Naan may be most familiar alongside curries at your favorite Indian restaurant. But journeyman chef Michael Burgin’s easy recipe, which he perfected at Beholder, pairs with just about any dish, from roasted vegetable spreads to soups and chili, whether you spice it up or go for the original article.
(Editor’s Note: Naan can also be cooked on a flattop grill or home electric grill, if desired. For extra flavor, combine any of the recommended spices with olive oil and crushed garlic or melted clarified butter, and then brush warm naan with the mixture.)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 ounce active dry yeast (not instant)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for final brushing, if desired
- Grapeseed or another neutral oil, for frying
- Spices and herbs such as ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, curry, parsley, thyme, and/or mint, to taste, optional
- Stir together sugar, warm water and yeast in a small bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes until it becomes foamy and smells like bread.
- On counter or in a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, pepper, and any additional spice and herbs you may be adding.
- Mix together oil and yogurt in a small bowl or measuring cup, then add to flour on counter or in bowl. Using your hands or a large rubber spatula, mix all wet and dry ingredients together until they form a shaggy mass. With hands, knead dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, adding minimal flour if necessary. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or invert large bowl over dough on counter and let rise for one hour.
- Cut dough into one-inch hunks and roll lightly into balls. Let rest, covered, an additional 45 minutes.
- Working with one ball at a time, making sure to cover the rest of the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel, roll with a rolling pin to a thickness of around 1/4 inch and about 6 inches in diameter.
- Drizzle a bit of oil in a cast-iron pan set over medium-high heat until it is just starting to smoke. Wipe most of the oil from the pan with a paper towel. Place dough in pan and cook 3–4 minutes or until bottom of dough is starting to brown in places. Flip naan and cook an additional 2–3 minutes until reverse side is well-browned but bread is not crisp or too dry to the touch.
- Remove each naan to a plate, cover with a clean towel, and repeat with remaining balls of dough. Serve warm.