This recipe comes from a Punjabi woman living in Dublin, Ireland. In her household, naan bread was a real treat, something that only appeared when there were guests over, or there was some kind of a celebration. Otherwise it was roti and chappati all the way. She called the white flour used to make this “cake flour” – so not a high-protein strong flour, but the material that is mostly called Plain Flour in the shops.
This recipe uses “cups”, but consider this a relative measurement! I will make some of this and weight it out properly at some point.
Ok we need a little digression here on the topic of kalonji – it’s a plant called Nigella sativa and it’s in the Ranunculaceae family, distantly related to the good old buttercup that decorates our gardens and fields. You will find it in shops as Kalonji, or as Onion Seeds. It’s nothing to do with onions.
Sieve the flour in one big bowl, put a hole in the middle and then put in the baking powder (yeast), milk, yoghurt. Take a beer out of the fridge, open it and pour into the appropriate glass. Back to the bowl – add butter (ghee), sugar, kalonji seeds and salt. Wash your hands. Mix with your fingertips to make a dough. If it feels a bit dry, use more milk. Butter up your hands and knead it a little, then cover and leave in a warm place for 6-8 hours.
Divide the dough into 10-15 balls. Roll them out into an oval shape and put the naan under a medium heated grill (for the bubbles) then cook the other side on a pan. Or cook it all on the pan, or a tandoor if you have one, whatever works, like. Hotter the better.
You can add an egg to soften the naan – restaurants tend to do this. If you want to eat the leftover naan (if any) later on, then using ghee is best for the dough.