Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Four Cheese Naan with Fresh Cilantro, Crushed & Toasted Cumin Seeds and Garlic

I was watching a Swedish cooking show where a Swedish chef visited an Indian restaurant in NYC. During the program, he made a naan stuffed with cheese, cilantro, cumin and garlic. We never figured out what kind of cheese they used or whether the cumin was whole or ground, but it looked very good and we decided to try making something like it.

I left one ball of dough in the refrigerator overnight and made the one in the photo above this morning. It appears that the naan come out more like naan when you leave the dough to mature overnight, so I have modified the steps taken in making naan accordingly.

To really make naan you need to have a Tandoori Clay Oven. Manjula suggests using a pizza stone. I had neither. The logic is similar to making pizza in that the oven should be as hot as you can make it and the surface that you place the dough on should be ultra-hot. If you have neither of the above like me, all you can do is crank your oven up to maximum heat and then slip the naan on a board, quickly onto the baking hot oven tray.

I have to say that the cilantro was a little disappointing. I would suggest making it without the cilantro and sprinkling some of it on top after it comes out of the oven.

Four Cheese Naan with Fresh Cilantro, Toasted Cumin Seeds and Garlic

Makes 6 Naans


2 Cups AP Flour
5.5 g Dry Yeast
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
Pinch Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Heaping Tbsp Yogurt
1/2 Cup Water (or as much as you need)



1 Cup Fresh Cilantro Chopped
2 Tsp Toasted Cumin Seeds (Grind them a bit)
200g Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella, Cheddar, Samsoe, Emmental)
6 Cloves Garlic Chopped

Step 1: In a big plastic bowl, mix the yeast with 2 Tbsp of lukewarm water, 1 Tsp sugar and 1 Tsp flour and leave until frothy. This will take around 10 minutes.

Step 2: Add some more of the flour, the salt, baking soda and oil and mix it.

Step 3: Add the rest of the flour and mix it until crumbly, and then add as much water as you need to form a smooth dough. I kneaded mine on a lightly floured surface.

Step 4: After coating the ball of dough with more extra virgin olive oil, return it to the bowl and cover with plastic and let it rise for 6 hours. At this point you can knead the dough thoroughly until elastic and smooth and divide it up into 6 portions. Wrap each individual portion in plastic and store inside the cold compartment of your refrigerator.

Next Day:

Step 5: Take out as many balls as you are going to make and let them warm to room temperature.

Step 6: Preheat the oven to 250C or the highest you can make it go. Leave the tray inside the oven. Knead each portion before rolling them out. Kneading will also help them warm-up so you can start when they are still a bit cool to the touch.

Step 7: Flatten the dough out into a circle, sprinkle with cheese, cilantro, cumin and garlic and fold the naan in a similar way to making Chinese Beef Pies. See Manjula's video.

Step 8: Let these balls of dough rest for 5 minutes, and then flatten them with a rolling pin.

Step 8: Place the naan on oven paper on top of a flat board so that you can slide them onto the baking hot oven tray. If you have a pizza stone use it by all means, but I don't have one.

Step 9: Bake for 3-4 minutes. The baking time will depend on your oven and whether you have a pizza stone. It was around 4 minutes for me. The naan is ready when it is still snow white, but has some golden brown patches on top.

Step 10: Brush the naan with butter and sprinkle with some fleur de sel (and fresh cilantro).

Step 11: Let the oven reheat for 5 minutes before putting the next batch inside the oven. You can bake 2-3 in one go depending on the size of your oven.

We had ours with Garam Masala chicken and a salad.


Anncoo said...

I love Naan especially with garlic. There are many types of Naan filling in it...Naan with cheddar cheese, mushrooms even with mashed banana.. :D

Jay said...

wow...yummmy recipe
I do have an award to give you, please come over and collect it, thanks and have a nice day.
Tasty Appetite

Anonymous said...

your naan looks delicious ... i love them with a kind of apple sauce too.

Amelia's De-ssert said...

Your naan bread looks delicious.I haven't try with cheese, usually eat plain naan only.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Anncoo: Naan is very difficult to make at home. There is a Bangladeshi restaurant near my home in Japan and they have a clay oven. I love to go there just to eat their naan.

Jay: Thank you very much, but I do not do 'awards'. :)

Dorte: Apple sauce is interesting. :)

Amelia: Me too. This was an interesting exercise though. ;)

WebbieLady said...

it really looks yummilicious! it's a pity i dont have really time andpatience for cooking! :(

My Little Space said...

Your naan look and also sounds fantastically delish. Just imagine all those cheesy flavour. I think I'm going to scream out for more. hahaha....
Thanks for sharing such beautiful recipe. & hope you're haivng a great week ahead.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds amazing. I really shouldn't be reading food blogs shortly before dinner--it just makes me all the more hungry!

Lori said...

I have to say that naan on ths skillet is good, naan in the oven is good, really any naan is good for me. Now add garlic, cilantro and toasted cumin seeds and you really got my un'naan'conditional attention! So right up my alley Murasaki.

mikeintokyorogers said...

OMG! I could never let my wife see this post! She is nuts over naan and this kind of food (craves Indian food all the time)... And cheese naan!? Don't even get her (or me) started!

Taste of Beirut said...

I love naan and so do my kids; I would try making it on the BBQ (if you have one) because the temp of the grill can get close to 700F. Also I would suggest using a cilantro pesto (when you fry the cilantro and mashed garlic in olive oil prior) which keeps a great flavor after baking at high temps. It is a wonderful bread.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Murasaki san,

Hi. There were two vegetarian restaurnats that I really liked in Tokyo, one in Ebisu and the other near Shinjuku but they've both closed down. I am looking for another good one and was introduced to one the other day... To my chagrin... When I got there I realized it wasn't a vegetarian restaurant at all (lots of people confuse restaurants with good salads and vegetarian places). I am looking now and hope to find one as I am getting tired of carrying a bag of veggies to work for lunch and then forgetting them on the train, when I leave home, etc...

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Mike: Thanks a lot for replying! I am not vegetarian myself but I have some friends who have moved to Tokyo who are. ;)

My Little Space said...

Hi Murasaki, I have some awards for you. Please feel free to hop over to collect them. Thnaks!
Regards, Kristy

Fatevi i Gatti Vostri said...

Balena si è rotolato sullo schermo quando ha letto la ricetta.
Finalmente il trasferimento è completato e abbiamo, collegialmente deciso di venire a blogspot. Quando hai occasione passa a segnarti tra i nostri amici (ci teniamo tanto)
un caldo pelosissimo abbraccio dallo smilzo (si fa per dire) e dal ROTOLO

Fatevi i Gatti Vostri said...

Sorry we were wrong leaving our message looking for another murasaki.
WE apologize with you for that.
You run a very smart blog. Congratulations

Jana said...

I can almost smell the naan by looking at your shot...yumyum! thanks for stopping by+good luck and very happy+sunny 2012 from me:-)