Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Easy home-made naan bread

Now, there are many mysteries out there in the world that I'll probably never have answers to. Such as the fact there are still people living in Midsomer. I mean, that place has had at least one of its residents killed each week for the past, what, 30 years? I would have legged it ages ago!

I have, however, cracked one mystery: what are those black flecks in naan bread? Nope, they're not cardamom though you could use that as well. They're nigella seeds, also known as kalonji, fennel flower, black caraway and Roman coriander. 

In Indian cooking the health benefits of the ingredients are well researched and nigella seeds are used to treat for instance gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.

Though... now I'm pondering over a whole new mystery! If I plant these and keep watering them... could I grown my very own Nigella?

Depending on the size 8-10 breads

Naan breads:

2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1,25 dl warm water

1,25 dl yogurt
1,75 dl oil (or ghee, clarified butter)
1 egg
1 tbsp nigella seeds (or 3/4 tsp cardamom or 1/2 tsp granulated garlic)

1/2 tsp salt
7-8 dl flour (and a bit more for rolling)

To serve:

clarified butter (yes, that ghee)
(chopped fresh coriander)

Mix yeast and sugar into water. Cover and let rest while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Whisk yogurt, oil egg and what ever flavouring you're using. Combine flour and salt.

Pour yogurt mixture into the yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Then start adding flour, towards the end kneading until the dough soft and pliable but no longer sticks.

Cover with cling film and tea towel and leave to rise in a warm, drought-free place for an hour or so.

Pour onto a gently floured surface, divide into 8-10 portions and keep rest of the portions covered under a tea towel while working on one.Roll into a ball, flatten it and quickly roll into a thin sheet (round, oval... your call) At this point you don't really need flour anymore - the rolling stage only takes seconds. Only start working on a new portion as you've flipped the previous one. 

Prepare ghee by melting about 100 g of butter. Carefully pour the clear part into a new cup and discard the white sediment in the bottom (that's the milk solids). 

Heat a large frying pan. Place the thinly rolled naan on it and wait, until the bottom has browned nicely and bubbles have started forming on top. Flip it, brush the top with ghee and bake until the bottom side has got a bot if colour, too. Then brush that one with ghee and keep covered as you bake the remaining breads. Serve hot with curries.





  1. Nigella is very easy to grow, and produces beautiful blue flowers as well. This recipe looks excellent!

    1. good to know... though my gardening skills have proven insufficient to keep even cactus alive... ;-)