There are an abundance of “curry houses” within the UK. They’re dotted all over the country, with the city of Birmingham being known as the curry city of the UK. I’ve lived and worked in a number of cities in the UK, and I’m happy to say that I’ve never visited a bad curry house. It’s really hard to find a bad Indian curry in the UK!
When we moved to Seattle, I was so disappointed. I can almost count the number of Indian restaurants in this area on one hand. They’re not bad, but they don’t even compare to the British Indian curry houses. The weirdest thing here in Seattle is that they ask the customer the required heat scale. Now, to Brits, a korma should be mild and a vindaloo hot, yet, it is possible to order a hot korma and a mild vindaloo. That’s just mind baffling to me.
Now onto naan bread. We’d never dream of having an Indian meal without naan bread. I love dabbing up curry with a deliciously fluffy naan, or wrapping it around grilled meat. It’s one of those things that HAS to be there for us.
I’m unsure of the origins of this recipe, but it’s really good. It makes a fluffy, chewy and totally scrumptious naan.
FLUFFY NAAN BREAD
- 80 ml (1/3 c) hand hot water
- 1 t sugar
- 1 t dry active yeast
- 125 g (¾ c and 1 T) plain (all-purpose) flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 T melted butter/oil
- 1 T plain natural yoghurt
- Coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped to garnish
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the water, yeast and sugar. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
2. Add the flour, salt, half of the butter and yoghurt. With the dough hook attachment, on slow speed, blend the mixture until a dough is formed. Knead on a medium speed for an additional 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and sit in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes or until double its size. Alternatively, you can place the bowl into the refrigerator for an overnight cold prove. If allowing for an overnight prove, remember to allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding onto the next step.
4. Punch the dough down and hand knead gently. Divide into 2-3 equal sized balls. Roll each ball into a naan shape (tear shaped), making them relatively thin.
5. Brush a large frying pan (skillet) with oil and wipe with a kitchen (paper) towel. Heat to a medium heat and place the dough onto it, wait until the naan bread unevenly puffs up, about 3-4 minutes. Brush some melted butter on 5-6 random spots before turning it over to cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the spots are browned.
6. Transfer to a clean tea (kitchen) towel and keep it warmed. Serve hot, brushed with melted butter (if desired) and sprinkled with coriander leaves (cilantro). Enjoy!