13 January 2011

an experiment with home baked naan

We've been on an insatiable Indian food kick lately, at least before I started the detox (wheat is back in, dairy comes back tomorrow).  I can't get enough of it.  It is definitely one type of cuisine that tastes much better from a restaurant than from our own kitchen.  But when we are too embarrassed to show our faces yet again at our local Indian establishment, we try our best to recreate the wonder at home.  And recently, I gave homemade naan a shot.

I got this from a book called The Bread Machine Bible, and unfortunately I returned it to the library without copying down the recipe.  But fortunately, it wasn't that great so you aren't missing out on much.  Although in fairness, I know I messed with the recipe a little bit (used part white whole wheat flour and Greek instead of regular yogurt) so perhaps that was the problem.

Verdict:  it was too much like regular bread and not enough like delicious naan.  The mixing and kneading of the dough was all performed by my bread machine and then I shaped the loaves by hand and allowed for a final rise before brushing them with melted butter and baking in the oven.  They were definitely good, but not quite authentic.

Has anyone had really good luck with making naan at home?  I'm not above ordering naan from a restaurant to serve with a homecooked meal, but it would be great if I didn't show my face there every single week.  You know, for pride's sake.  Also, has anyone made pita?  My doctor friend learned to make chappati in Kenya, but he never taught me the recipe.


  1. I've got some tasty recipes for naan and chicken tikka masala, if you are interested. I'll admit, the naan tastes better if I cook it on a cast-iron skillet.

  2. I am with you in my love for Indian food, but especially the kind you get from the restaurant. I have a pastry degree, and love to try different baked good recipes. Naan is soooooo delicious of course I have tried it several times. I have come to discover 2 secrets (you might not like one of them). The first, as the person above me said, is a hot, hot surface to cook the naan on. I believe it is traditionally done on a ceramic cook surface. The second secret is ghee, which is clarified butter. They cook it in ghee and then brush it with ghee once the naan is fully cooked. No wonder why its so yummy! I watched them do it at my local Indian food restaurant. Happy eating!

  3. We love Indian too! I tried a recipe last night for curried chicken from the February issue of Clean Eating. It was pretty tasty and very simple to make, but we didn’t have any Nan and we used brown rice which was good, but you can’t beat Basmati rice with Indian.
    If you are around for lunch on Sunday we will treat you to a meal from our local Indian eatery, “Karma” Everything is made fresh and they have some great lunch box specials.

  4. Ditto on the love of Indian food! I buy naan at the grocery store and heat it up on a griddle. Then I brush a little butter on the top. It's not the same as from my favorite Indian restaurant(big shout out to the House of India on North Street) but it's still pretty yummy. Lori - chicken curry is one of my favorite dishes...anything curried will do! We're cooking up some vegetable curry this weekend.


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