Indian cuisine is full of rich flavors and is a treasure trove of different cuisines. Indian bread recipes are a league of its own, starting with the regular chapathi, roti or phulka to specialties like Kulcha, tandoori roti, rumali roti, parathas and such like. While the regular Indian bread is usually made with whole wheat flour, the exotics like Naan or Kulcha is often made with all-purpose flour and require special cooking equipment like a Tandoor oven. But there is really nothing that cant be replicated at home, with a little effort. This Naan recipe is the proof for that.
When I made my first Kulcha or the Paneer stuffed Kulcha, I admitted that I would prefer Kulcha over Naan any day. Time to confess now. After making these Garlic flavored Naan at home, I completely fell in love with it. My only grouse when it comes to Naan, especially when eating out is it becomes tough once cooled down. The all-purpose flour makes it extra elastic and after a point, it is more of a tug of war. What I realized after making Naan at home is, how soft and delicious these can be – not just when hot but even after cooling down. So a complete winner for me.
As I was about to attempt Naan at home, I began searching for the difference between a Kulcha and Naan. Both are leavened breads. The difference lies in the leavening agent. For my Kulcha recipe, I used baking powder (which works great especially during the winter months when there is no warmth in the air to work out a yeast based dough). For Naan, predominantly Yeast is used as the leavening agent. Apart from that, Kulchas are usually round and Naans are either oblong or tear drop shaped. All this said, I have had Kulchas that are made from yeast based dough and are oblong in shape too. Let’s take this for discussion some other day, now let’s get on to the recipe!
Here is the recipe card for making Garlic Naan at home –
Here is the detailed step by step pictorial recipe –
Prep Work –
1. In a bowl, add active dry yeast along with sugar and warm water.
2. Mix well until the yeast has completely dissolved. Let it rest for 5 mins.
3. Yeast mixture should turn frothy and raise up.
4. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, add both the flours along with 1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic, salt and add thick buttermilk. Add the frothy yeast mixture.
5. Mix everything together. If the dough is too sticky, add couple of tbsp. of whole wheat flour.
6. Knead the dough into a soft pliable dough. Add 1 tsp of oil on top.
7. Knead again and cover the dough with cling film or damp kitchen towel. Rest it for 1-2 hrs in a warm place.
8. The dough should double up in size.
9. Keep finely chopped garlic, coriander leaves and sesame seeds ready before making the Naans.
How I made –
1. Slightly punch down the proved dough and make 8 equal sized balls out of it.
2. Take a ball of dough and before pressing it, add 1 tsp of finely chopped garlic, coriander leaves and some sesame seeds on top.
3. Roll the dough making sure the toppings are well incorporated.
4. Roll it into a tear drop or oblong shape dusting some flour if required. Repeat this with rest of the dough.
5. Meanwhile heat a tawa and set it on medium flame. Gently place the rolled out Naan with topping side facing up.
6. Within few seconds, small bubbles begin to appear on the Naan.
7. Once the bubbles appear all over the Naan, flip it onto other side and using tongs, set it on direct flame.
8. As brown spots appear on the Naan, flip it again onto the tawa. Apply either oil or butter and remove it from heat. Repeat this with rest of the Naans.
9. Serve hot with any North Indian curry or gravy. Additionally, serve chopped onions and lemon wedges on the side.
- Instead of using all-purpose flour, use whole wheat flour fully. Alternatively this recipe can be made with only all-purpose flour too.
- The more dough proves, better are the results. Dough can be left to prove overnight too for soft fluffy Naans.
- Instead of sesame seeds, onion seeds/Kalonji can be added.