Can you believe that I never had Indian food until college? Growing up in a small Midwestern town will do that to you. But now Indian takeout is one of my absolute favorite things. Besides the warm flavors and spice combinations, the fact that so many Indian dishes are vegetarian is a nice bonus for a couple of people trying to exclusively purchase humanely raised meat.
But of course I couldn’t limit myself to simply ordering Indian food whenever a craving struck. As much as I liked being on a first-name basis with the BiteSquad folks, I really wanted to try making some dishes myself. Related side note: my sister got me a mortar and pestle for Christmas, which basically means I’ve crossed the threshold from tinkering home cook to obsessive recipe tester. You’ve been warned.
Anyway, my first foray into homemade Indian food was naan. I’ve already cracked the code to pita, vetebröd, and challah, so bread seems to be my natural entry point into new cuisines. Naan was a great place to start, since it didn’t require the purchase of any crazy spices or new cooking utensils. This recipe is surprisingly easy! If you can make pizza dough, you can make naan. And it’s absolutely heavenly right off a hot skillet.
- 2 tsp. yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 2- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- unsalted butter, melted, for brushing the tops
- freshly chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
In a medium bowl, stir together yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Whisk in salt, olive oil, greek yogurt, and egg until well combined. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in 2 cups of bread flour. Turn dough onto a floured counter and knead until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour as needed.
Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Divide dough into 8 even pieces and form each piece into a ball.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Roll one ball of dough into a circle about 6 inches wide and 1/4-inch thick. When the skillet is hot, place the piece of naan in the center of the skillet and cook until large bubbles appear on the surface and the bottom is lightly browned. Flip the naan and cook the other side until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and place on a plate. Brush with melted salted butter. Repeat the steps of rolling, cooking, and brushing with melted butter until all the naan is cooked. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro (optional) and serve.