Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cheese Garlic Naan Stovetop Recipe

I love to eat roti or pratha. Naan and even kulcha for that matter. And no, it is not the same as the regular roti canai you get locally in Malaysia. Even most of the capatis found locally is not the real deal, so you get what I mean.

It was a while since I cooked on a Sunday, and that butter chicken recipe I found online was calling out to me, so it was the perfect way to spend my Sunday morning with. Also I was craving for a real good naan. Most of the naan we get outside are either overpriced or too dry. I wondered what it took make naan at home.

I'd like to emphasize that this time I was wondering how to make naan at home, for real, and not from accidental dough that did not rise. In case you are wondering what am I talking about, 3 years ago, my yeast failed me, and the cinnamon roll dough did not rise, so I made 'em into naan, blog link here.

Thanks to that mishap I learnt that I should always always and always activate my yeast before kneading, blog link here. Secondly I also learnt that those dough can work so well as stove top flatbreads.

It was definitely something that can be done. I took a while searching recipes and methods online. Mostly used baking method with hot cast iron or baking tray for the 'tandoor' effect, however it did not seem very convenient with the steps, and I was also vary of burning my hands with the constant 'turning' over of the naan, and I have a good amount of previous scars from the oven already.

I decided to use my capati cast iron flat pan, or as we call it, the 'tawa'.

Here's the recipe I finally used, with awesome results! My recipe is for breadmaker kneading, as much as I hate manually kneading, I also don't fancy the detailed write-ups of manual kneading. Luckily for me the BM does it till it rises the first time.

You need:
For dough
4 cup of all purpose flour
1.5 cups of warm water
1.5 tsp yeast
some salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp butter
For filling and topping
mozzarella cheese, shredded, or cut into small blocks
chopped coriander
chopped garlic
2 tbsp butter, melted
1) Activate your yeast by mixing it with warm water and 1 tbsp sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes and if it foams, it is ready to go.
2) Add the activated yeast with the rest of the ingredients (except butter) into the breadmaker and start it on kneading mode.
3) Once its incorporated, add in the butter and let it continue kneading till the machine stops for first proof.
4) Let it proof for 1 hour.
5) In the mean time, melt the 2 tbsp butter. Mix chopped garlic and coriander into it and set aside.
6) Once the first proof is over, oil a flat dish to store individual dough.
7) With an oiled hand, start forming smaller dough about 3 inches wide each, fill the dough with mozzarella cheese and seal it into a nice round ball. Place the dough balls onto the oiled flat dish.
8) Start to heat up the cast iron pan. Oil the surface slightly to avoid the first dough from sticking.
9) On an oiled surface, place individual dough press down with your palm to form into flat circles. You may notice it tears up creating holes, it is fine to leave it so.
10) Place the flat circle gently on the hot pan, and let it toast for 1 mins plus.
11) You will notice bubbles forming, this is good sign.
12) Turn it over and brush the butter/garlic/coriander mixture on top of it.
13) This time cover the naan with a small cover right for it's size. Let it toast for 2-3 minutes.
14) Repeat steps 9-13 for every dough ball.

It is rather lengthy but it actually is very simple, just the few extra steps from making capati, one reason why I enjoyed making it so much and will do again next time!

We had the naans with butter chicken masala, mint coriander chutney and sliced raw onions. At the risk of sound immodest I have to say that these are the best naans I had, even better than chewy and dry ones you get at most restaurants. I am surprised with the soft outcome of this pan toasted naan. The earlier accidental dough that I made into naans were more fluffy thanks to the egg content.

I had kept aside some of the dough, and had some leftover butter chicken, which later in the evening I upscaled them into pizza naans! I had also included the butter herb mixture into the pizza base.

Happy trying!

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