You might have heard of or even tried naan at an Indian restaurant. It might seem like a type of flatbread to you, but there is more to naan than just being a fluffy and delicious flatbread to accompany curries.
If you are interested in knowing everything about this amazing bread, we have some fantastic information for you!
What is naan?
Naan is a type of flatbread that is most prominent in Persian, Indian, and Pakistani cuisine. It is known for its soft, fluffy, and moist texture. It is often served with chicken tikka or tandoori chicken.
A brief history of naan
If we look deep into the Naan history, it will be amazing to know that it is around 2500 years old. Many believe naan came into being when an experiment went wrong. The actual place of its origin seems to be unclear. However, many believe it has its roots in Persia. However, Subcontinent is said to be the land of Naan. That’s because it was most loved by people, especially Mughals at the Imperial Court. When “yeast” came to the Subcontinent from Egypt, and people came to know about Naan from Persia, it soon made its way to the court. In 1526, it was a popular breakfast item.
Types of naans
There are so many different types of naans out there. Here are some popular ones:
- Milk naan: Milk naan is made from milk along with the rest of the ingredients. As the dough is kneaded in milk instead of water, the naan is soft, moist, and very satisfying.
- Butter naan: Loaded with butter on top, the butter naan is rich, tasteful, and perfect with a variety of dishes.
- Garlic naan: Garlic naan is probably the most famous type of naan. It is a naan that is topped with garlic bits in butter. The final product has a garlicky flavor and aroma.
- Cheese naan: Cheese naan is more like a naan sandwich with cheese oozing within it when you bite into it.
- Qeema naan: Qeema naan is a complete meal in itself. It is a naan filled with beef or mutton mince. It is aromatic and well-seasoned.
- Kulcha naan: It is quite different from typical naan. It is not soft instead is flaky. That’s because it is made with refined white flour.
What is the difference between pita and naan?
Pita and naan are not the same and here are the differences:
- Naan is most widely used in Indian cuisine, whereas pita bread is known in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Naan is known for its fluffy, soft, and moist whereas pita bread is a bit drier.
- Naan is larger and is thicker, whereas pita bread is thinner.
- Naan is perfect for serving alongside dishes and curries, whereas pita bread is perfect for filling.
Can you make naan bread at home?
Yes, you can definitely make naan bread at home. Although traditionally it is made on stone fire or on “tandoor” but you can also make it at your home. You can make it on an iron pan or even bake it in the oven. You can achieve the perfect naan texture by making it on the iron skillet.
How to make stone fire naan bread?
Making stone fire bread at home is relatively easy. Here is what you have to do:
- Activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and sugar.
- Add egg, warm milk, activated yeast, baking powder, salt, and oil in a food mixer.
- Start the food mixer and combine the ingredients.
- Add flour and let the mixture knead into a dough. Let the dough rest until it rises.
- Make small dough balls and flatten them using a rolling pin.
- Cook them in an iron skillet until it becomes golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy!
Why do you sprinkle water on naan bread?
The best thing about naan is that you can reheat it, and it will turn fresh and soft just like before if you do it right. Sprinkling naan with water softens the naan and helps to restore moisture so that it won’t become hard, but rather stay soft and fluffy. Sprinkling water on naan also allows more time for its expansion in the oven during baking, preventing the naan from getting burnt.
Can you make naan bread without yeast?
Yes, you can make naan bread without using yeast. You can use baking powder instead so that it has a fluffy texture. Furthermore, by adding yogurt to the naan dough, you can also achieve the same softness. However, note that without yeast, the texture of the naan might not be as fluffy and soft as with yeast.
Can you make naan bread without yogurt?
Yes, you can definitely make naan bread without yogurt. For that, you just have to skip yogurt and keep the rest of the ingredients the same. Furthermore, note that if you are not adding yogurt, add yeast instead so that the naan is soft and fluffy.
Is naan healthier than bread?
If the naan is made from whole wheat flour, it is healthier than bread. Any type of bread made from white flour and has added sugar is not very healthy. Furthermore, as it is said, excess of everything is bad. So, if you consume naan at a moderate level, it is healthier than bread given the fact that it is made from whole wheat and natural sugars.
What do you eat with naan bread?
Naan goes well with so many unique dishes. Here are a few to name:
- Curry: Whether it is coconut curry or any other type, naan is often served. The fluffy naan texture goes so well with the curries.
- Stew: Serve naan alongside different stews. Just as you dip the naan in it, it soaks up the broth and flavors.
- Mince or Qeema: Naan was served with qeema during the Mughal era, and it is still widely enjoyed.
- Chickpea stew or Channy: many regions, especially in Pakistan, enjoy naan along with chickpea stew or channey during breakfast.
- Malai boti or tandoori chicken: Naan also goes very well with the traditional BBQ. Especially with malai boti and tandoori chicken.
- Yogurt: Most people enjoy naan with yogurt. This combination is the simplest but is very flavorsome and enjoyable.