Nan bread

Yield: 4 nans

Measure Ingredient
1 teaspoon Dried yeast -=OR=-
½ ounce Fresh yeast
1 pounds Strong white plain flour
2 teaspoons Sesame seeds
1 pounds White self raising flour
3½ fluid ounce Plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon 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 ½ 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 ¼" (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 butter.

Recipe from Indian Restaurant Cookbook - Pat Chapman ISBN 0 86188 3780 Submitted By IAN HOARE On 05-06-95

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