In Malaysia, Naan bread might not be the most popular dish to order during our Mamak sessions, as compared to our beloved Roti Canai. But it is no doubt one of the more prominent foods that holds a special place in our hearts.
Origin of Naan
“Naan” means bread in old Persian, and it refers to any kind of bread in Iran. Over the centuries, Naan spread into Myanmar, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Persian Gulf and many more countries around the world.
Naan is mentioned for the first time in 1300 AC by Amir Khusrow, an Indian poet and musician. But its origin is undoubtedly older, possibly since the arrival of yeast in India from Egypt. This dish was served for breakfast to noble families during the Moghul era.
There’s a good reason why naan bread is not in our favourite to-order list during our Mamak sessions– a single serving of naan contains at least 247 calories. The amount of calories is high due to its rich flour contents. However, healthcare experts consider naan healthy, especially if it’s made up of whole wheat flour. So, don’t let the high-calorie count fool you.
According to studies, regular naan bread is rich in vitamin A and Vitamin B3, B9, B6, thiamine and riboflavin. Whole wheat naan bread also contains large amounts of niacin, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, and phosphorus. One serving of this dish can contain enough calories to provide you with enough energy for the day!
- 1.5 tsp fast-action yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 150ml warm water
- 300g strong white bread flour (with extra to dust)
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 2 tbsp melted ghee or butter, (with extra to brush)
- A little vegetable oil (to grease)
- 1 tsp black onion
- Some sesame seeds (to garnish)
- Mix the yeast, sugar and two tablespoons of warm water in a bowl and stir well. Leave until it begins to froth.
- Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Stir the yoghurt into the yeast mixture. Make a large hole in the middle of the flour and pour the yoghurt mixture in, with the melted ghee. Mix, then gradually stir in the water to make a soft and sticky mixture, ensuring it is not too dry. Tip out on a lightly floured surface and knead for about five minutes until it is smooth and less sticky, then put in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat.
- Cover and leave in a draught-free place for roughly 90–120 minutes, or until it doubles in size.
- Tip the dough back out on to the lightly floured surface and knock the air out, then divide into eight balls. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat for five minutes and put the oven on low. Prepare the melted ghee and any seeds to garnish.
- Flatten one of the balls and roll it into a flat circle, make sure it is slightly thicker around the edge. Pick it up by the top to stretch it slightly into a teardrop shape, then put it in the hot pan. When it starts to bubble, turn it over and cook until the other side has brown patches. Turn it back over and cook until there are no doughy bits.
- Brush with melted ghee and sprinkle with seeds and you are done!
If you are inexperienced, it might take a little more practising to achieve the rightly baked naan. However, fret not! You can always order authentic well-baked naan bread by experienced bakers from foodpanda, and have it delivered to wherever you are.