Nan Bread

Ingredients & Directions

1 ts Dried yeast -=OR=- 1 lb White self raising flour
1/2 oz Fresh yeast 3 1/2 fl Plain yoghurt
1 lb Strong white plain flour

2 ts Sesame seeds 1 ts Wild onion seeds (kalonji)

Nan bread is the traditional accompaniment to tandoori dishes. Its
familiar teardrop shape is achieved because they hang inside a
tandoor while cooking, and they elongate from a round shape. As most
of us do not possess a tandoor (a vertical clay ovenIMH) this recipe
uses the grill.

Prepare the yeast. If using fresh yeast, mash it in a little tepid
water with 1/2 tsp sugar until it makes a runny paste. Leave it in a
warm place for 5-10 minutes to froth. If using dried, mix with the
sugar and dissolve both in a little tepid water (about 15 minutes).
Some new dry yeasts can be mixed directly into the flour – which is
undoubtedly the easiest of all.

Put flours into a slightly warmed bowl, make a well in the centre, add
yeast and yoghurt, and mix, first with a metal spoon and then with
your hands, adding more tepid water, little by little as you need it.
You should have a soft, not too wet, dough that leaves the sides of
the bowl clean. Knead vigorously, then put it back in the bowl, cover
with a damp cloth and put in the fridge. Leave for a few hours,
preferably overnight.

After this lengthy rising, let the dough come back to room
temperature, then divide it into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into an
oblong, or form the teardrop shape by hand. Do not roll thinner than
1/4″ (6mm). Prick all over with a fork to prevent rising too much
when cooking.

Preheat grill to full and cover pan with cooking foil, shiny side up.
Set grill pan shelf to half way level. Brush first piece of dough with
vegetable oil on both sides, and grill one side. Turn over, sprinkle
with some of the seeds mixture and cook that side. It takes about 1-2
minutes per side, and darker patches will develop in places. Take
care not to let it burn, or to rise too much, when it will catch and
burn. Cook all nans the same way.

Serve and eat these nans immediately, as they do not keep well. Salt
may be added at the table (I don’t add salt to the dough), but they
are even more delicious spread when piping hot with ghee made from

4 nans

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