, mixing thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved. Add this to the bowl with the dry ingredients and combine, kneading to form a soft dough.
Once a dough has formed, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
If you are baking your naan bread in the oven, preheat the oven to 225°C/gas mark 8, and place a baking tray in to heat up.
After the dough has rested, add the vegetable oil to the bowl and mix carefully to incorporate.
Divide the dough into 16 small pieces and roll out on a floured surface to form circles approximately 4 inches in diameter. Place the dough circles onto the hot tray in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, turning if necessary.
Alternatively, you may prefer to grill your naan breads. Instead of preheating the oven, turn on the grill to its highest setting and set out as many pans as you can on the hob over a high heat. Place one circle of dough into each pan to cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the underside of the bread to colour. Place directly under the grill until the naans begin to puff up.
Once cooked, brush the naans with butter and while still hot, add the chopped garlic and coriander. Serve immediately.
An updated Christmas leftovers curry for you to try on boxing day. This one is a lovely creamy affair using coconut milk. If you are meat free you can sub leftover vegetables for the meat, it'll still taste great!