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N is for Naan Bread

Category: food

India meets the Middle East in this delicious foodie fusion. Homemade and fresh, this filling feast is made tastier by condiments such as chilli and yoghurt, creating a sensation you’re unlikely to forget. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself.

Method

1 - For the falafel: Soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover them by 5 cm | 2" overnight. 
2 - The next day, drain the chickpeas and place in a large mixing bowl with the garlic and parsley. Break up with an immersion blender until combined but not totally smooth. 
3 - Sprinkle over the baking powder and flour and mix with your hands until a rough, non-sticky dough forms; add more flour as needed to bring it together. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. 
4 - Heat at least 8 cm | 3" of oil to 180°C | 345F in a large, heavy-based saucepan set over a high heat. Shape the falafel mixture into round balls. 
5 - Carefully lower three or four falafel into the hot oil and fry, in batches, until golden-brown. Drain on kitchen paper and cover loosely with aluminium foil to keep warm. 
6 - For the naan bread: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and stir well. 
7 - Whisk together the milk and oil in a jug before stirring into the dry ingredients until a soft dough starts to form. 
8 - Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth; leave to prove in a warm place for 15 minutes. 
9 - Preheat the grill to hot, placing a tray under the grill to preheat. 
10 - Divide the naan dough into four balls using lightly oiled hands. Roll and stretch on a lightly floured surface into round naan shapes before carefully placing on the preheated tray. 
11 - Grill for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned and starting to puff, turning once. Remove from the grill and brush with melted butter on both sides. 
12 - For the flatbreads: Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the extra-virgin olive oil and 250 ml water.
13 - Mix to a smooth dough, adding more flour or water as needed if too dry or wet; it should be soft and even. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. 
14 - Divide the dough into four and roll out on a lightly floured surface into large ovals approximately 0.5 cm | 0.25" thick. 
15 - Lift onto large baking trays and brush all over with extra-virgin olive oil. 
16 - Grill for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned and starting to puff, turning once. Remove from the grill, brush with more olive oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
17 - To serve: Serve alongside the naan breads and falafel with the yoghurt, chillies, nigella seeds, and parsley to garnish.

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  • Serves: 4
  • Time needed: 9 hours 20 minutes
  • Difficulty Medium


Ingredients

  • 250 g | 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 - 4 tbsp plain flour, plus extra as needed
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 g | 3 1/2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 425 g | 3 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 250 - 300 ml lukewarm water, plus extra as needed
  • Sesame seeds
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Dried red chillies
  • Nigella seeds
  • Flat-leaf parsley sprigs

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