Get the picture I am not anywhere near lucky enough to own a tandoor, so the very best I can manage on the heat front is a fan assisted oven, a pretty poor alternative to the tandoor of my hearts desire; however previously mentioned fan assisted gubbins produces some fair results, although not near enough for that real restaurant feel, and yes I admit it the restaurant can for the most part outstrip what I can do on any dish prefixed with the word Tandoori, or suffixed with the word Naan, the Tandoor is King, I admit it, But that don’t stop me trying!
You see I eat very little rice, fairly strange for someone whose culinary love is curry. It is not that I don’t like or enjoy rice in all its varieties, I just prefer Naans and breads, Roti’s, Parothas, and of course the chapati. We here in England and maybe the west have as usual got ourselves in a spin with a philosophy to curry pretty much in direct opposition to that of the Asian subcontinent. In the west curry is the main part of the dish, and the rice is the supporter, in India the reverse applies and as such you will find more rice on the plate than sauce or curry. Rice is very absorbent, and so is a good quality Naan soaking up a sauce like a sponge. It is the sauce that is the antithesis of curries, the heart the flavour, the wiz bang pop of that so simple word curry, and I suggest that it cannot and should never under any circumstances be left on the plate, it is where the heart of the curry resides and to leave that heart behind is nothing short of a sin, or at best a travesty. Should you choose rice to do that soak up job that’s cool you enjoy, but for me nothing betters a Naan for its sponge like qualities, similar I suggest to the absorbency of kitchen roll but edible how great is that!
Anyone flicking through my picture by now will understand that for me I prefer to enjoy my curries with breads and the suchlike. I am one very lazy cook and cant really be arsed to go through all that kneading and standing that dough demands; which is why I generally leave all that stuff to the supermarket and buy them over the counter, that said I do aspire to be able to bake, as bake is what I will need to do to achieve the un tandooried version, hence this article so here’s my thoughts on the best I can do at the moment. Unfortunately my best in my mind is still not good enough but at least I’m still trying and the result is quite edible, just not as authentic as I would like, so anyone out there doing better please let me know I’m not too proud to learn!
You can judge for yourselves if the result is worth the effort
8gm fresh yeast, or 1 tsp of fast-action dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons milk
500gm Plain all purpose flour
pinch of salt
4 teaspoons Vegetable oil
chopped garlic to taste about 200gm for this recipe will flavour the Naans at a strong level
The how to….
Put the egg sugar and milk into a bowl and whisk together
Sift the flour into a large bowl or Paraat, if using the dried yeast stir it into the flour , make a depression in the center of the flour and add the egg mixture and continue by adding enough water to make a soft dough .
When you have fully mixed the dough you must now knead the dough on a lightly floured surface be carefull not to add to much more flour to the mix as you kneadpull stretch and press the dough for about 5 to 7 minutes cover with a cloth and set aside for about 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into about eight equal portions roll into balls and place on a floured work surface , flatten the balls slightly and spread the garlic over the dough and set aside for about 5 minutes
Flatten the dough ball out into the traditional tear shape, getting the thickness down to about 6 t0 10 mm, place on an oiled baking tray and bake for about ten minutes in a hot oven 200 degrees 220 on the no fan assisted should do it….
Remove from the oven allow to cool and consume with any super duper demon curry you can think of or create!
Man does not live by bread alone … but hey if this was all I had to eat you wouldn’t hear me moaning for a year or two……