in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Naan, Plain or Peshwari

A good meal will always include at least one grounding element. Naan is one of those elements for me with Indian Cuisine. A tremendous vessel for Hummus or Baba Ganoush, wonderful for sopping up the last bits of curry or stew, and just fabulous on it's own. Peshwari Naan is a bit sweet and can be served as dessert.  Hot bread pleases the senses and enhances any meal. This naan can be cooked in a nonstick pan or in a panini/ griddle press. One of my waffle irons had reversible plates that have a smooth side and it is perfect for this! (It would probably work with the waffle side as well.) 
Naan cooked in a nonstick frying pan.
2 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup ghee (melted butter, milk solids excluded)
Plain naan cooked on a waffle iron w/ smooth griddle plates.
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with the honey in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Allow to activate for 3 or 4 minutes. Add remaining water, yogurt, olive oil and salt. Stir to blend. Add flour and baking powder. Mix with dough hook, scraping down sides as needed until it is a soft dough. Cover and allow to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Punch down dough and knead on a floured board. (Dough will be sticky and require floured hands to handle.) Pinch dough in half, then in half again until there are 24 approximately equal balls. Roll each into a flat oval disc and place on plastic wrap. Cook by heating a griddle press (smooth waffle iron or panini press) to medium high heat. Place 1 or 2 pieces of the naan dough onto cooking surface and close the lid. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Remove to a cooling rack and spoon or brush both sides with ghee. Alternate cooking method: place in a non stick pan over medium high heat 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side until browned.
Slightly sweet, Peshwari Naan is good with a meal or for dessert.

Peshwari Naan
1 batch of naan dough, rolled out into 18-20 circles
4 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios (I use lightly salted shelled pistachios)
4 tablespoons finely chopped raisins (golden or regular)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
Greek yogurt for serving
Mix filling ingredients together. Place a heaping teaspoon full of the filing in the middle of the dough and pinch together to close. Carefully, roll out the ball again on  floured board into an oval. Make sure to keep the filling covered with a thin layer of dough. Set aside. Continue filling the remaining peshwari and then cook as for plain naan. Brush with ghee and serve warm with Greek yogurt for dipping.

Hints: The dough is soft and can be a bit tricky to work with, so be sure to flour your hands and board. Roll out gently especially with the Peshwari filling in place. You can easily add crushed garlic to the ghee or just use garlic butter to brush onto the plain naan. And you could substitute coconut or another chopped nut for the pistachios in the peshwari. I make the ghee by melting butter in the microwave for a minute. As it cools, the milk solids will settle to the bottom of the container and I spoon the ghee off the top to use. You can also spread the hot naan with regular butter instead of ghee. Halving the recipe is fine and so is doubling it. I have made this without the 30 minute risen time- I was under a time crunch and had to make 48 pieces of naan so I let the doubt batch of dough just rest for about 10 minutes and then started rolling out half of it. By the time I got 24 rolled out and started cooking two at a time, they had risen for the full half hour.
Stella helps by rolling out Peshwari Naan
See the milk solids as a white layer at the bottom?
This is a quick recipe to make with stuff I usually have on hand in my pantry. It smells and tastes fabulous. Guests appreciate the effort and sometimes there are leftovers! (reheat the leftovers in a microwave for about 15 seconds and enjoy all over again.)

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