Perfect Naan: The winning ticket

Mallika Basu - Perfect Naan: The winning ticket

Posted 25th April 2008

I woke up to a thunderous announcement on the flight. Two for the price of one drinks – an exclusive deal for Ryanair passengers.

Reminiscent of a second-class, three-tier train journey through India, I thought. Where cries of “Chai, Chai, Chai Garam”, literally tea, tea, tea hot start, at the crack of dawn.

Still, the £10-a-ticket paying customers did have their standards. “It’s bloody outrageous to have advertising on the flight!” he barked at the air hostess.

I wondered who he thought should pick up the actual cost of his ticket. I tried another tack.Your passengers aren’t actually deaf. This was promptly followed by a booming advert for prize draw tickets.

Fresh from the glow of winning a competition by one of my favourite bloggers, I was on fire. Clearly it was time for me to raise the stakes on my naan-making abilities before I fell for any hare-brained, money making schemes.

So back from my gorgeous break in Venice and north Italy, I made a quick phone call to mother, her aunty, and rolled up my sleeves. Guess what? They came out perfect and used ONLY THREE main ingredients and no yeast!

Look like I have the winning ticket for pretty perfect naan.

NOTE: For all of you whose patience I have tested with endless holidays, I am now penniless and thus unable to take any more hiatus until late 2008.

Makes 4:

350 gm self-raising flour

200 ml soda water

Half tsp Nigella (black onion) seeds

1 tsp sunflower oil

Butter to serve

1 tsp salt

Heat the soda water in the microwave for a minute. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with a fine sieve. Add to it the salt and nigella seeds.

Then pour half the soda in and crumble the dough mixture. Slowly add in the rest of the soda water in and mix it into the flour with your hands.

When the soda is evenly incorporated into the flour, start punching it with your knuckles over and over again in a rolling motion.

If the dough feels sticky to the touch, you could add a teaspoon of flour to it. Ultimately, you will get a pliable dough and that spings back when you touch it.

Of course you could just do all of this with a dough hook.

Now, transfer it to a bowl greased with the oil. Cover it with a clean, wet cloth and leave to sit somewhere warm. If it’s cold, you could just stick it in the oven turned to its lowest setting.

After an hour, take the dough out and punch it well for two minutes. Then stick it back in the bowl under damp cloth.

Another hour later, preheat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade. When it’s hot, line a baking sheet with kitchen foil. Roll the dough with your hands into a long, thick sausage. Break it into four equal parts. Fashion each part into a quarter inch thick tear shape and place on the sheet.

Bake for about eight minutes. Then rub the golden brown top with butter until it melts all over and serve hot.

If making more, you could add the butter and leave to sit wrapped with a clean cloth or some kitchen foil. Serve hot and freeze some for later like I did.

Comments are closed.