Naan is a leavened flatbread that is found commonly in Western Asia, Southern Asia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Caribbean cuisines. With that said, Malaysians also love this soft and fluffy flatbread. At the mention of naan, our mouths begin to water as we think about the variety of naans we can taste here; Cheese Naan, Garlic Naan, Stuffed Tandoori Naan—it’s endless flavourful fun with naan!
Naan is traditionally baked inside a very hot tandoor oven and sticking the dough directly on the walls inside the oven. Since our modern-day kitchen can’t fit in a huge tandoor oven, we can also make our very own naan at home on a stovetop or with the oven. Hence, this recipe will guide you on how to make naan on a stovetop
Origin of Naan
There are many theories about the origins of naan. However, some of the most popular ones are that the naan as known today originates from Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt and the Indian subcontinent. The Persian word ‘nan’ which refers to ‘bread’ first appeared in English literature dating back to 1803 in a travelogue by William Tooke. The word naan is widespread where the word has been borrowed in a range of languages such as in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, where it refers to a kind of flatbread.
But before that, this flatbread is also mentioned the first time by an Indian poet and musician named Amir Kushrow. According to his records, the flatbread was a delicacy for royals before reaching other classes of the Indian society.
Also, during the Moghul era, the naan was typically served as breakfast for noble families. Naan in old Persian means ‘bread’, and in Iran indicates any bread
Naan is a simple flatbread, rich in history and taste, that will leave you feeling satisfied after a few pieces. Its soft and fluffy texture goes excellent with curries and other dishes. Although the traditional method to make a naan requires a tandoor oven, we can also make our very own naan with the stovetops at our homes!
0.25 ounce (7 g) of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm water
¼ cup of white sugar
3 tablespoons of milk
1 egg (beaten)
2 teaspoons of salt
4 cups of bread flour
2 teaspoons of minced garlic (optional)
¼ cup of butter, melted
- Firstly, take out a large bowl and dissolve the yeast in warm water. After that, let it rest for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Then, stir in the sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour to make a dough.
- After that, use a bit of flour to cover the surface where you will be kneading the dough. Knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes or until it becomes smooth.
- Next, take the dough and place it in a well-oiled bowl. Then, cover the bowl with a cloth. Set it aside to rest. Allow it to rise for 1 hour until the dough has doubled in volume.
- After that, take the dough out and punch it down. You can knead it in garlic.
- Then, pick off small handfuls of the dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll them into balls and put them on a tray.
- Cover the tray with a towel and allow the rolled dough to rise for about 30 minutes until it is doubled in size. During this process, preheat the grill to high heat.
- After that, take one ball of dough, press and roll it out into a thin circle. Then, lightly oil the grill.
- Place the dough onto the grill and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is puffy and lightly brown. Then, brush the uncooked side with butter and flip over. Brush the cooked side with butter again and let it cook for about 2 to 4 minutes or until browned.
- Lastly, you can remove the naan from the grill and repeat the process until all the dough has been used.
Ways to Enjoy Naan
There are tons of ways that you can eat naan! In Malaysia, locals love having just plain naan paired with a side of chicken curry. Not only that, but it is also common to see locals order a side of tandoori chicken as well to go with their naan. Also, who can forget how Malaysians love their different flavours of naan! Some naans that are a local favourite are Cheese Naan, Garlic Naan, Butter Naan and a Meat-Stuffed Naan!|
For more Malaysian food recipes and cooking guides, don’t forget to check out Lokataste Recipe!