MISSION NAAN: BREADS OF THE KEEMA & GARLIC VARIETY
There are certain ways that you can tell a good curry house from a bad one and top of the list, of course, is the quality of their breads.
To look at me, it is pretty easy to see that I have a fondness for Indian breads. I adore mopping up thin dahl with flaky paratha, scooping up lamb bhuna with a chapati made of wheat or just simply tearing into a hot roti with no other accompaniment than a spoonful of raita. Best of all is the pillowy naan bread, eaten piping hot from the tandoor and dripping in heart clogging amounts of ghee.
Naan breads come in many shapes and forms and with many fillings, but perhaps my two favourites are the keema naan, filled with a spicy combination of ground lamb and peas and the simple garlic naan, flecked out a mixture of minced garlic and torn coriander leaf.
Continuing the “Year of Baking Dangerously” I decided to have a shot at making them at home. Now, obviously, I am not in the possession of a tandoor, but I found that cooking them on a hot flat griddle pan or even under a hot grill worked rather well. They are not quite as fluffy as those you might find in the traditional way, but they were not bad at all and are definitely on the list to make again.
If you give the recipe below a try, do report back and let me know how you got on.
INGREDIENTS (Makes Around 10 Naan)
For The Naan
2 Cups Strong Bread Flour
1 Cup Plain (All Purpose)Flour
1 7gm Packet of Dried Active Yeast (mixed with ½ Cup warm water)
1 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Salt.
2 Cups Warm Water
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
Mix the yeast and sugar with the ½ cup of warm water and allow to stand for 10 minutes until the yeast has begun to bubble.
Combine the yeast/water with the flour and begin to combine slowly with the other 2 cups of water. I used a stand mixer on a slow setting for around 8 minutes. Add more water if the dough becomes too stiff and a little more flour if it becomes too loose.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead gently on a floured surface for 4 minutes.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover in cling film and keep in a warm place until it has doubled in size (around 90 minutes)
After this time, knock the dough back, knead again gently for 3 minutes and separate the dough into 10 balls.
Place on a plate, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for another 30 Minutes.
If you want to make plain naan, you can simply roll these balls out to the desired size, brush with melted butter or ghee and cook under the grill or on a hit griddle until golden brown on both sides.
For The Keema
2 lbs Ground Lamb Shoulder
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Green Chillies (deseeded and minced)
2 Tbsp Ginger/Garlic Paste (made by blending garlic cloves with peeled fresh ginger and a little salt & water)
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
2 Tsp Garam Masala (I made my own, but you can use a good store bought version)
1 Pint Chicken Stock
1 Cup Frozen Peas
Brown the meat in a frying pan, remove and drain off the excess fat.
Add 2 Tbsp oil to the hot pan and add the chopped onion.
Cook the onion until golden brown and then add the ginger/garlic paste.
Cook for 3 minutes and add the minced green chilli.
Cook for 3 minutes and add the ground spices, the salt and the sugar.
Cook for 3 minutes and return the meat to the pan combining well.
Add the chicken stock and cook the meat on a gentle heat until the liquid has almost disappeared leaving a dry curry.
Add the peas, combine well and cook until the dish is totally dry.
Decant to a bowl and allow to cool thoroughly.
To Make The Keema Naan
Take a piece of dough and roll it out until it is to the desired size.
Take 2 Tbspn of the keema filling and spread it out over half the area of the naan bread.
Fold over the remaining dough and roll out again gently until it is the same size.
Brush each side with melted butter or ghee and cook on a hot griddle or under the grill for about two minutes each side.
For garlic naan, simply replace the keema filling with a filling of finely minced garlic and chopped coriander leaf.
Serve with your favourite Indian curry and ENJOY