Make lip-licking naans that are thin, tender and chewy, with perfectly-puffy blisters, just like in Indian restaurants. The flavour of these buttermilk naans is slightly tangy and so delicious with a slick of salty butter. Use them to scoop up your favourite curries, or dunk them in daal for a a comforting meal — you won’t believe they aren’t from a restaurant!
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: bread, naan, north indian
Cast iron, steel or aluminium frying pan (not a non-stick pan), about 25cm in diameter
Stand mixer with dough hook attachment (optional, you can also make these by hand)
400gplain flourplus more for rolling out
2tspbaking powdernot baking soda
1tspkalonji (nigella seeds)optional
Waterfor sprinkling on the surface of the naan
Butter for spreading on the cooked naanmelted
For the naan dough:
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and optional kalonji seeds. Give it a quick stir and then add the oil and buttermilk. Mix to form a wet, shaggy dough.
Now, either by hand or using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer, knead the dough until soft and smooth. This will take 6-7 minutes by hand or 3 minutes in the stand mixer running at medium speed. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or tea towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
To roll the naan:
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll into balls.
Heat the frying pan or tawa over a medium heat. It should be scorching hot. It's a good idea to open a window at this point.
On a very lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough portions into a round-ish shape. It doesn't have to be perfectly round. You could also roll it into an oblong or teardrop shape. The choice is yours. The most important thing is that the surface is of an even thickness so it all cooks evenly. Aim for a thickness of about 1/2 cm.
Use your fingers to sprinkle and lightly spread water on the entire surface of the naan. Be gentle, you don't want to tear the naan or rub it in.
To cook the naan:
Carefully, using two hands, pick the naan up and place it water-side down on the hot pan. It will sizzle and bubbles will quickly begin to appear on the naan. Allow to cook for 15-20 seconds.
Using a heatproof glove, grab the pan handle and carefully tip it upside down to cook the uncooked side directly over the open flame. It will take 20-25 seconds to puff up and blister.
Remove the naan from the head and use a metal spatula to carefully unstick and lift the naan from the pan. It should come away fairly easily and be nice and charred on the bottom. Wrap it in a dry tea towel to keep warm while you roll and cook the rest of the naans. Keep them together, wrapped in the tea towel until you're ready to serve.
Brush the naans with melted butter before serving.