Naan of your business.

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I am sitting here listening to ‘Leader of the Pack’ radio on Pandora and baking some elaborate naan to go with my Daal Curry tonight. It is a good time. The smell of the dough baking and the cilantro and garlic together are amazing. A rather slow and lazy Saturday is a good day to make naan. I used to try to make Indian food and get really worried about doing things the right way, but today is all about experimentation. My naan isn’t traditional, but it is pretty damn good with Indian food. I looked up a general recipe for naan on the interweb, then I proceeded to not pay attention much and make some modifications due to my lack of attention span:

  • 1 Packet Dry Yeast
  • 1 C Warm Water
  • 2 t Sugar
  • 3 1/2 C AP Flour
  • 2 t Salt
  • Dash Turmeric
  • Dash Cumin
  • 3 T Shortening
  • 3 T Butter
  • 3 T Greek Yogurt
I activated the yeast with the water and sugar in the mixing bowl of my KitchenAid for 10 minutes or so, covered. Then I added everything else and mixed for like 10 minutes with the dough hook. The dough seemed really wet to me and I noticed that I more than doubled the fat in the last recipe without realizing it. Haha. I compensated by adding the extra 1/2 cup or maybe even more flour to the recipe. It seemed to work alright, although this made the dough almost brioche-like on the fatty scale. I decided that this didn’t matter one bit. Then I covered the bowl and let it rest a whole 90 minutes in the window sill to rise. Once the dough was nice and puffy I beat it down and kneaded it again with the dough hook for another 10 minutes.
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***This can all be done by hand, trust me, I have done plenty of things without the aid of a KitchenAid in my past life, but I did get one good thing out of my last relationship, and her name is Esther. ***
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Then I cut the dough into 8 pieces, which could easily be further divided for more portions. These naan were hUgE. I preheated the oven to 400 Degrees, then I balled them all up and rolled them out one by one into oblong disks.
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I made a sauce to brush on them before baking with finely chopped cilantro, garlic, salt, butter and olive oil.
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Then I baked them on an oiled sheet pan in the oven after I brushed them with the garlic cilantro oil. I baked them half way, brushed them with the oil mixture again, then baked them until golden brown. When I pulled out the little butterballs, I brushed them one more gratuitous time with the garlic-y magic paint.
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These naan are like nothing I have ever had before. That isn’t to say that they are superior or inferior either. They are not the stretchy moist things that Indian cooks pull out of a tandoor at all. First of all, I don’t own a tandoor, nor do I have the room in our kitchen. Mostly they were almost cracker-like in thin brown spots and crispy bready in the thick spots. They were pretty frickin’ tasty, and they aren’t that bad to look at either. The turmeric gives them a nice vibrant yellow tinge and a nice curry kick.
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Then I realized that, it was pretty important to start cooking the actual meal and stop focusing on the side dish. I have made curries before and tried to be true to the recipes, but I just have stopped caring about doing things the “right way”.  For my curry, I started with 1 1/2 White Onions and then I finely julienned it.

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I also small diced 4 small carrots.

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Then I caramelized the onion mostly.

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Before the onions were fully caramelized, I added the diced carrots and made sure that they were fully cooked.

Then I busted open a Can of Coconut Milk. I couldn’t find my can opener, so it is a good thing that a keep a P-38 military issue can opener on my keychain. It is the best can opener on the planet in my opinion.

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I took out 3/4 of the Carrot and Onion and put it in the blender cup with the Coconut Milk and blended it smooth to add back to the pan for further cooking.

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Then I added some ground Coriander, Cumin, Yellow Curry Powder, Turmeric, Chiles de Arbol, and Allspice to the pan with the remaining whole vegetables.

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I also added the Coconut Milk, Water, Lentils, and a Can of Garbanzo Beans and let the lentils cook fully. While this was reducing, I made some Jasmine Rice with the remaing Garlic-Cilantro Paint from the naan.

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It was really F-ing good.

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About iliketocookthings

I was born and raised in West Michigan in a small suburban/farming community called Lowell. I grew up cooking. My family has always been centered around the kitchen. Growing up I tended to cook a lot of Italian-American food, seeing as how I am a whopping 25% Sicilian. When I got into high school I got really into Asian cuisine. I went to college at Central Michigan University, and quickly became homesick and insecure about my areas of study (Spanish and Art). I decided to return to the motherland and begin Culinary School after 2.5 years of moderate success in traditional college. Culinary school was a fun experience, and I learned a lot, but I didn't really fit the profile of my fellow classmates. When finished, I moved to Chicago to explore carreer options. My first place of employment outside of Michigan was Green Zebra, where I learned a lot, but quickly learned that I wasn't cut out for the cooks lifestyle. I stuck it out though, and continued working at both of Shawn McClain's restaurants, for about a year and a half. I now work for Whole Foods, and while it is a corporate environment, three of the biggest perks are access to ingredients, the employee discount, and the 8 hour days that allow me time to do what I really want. I am most happy when cooking in my own kitchen for people that I love. I now live in Saint Paul, Minnesota with my husband Eric and my cat child Fergus. View all posts by iliketocookthings

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