How many of you DON’T order (some variety of) Naan and side dish when you visit a North Indian Restaurant? I don’t expect any votes on this… but if you haven’t tasted one yet, you SHOULD. Why you ask?… let me get an American friend answer this for you. Yes- Americans LOVE “Naan Bread”.
This quintessential accompaniment to Paneer Butter Masala, Kadai Paneer, Malai Kofta and every other Paneer gravy there is has existentially been a favorite among lovers of Indian Cuisine all over the World. This Tawa/oven-baked Indian Flatbread’s name “Naan” has an Iranian origin, and is cooked in kitchens of Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. A typical naan recipe involves mixing white flour with salt, a yeast culture, and enough yogurt to make a smooth, elastic dough. Possible seasonings in the naan dough include cumin and nigella seeds.
Ever since its origin, Naan has been prepared in numerous varieties, such as the popular Butter Naan, Garlic Naan, Peshawari naan and Kashmiri naan (filled with a mixture of nuts and raisins); in Pakistan, Roghani naan is sprinkled with sesame seeds; Amritsari naan (a.k.a Amritsari kulcha ) is stuffed with mashed potatoes, onion (optional) and lots of spices.
One unfortunate observation is that Naan and its variations are still perceived as the “dish of the Restaurants”, atleast that’s how it is in the South India. One thing I would like to achieve through this blog is for more people to try it at home, so they wont have to wait for a Restaurant visit every time to relish this amazing dish!
2. Ingredient Based Variations
Here are some notes before you jump into preparing Naan at home today: