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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Simple Mint, Fennel and Garlic Naan

easy recipe Mint, Fennel and Garlic Naan indian

This Mint, Fennel and Garlic Naan recipe is similar to my stuffed naan recipe, but, rather than use the piroshky dough, this recipe has no eggs, and has a couple of ingredients that I have been incorporating into foods over the last few years - viz., flax meal and nutritional yeast.

Ground up flax seeds (flax meal) is better utilized by the body than whole flax seeds which might just pass through undigested at times. Nutritional yeast tastes good in many savory foods like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and even makes air-popped popcorn taste delicious. If buying these from bulk food stores, store in cool dry place and smell before using - flax meal can go rancid over time.

The fresh mint and fennel in the home garden was the inspiration for this dish - much like mint and fennel pesto.

home-garden herbs mint fennel

Any other herb or even grated vegetables can be added to the dough to make interesting naans. Some of my staples: sprinkle some white or black sesame seeds, or some kalonji (nigella sativa), maybe some chopped spring onions, or some methi (fenugreek) leaves if handy.

If making on a weekend, I start the dough around mid-morning and let it rise till ready to make at dinner time. The mild sour smell and beautifully fluffed up dough indicates it is ready to be cooked.

These naans freeze well - place sheets of wax paper between each one, store in a zipper sealed freezer bag. Thaw in fridge overnight and warm up in toaster oven or conventional oven, or even stove-top. (Microwaving the naans don't work well for me).

Serve with Radish Greens Dal (I used radish greens from the home-garden which had to harvested anyway) and Muttar Tofu Curry (pictured);

or with Paneer Kofta Curry and Kohlrabi Dal;

or with any South Indian Koottu or Korma

maybe even some cucumber,mint, tomato, onion raita.

My gas stove and roti-wirework , with cast iron skillet come in handy to simulate the earthy texture and flavor, but, even just a cast iron skillet approximates the clay-oven-like (tandoori) finish.

easy recipe Mint, Fennel and Garlic Naan indian

4 tsp rapid rise yeast
3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup flax meal
4 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
½ cup 110°F water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1¼ cup warm milk (more or less)
1-2 tsp salt (depending on how salty you prefer the naan)
4-6 cloves of garlic finely minced (more if you prefer)
½ cup freshly chopped mint and fennel leaves, combined

  1. Making the dough: In a large bowl, add the rapid rise yeast, brown sugar and lukewarm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes till frothy
  2. Add the salt, flax meal, nutritional yeast, flour, chopped up herbs, garlic, plus a little milk at a time, and knead to a smooth elastic dough; place in an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume - I leave it by the heating vent or in a slightly warm oven (oven turned off, of course)
  3. When ready to cook, divide into 10 or 12 balls - bigger balls makes fewer but larger naans, as expected
  4. Roll each ball out, one at a time, to a quarter inch thick round; fold once to form semicircle, fold again to form a rough triangular shape; roll with rolling pin to about ¼-inch thick and keep covered till ready to cook
  5. Cooking the Naan: Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat; brush one side of the naan with water, place the damp side down on the hot skillet and leave it undisturbed for a minute or so till bubbles form on the top surface
  6. Remove from skillet, flip and transfer to the roti-wirework and place the uncooked side over open flame of gas stove till it is cooked through, but not charred;
  7. Alternately, flip and cook on the cast iron skillet till done

The complicated description above could be quite misleading - these naans are the easiest to make and quite wholesome :)

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  • At 1:47 AM, Blogger Niloufer Riyaz said…

    Naan looks perfect very very tasty

  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger Parita said…

    Naan looks so good, very flavorful!

  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Niloufer:: Thank you! Naan is one of my favorites :)

    Parita:: Thank you! I cut back on garlic as kids sense the strong smell... i like it very garlicky :)


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