There’s nothing like fresh hot naan. I love all kinds of naan. Peshwari Naan, Garlic Naan, Plain Naan, or in this case a stuffed Naan. You might be thinking to yourself (or not) why stuff potatoes inside a bread? Well, why not? Actually since this serves as the main carb for a meal, it’s perfect. It’s great served with daal, channa dishes or one of my go to dishes Sabzi Paneer Masala. Since I don’t own a Tandoor oven, the best way I know how to mimic one is by using a pizza stone. A Tandoor oven heats up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest my gas oven will go is 550 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to compensate for this temperature difference I usually place the pizza stone in a rack closest to the upper element. I usually preheat the oven to the highest it will go (500 for electric or 550 for gas) with the pizza stone in it. Then right before baking the naans, I turn the oven to the broil function. This helps even out the heat from the top and the bottom and usually the naans turn out fantastic. Try this one. You’ll be the talk of the town.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes 6 Naans
Plain Naan dough:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp plain yogurt (I like Greek)
3/4 cup warm water
Aloo Filling (potato filling):
2 medium russet potatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
1/2 tsp dry mango powder (Amchur)
1 Serrano chili, partially seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped Cilantro (coriander leaves or Dhania)
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp oil (to coat hands, for the dough etc)
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) – to brush the naans with
1/8 – 1/4 cup flour to dust rolling surface
Making the Naan:
I make the dough for this naan in the morning before going to work, it only takes a couple of minutes and it’s perfect for when I get home. The dough works really well 6-8 hours later. Needs at least a minimum of 4 hours, so plan accordingly.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let it proof for a few minutes until it bubbles up. In a larger bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the flour and add in the yogurt and oil. Mix together until you get a coarse crumbly texture. Slowly add in the proofed yeast mixture and knead the dough. Don’t worry if the dough is slightly sticky. Put a few drops of oil on the dough and smooth it all over the dough ball. Cover the bowl with the dough in it with some plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 4 hours. I prefer about 6-8. It doesn’t really over-rise so even if it is longer than 8 hours, it’s okay.
Wash the two potatoes and pierce the skin with a fork a few times. Microwave about 4-5 minutes (depending on microwave) until potatoes are tender. Don’t skin and boil these potatoes since we’re trying to reduce moisture content. Once cooked and slightly cooled, peel the potatoes and smash them with a fork or a potato masher. Add all the spices to the mashed potatoes and mix well. Divide and roll into six equal balls.
Putting it all together:
Preheat the oven to 500 or 550 (as high as it will go) with the pizza stone in it. Pre-heat for about 20 minutes because you want the stone nice and hot.
Coat hands with a little vegetable oil and knead the naan dough a few times and divide the dough into six equal parts. Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling surface and roll out dough into 3″ circles. Place a potato ball in the middle and wrap dough around it like a little dumpling. Make sure to pull the edges together well. Make all six balls the same way and let it rest for about 5 minutes (this rest period helps a lot when rolling it out). In the meantime, turn the oven on to broil and make sure the rack with the stone is closest to the top element (be sure to wear oven mitts or you’ll get a nasty burn like me).
Roll out naans into an oval shape. Before placing them on the stone, coat the palms of your hands with a little oil and flip each naan back and forth to lightly coat each side. Place 3 naans on the stone (or however many will fit on your stone). Cook for about 2 minutes, maybe 3 depending on your oven. It should get a nice golden brown color on top and will puff up. Take out the naan and brush with ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter.
Make sure to wait 2-3 minutes between baking batches of naan to give your oven time to get back to the maximum temperature. Serve Naan with Sabzi Paneer Masala.