March 13, 2011

Indian Flatbread with Potato/Aloo Naan

Naan is a popular leavened flat bread that is served by itself or with any curry sauce. The word, "Aloo" is potato and Aloo Naan is basically bread stuffed with potatoes and spices. It is easy to make at home and you can freeze them for up to a month.
(Adapted by
Potato Filling:
3 medium potatoes, peeled
1 chopped green pepper, seeds removed
1 tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. mango powder (amchur)
1 tsp. garam masala
½ tsp. chili powder
½ cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2½ Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ cups lukewarm water
¼ cup flour for rolling and dusting
2 tsp. ghee or clarified butter
some oil
a baking or pizza stone for baking
1. Preheat oven to 500°F with the baking stone on the middle shelf.
2. Add two tablespoon of lukewarm water into a small bowl and sprinkle dry yeast on top. Let it sit undisturbed for about two minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast. Set aside until the mixture becomes frothy. Note: If it does not bubble after five minutes, the yeast is no good as the water is either too hot or too cold. Discard and do it again.
3. In a mixing bowl add sugar, salt, and baking soda to the flour and stir to mix well. Add oil and yogurt and mix to a crumbly dough (the mixture tends to be sticky). Add in the prepared yeast and water (only as needed to form the dough)
4. Knead the dough with your fingers until smooth in texture. Cover with a warm towel and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should double in size and volume.
5. Cut potatoes in halves and steamed them until they are tender and cooked. Remove and let it cool in a bowl. Once potatoes have cooled down, mash it to a fine texture without lumps. Add the rest of the fillings ingredients and season to taste.
6. Gently dust the rolling pin and counter top. Knead the dough for about two minutes and divide the dough into six portions. Divide the fillings into six smaller portions.
7. Roll the dough into a circle and place the potato filling ball in the center. Pull the edges of the dough to wrap the potato filling, pinching the edges to seal. Do the same to the rest of the dough and fillings. Set aside for about 3-4 minutes. Lightly dust one ball and roll it flat to a 5-inch circle. Do the same for the rest of the balls.
8. Turn oven to a high broil. Before putting the bread into the oven, oil the palms of your hands and flip naan between your palms to oil both sides of the bread. Place naan on the baking stone (2-3 at a time depending on the size of the baking stone) Bake for 2-3 minutes until the naan is puffy and golden in color. Remove and brush with ghee or clarified butter. Let the oven heat for another 3 minutes before baking the rest of the bread.
Printable Recipe
Cook's Note: Be sure to check the expiration date on the yeast packet as dead yeast will not activate or bubble. The temperature of the water is also important for the yeast to activate. It should be lukewarm (between 110°-115°F), when tested with a thermometer. The water should be just warm to touch, like the temperature you would prepare a baby bottle.

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