Naan 6 Keema Naan Leavened Flat Bread
Nan 6 Keema Nan
Naan or Nan is a popular Indian bread, that is traditionally made in a â€˜tandoorâ€™, an Indian clay oven. Tandoors cook food at very high temperatures. It is impossible to have that high a temperature in a domestic oven, but if you cook naans on maximum heat or under a preheated grill, the results are pretty good. In this recipe, it is stuffed with lamb or mutton Keema, spiced mince meat. For keema used as a filling, cook it without peas and make it completely dry, without any gravy or liquid. You can use chicken keema or paneer keema. Keema naan makes a meal in itself, served with a raita of choice and pickles. If you live in UK, you can buy Naan mix from most supermarkets. Makes 6-8.
3 cups or approximately 400 gm. plain white flour or maida.
1 cup or 125 gm. strong flour (bread flour). If you do not have it, use all plain flour.
1/2 cup or 120 ml. active natural yoghurt (dahi)
1/2 cup or 120 ml. milk, hand warm (not hot)* (boil first and then cool-see notes below)
Just over 1/2 cup or 135 ml. hand warm water (not hot) *
(Total liquid 375 ml. approximately. You will need around 350-360 ml. of liquid. Make extra, because different flours need slightly different amounts of water)
1 tsp. salt
11/2 tsp. sugar
2 level tsp. or one 7 gm. sachet of Instant Yeast* (roughly 1/2 tsp. per cup of flour). Use less yeast if you have more time to allow the dough to rise naturally. Make sure it is fresh. Once opened, the leftover yeast will last for only 3 months or so.
1/2 cup flour for dusting during rolling out
1 tbsp. ghee (optional)
2 tbsp. poppy seeds (khus-khus) or sesame seeds (Til) or nigella seeds (kalonji/kalaunji)
For the Keema
150 gm. mince meat of good quality (lamb or chicken)
1 medium peeled roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
1-2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. tomato puree
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. Garam Masala
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. green coriander leaves, finely chopped
*If using dry Yeast needs to be activated. Mix milk, water and sugar in a jug. Sprinkle yeast and 2-3 tbsp. of flour on top. Stir well to remove lumps. Cover with a cling film and keep aside at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, until it looks
Sift flour and salt in a bowl.
Mix milk, yoghurt, water, sugar and yeast in a jug, unless using Instant, active yeast, wait until it froths.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and add yoghurt and oil/ghee. Mix well.
Make a soft, bread like dough using required amount of liquid from the warm milk-water-yeast mix. Add a little at a time, so that you don't end up with very runny dough. Knead it well.
Cover with an oiled cling film and leave it to 'mature', in a warm place, for 4-6 hours. This may take less in hot weather. The dough should rise to approximately double. If you have a bread maker, make dough in it, setting it for 'Pizza Dough' setting.
Knead the dough again. Allow it to double in size again.
Meanwhile, make the mince filling:
Grind onion ginger and garlic together, in a food processor or grate finely.
Heat oil in a pan and fry onion ginger, garlic mix.
Add mince, spices, salt and tomato puree. Stir fry until nicely browned and cooked. If you have good quality meat, it does not take long to cook. NO LIQUID SHOULD REMAIN. If mince is wet, it will be impossible to roll out naans without bursting them. Keep aside to cool completely. Add and mix coriander leaves.
An easy way of cooking naans is to cook them under a hot grill, like Tandoori roti. Heat grill to maximum. Leave the tray under the grill, to heat to maximum. Naans placed on cold tray will stick to the tray!
Divide dough into 8-10 portions and roll into balls.
Flatten one ball at a time with a rolling pin or your hand.
Place 1 tbsp. mince in the centre, pull edges up and make a ball again.
Dust one ball at a time, and roll out into an oblong, approximately 20-22 cm. or 8-9 inches in length, one end narrower than the other, like a huge tear drop. This can be done by rolling down one end more than other, or by pulling one end of the naan to elongate it. Roll out 3-4 naans only, at a time. You can roll out the next batch of naans while the previous batch is baking.
Place 3-4 naans at a time, on the pre-heated tray. Brush the surface gently with ghee or oil and sprinkle a few poppy or sesame or nigella seeds.
Place under the grill. They will puff up fairly quickly. Turn over and cook the other side. When ready, they have a few brown blisters scattered on the surface.
Making Naans in an oven: You can bake naans in the centre of a very HOT oven. Heat oven to maximum (around 250°C 475°F (10°C less in fan oven), Gas Mark 9). Remember, tandoor is very hot. Leave tray inside the oven, to heat really well, for approximately 10 minute, before you place the naans on it. If the oven is not hot, you will get stiff/hard/leathery naans. Make sure both sides are cooked.
Serve hot, with a curry of choice, a yoghurt dish and a pickle.
Crisp and hot naans can be eaten with a little cheese and salad.
To make Naans soft, the dough needs to be soft, because the steam from water makes the dough rise better. Just like chapatties, slacker your dough, better they rise and softer they are. So, the consistency should be as slack as you can manage to roll. Indian chefs often do it by hand and do not use a rolling pin, just like professional pizza makers. For this, the dough has to be really soft and pliable.
Too much yeast will also make them rise fast and then collapse. In fact, if you have time, use even less yeast than in the recipe, and let the dough rise naturally. Most people in India do not use yeast at all, they let yoghurt and natural yeast do the work. In fact, I have amended the recipes today, to reduce the amount.
Oven temperatures of domestic ovens can not match a tandoor. Pre-heat your oven fully to maximum, before you cook naans. I cook them on a HOT pan these days. The naans you make at home can not be like tandoor cooked naans, made by people who do this every day.