Naan Bread

Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in the cuisines of Central and South Asia. A typical naan recipe involves mixing white flour with salt, a yeast culture, and enough yogurt to make a smooth, elastic dough. The dough is kneaded for a few minutes, then set aside to rise. Once risen, the dough is divided into balls (about 100g or 3.5oz each), which are flattened and cooked.

This recipe is from the Basingstoke-based former Gurkha soldier and chef Pemba Lama who won the World Food Awards’ new category World Cook Book, “The Ultimate Nepalese Cook Book”.

500g strong flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1tsp dry yeast
10g white sugar
225ml warm milk
50ml natural yogurt
2 eggs
20g vegetable oil or ghee
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10g coriander, chopped

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl; make a well, add the yeast, sugar and milk and let it ferment for 2-3 minutes. Add yogurt, eggs and oil and mix everything together with your index finger.

Knead to soft and smooth dough.

Cover with a touch of oil and let it rest in a warm area (covered) until it doubles in size (30-45mins), then use immediately.

Knock back the dough to release the trapped air, and then divide into 8-10 small balls. Roll each ball into a tear drop shape and prick with a fork, spread over some crushed garlic paste and chopped coriander and roll again a little bit to reshape. Lift the naan and pull one end to form an oval shape.

Heat up a baking tray under a grill and place the naan on the very hot baking tray, check the colour of the bread then turn over and cook both sides to a light golden colour. You can also cook them in a well-heated frying pan with no oil or fat.

Remove and keep warm under a tea towel or grease-proof paper and repeat until all the dough is finished. Serve with curry.