Did you know that Naan is one of the most popular flatbreads served with South Asian foods? In particular, it accompanies food from the northern area of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajizkistan and their surrounding areas
Naan was originally cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi. This enjoyable flat-bread has made a mark in the South Asian cuisine through the centuries. It is enjoyed in many different forms today as well as in many parts of the world including the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
Although the Naan originates from India it is now eaten in most types of South Asian restaurants and homes around the world. It has been transformed from a basic form of bread for many to experimental creations by chefs and food enthusiasts with different fillings and flavors.
The first record of Naan can be found in the notes of the Indo-Persian poet Amir Kushrau in 1300 A.D. As noted above, it was originally cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi as naan-e-tunuk (light bread) and naan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven). Around 1526, during the Mughal era in India, Naan accompanied by keema or kebab was a popular breakfast food of the royals.
In 1926, Britain’s oldest Indian restaurant, Veerswamy, served Naan on its menu. Honeytop Specialty Foods, founded in 1984, became the first company in Europe to supply authentic Naan bread on a commercial scale to major retailers and restaurants. They introduced the first 13 week shelf-life flatbread.
Try this recipe from allrecipes.com for naan to find out why it is so popular.
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 ½ cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy.
- Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead for 6 - 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth.
- Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
- Punch down dough, and knead in garlic.
- Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a tray.
- Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
- At grill side, roll one ball of dough into a thin circle.
- Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned.
- Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 – 4 minutes.
- Remove from grill. Continue the process until all the naan has been processed.