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)
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.
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.