Naan (or Nan) is a leavened (it rises using yeast) flatbread that can be eaten with most curries.
Many hundreds of years ago, the Moguls brought naan bread to India (the Moguls came from Persia and the Persian word for bread is naan).
Nowadays, naan is almost a mandatory part of an Indian meal. It’s usually eaten with the main curry dish and is often used to scoop up the curry, instead of using knives and forks.
The main ingredients in naan are flour, yogurt and yeast (sometimes a substitute such as baking powder is used instead of yeast).
You make naan by first making a dough with the flour, water and yeast. Then you add any other ingredients that you want. Then you roll out the naan and, finally, you bake the naan in an oven (traditionally, tandoor ovens are used but western style ovens make naan just as well).
Making naan is a lengthy process because you have to wait for the yeast to make the dough rise. But this isn’t difficult because you just mix the ingredients together and then put them in a warm place for a few hours to let the yeast do its job. But you can batch up making naans and freeze the excess breads to warm up and eat at a later date (all you need to do is make sure that the naans are individually wrapped with clear film, or something similar, so that you can take out the number of naans that you want without facing pulling apart a pile of naans that have set together).
There are lots of different types of naan that you can make with the most popular ones being plain, garlic, keema (naan with minced lamb) and peshwari (naan with nuts and raisins).
There are recipes for making naan on the Curry Focus website. There’s one for plain naan, one for garlic naan and one for peshwari naan. We don’t have one for keema naan yet – if you have one then we’d be delighted to add it to the website – all you need to do is input the details on this simple form.
Next time you make a curry, why not also have a naan to go with it? They are simple to make and are delicious.