Next up on my series of grilling dishes is Naans. Believe it or not grilled naans turned out to be quicker to make and extremely soft & delicious. When I tried making them on the stove or even in the oven, it takes the dough longer to cook through because of lower temperatures and the end result is usually a tougher naan. But as grill can get to a slightly higher temperatures than the regular oven and since the heat source is much more direct, naans cook faster and stay softer longer. I added 1 cup white whole wheat flour to make them slightly healthier.
- Whisk flours, salt, baking powder, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 1 cup luke warm water (around 110ºF—a few degrees up or down is completely OK), oil and yogurt. Mix until the ingredients come together into a ball (add more water or flour as needed).
- Remove on to a floured surface and knead lightly until the dough is soft and smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Lightly oil the bowl and slide the dough back; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in volume.
- Punch down and divide the dough into small balls depending on how big you want your naans. Place them on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 mins to 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
- Next roll them out into a circle and slightly stretch or pull on the ends to form an oval shaped naan. Brush them lightly with oil and stack them until ready to grill.
- Now to the easy part; grilling. Have the grill preheated and ready to roll: Place the oiled side down on the grill and let cook for about 1 minute. To get those beautiful grill marks, turn the naan at 45 degrees and grill again for 45 seconds. Oil the top side, turn it over, cover and grill for another 1-2 minutes. Remove and enjoy hot with your favorite curry.
We had our naans with Rajma/ Kidney Beans curry that I made from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries. It’s a very simple recipe with few ingredients but the way in which the tomatoes are cooked or “bhunao”(ed) makes the dish taste very complex-flavored and absolutely delicious. I realized I’m a rather restless cook and for some of the Indian dishes you really need to take time to get the flavors out of the ingredients.. Lesson learnt!!
Coming to the recipe: Recipe from 660 Curries.
Tamatar Malai Rajma
- Heat 2tbsp ghee or oil in a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add the cardamom pods (elaichi), cinnamon and bay leaves and cook until they sizzle and are aromatic, 5 to 10 seconds.
- Add ginger and garlic and fry to a golden-brown color, about 1 minute.
- Add 1/2 cup water and the tomato paste, red chili powder, paprika, salt, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer until the water evaporated and a thin film of oil starts to form on the surface of the sauce, about 5 minutes.
- Add another 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer the sauce, covered, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and the oil film reappears on the surface, about 5 minutes.
- Repeat the addition and evaporation of water twice more to create a rich tasting, lush-red sauce.
- Stir in the onion paste and simmer, covered for another 5 minutes.
- Add kidney beans and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce starts to thicken, 13-15 minutes.
- Pour in the cream and add the garam masala. Cook until the cream is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.
- ** Fried Onion Paste (makes 3 cups):
- Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a large saute pan. Add 2 pounds of thinly sliced red onions and cook them, stirring occasionally until they are caramel-brown with a deep purple hue, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Grind into a smooth paste once cool enough to handle. Stored in a tightly sealed container, this paste will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or can be frozen into smaller batches for 2 months.