We woke up today to be greeted with this sight of a cold and frosty morning…
The ground was covered in a layer of frost, well, why only the ground, everything that was exposed to the cold air was dressed in a light frosty coat… even the empty packet of sweets that some civilised being(?) managed to chuck on the pavement, was so attired too. Somehow I like it when it’s frosty…I know, I know, Dinesh and many of you who have to start scraping their vehicles in the morning, before setting out, must be shaking their heads and rolling their eyes. But, as I don’t have to worry about such things, I can look and enjoy the beauty around me. I love it when the leaves go ‘crrruunch’ under my foot…and so do Agastya and Rengoni. They went crazy prancing around. It’s like nature’s refrigerator is at work…it’s cool temperatures trying to preserve it’s beauty in a coat of frost. I don’t know, I just adore the feel in the air …something magical about it…the green blades of grass and the multi -coloured fallen autumnal leaves strewn all over with their frozen coats, at times peeping out from their hoods, and, inspite of the drop in the temperatures, the sun shone bravely.
And the people…of course, there were more red noses and numb hands, younger children groaning under the weight of their heavy coats and happy to blow smoke from their mouths; and some of the older children(read high schoolers), still refusing to surrender to the cold and courageously venturing out in their short sleeves… although as one approaches closer to them, their goosebumps do manage to give them away!
Of course, as I now click away , those blade of grass and those multi coloured leaves have long been uncovered…they have long awaken, having shed their frozen coats, and now are probably getting ready to jazz up again to put on a show at dawn…but the very thought of that early morning scene manages to give me immense pleasure, even now.
Coming back to the title of the post, so, what did I manage to make …well, naans. There’s a restaurant in Guwahati, whose naans are among the best ones I’ve ever had. But since that restaurant is not around any more and the one’s that are to be found here come nowhere near that standard, and the craving is no less, I got down to business and tried my own. And how were they… not disappointed with my first try… but would probably make them a little thinner next time. Any other suggestions are most welcome We had them with a nice side dish of paneer(recipe here).
What’s needed (for 12 small naans)-
4 C of wholewheat flour
2 tsp of fast action dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
6 tblsp of plain yogurt
3 tblsp of oil and a little more
a little ghee/butter for brushing the naans
a pod of crushed garlic and a tblsp of dried thyme(optional)
3/4 C of hand hot water
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 3 tblsp of the water and leave for around 10 minutes in a warm place …it will puff up and become frothy.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yogurt, baking powder and 3 tblsp of oil.
- Add the yeast mixture and mix in.
- Add the water, a little at a time and bring everything together.
- Knead thoroughly to form a smooth ball of dough.
- Brush the dough with a little oil, place it in the bowl and cover with a plastic wrap.
- Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 1-1 and 1/2 hrs till doubled in volume.(Placing the bowl in front of a heated oven with it’s door’s open should work in the cold weather).
- Punch down the dough with your knuckles and divide into 12 equal sized balls.
- Spread the balls with your fingers to form a circle of about 4 inches in diameter.
- Pull one end to make a tear shape and place on a non greased baking tray.
- Repeat for the rest of the balls, cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre heat the oven at 230 deg cel.
- Place the tray in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes or till the top turns into a golden colour(do keep an eye on them to avoid burning) .
- Melt the ghee/butter along with the garlic and thyme and brush the naans with a little of that while the naans are still hot. Only ghee/butter is also fine.
- Serve hot with your preferred vegetarian /non vegetarian side dish(especially one with a gravy) .
We liked them…no one complained…but as I said earlier, would probably make them a bit thinner next time.
Enjoy and have a great weekend! And keep warm