Naan. Have you ever eaten it? Pre-Celiac, I always ate it in Indian restaurants though never thought to replicate it at home until gluten free became the norm for me. Now, whenever I make Indian food, I also make naan. Gluten free naan.
Think pita bread. This naan recipe is a close cousin to it. I couldn’t get it to puff and make pockets like traditional naan or pita bread. But it is soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. And is wonderful with Indian food.
I discovered the recipe when it was posted on a listserve to which I subscribe. When I first made it, I subbed a flaxseed meal/water combo for the one egg listed in the recipe. That worked great. I’ve since added eggs back into my diet and so I follow the recipe except that I use sour cream instead of the soy yogurt or toffuti sour cream.
Gluten free dough can be persnickety as it is a little sticky. Thus, mixing and rolling this particular naan dough works best on a silicone mat. I was fortunate enough to find a very large silicone pastry mat at Marshall’s.
150 ml warm water (5.072 oz which is a little more than 1/2 cup)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
275 g white rice flour (I used 2 cups)
60 g tapioca starch (1/2 cup) – NOTE: one time, I eliminated this and it still came out great!
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp vegetable oil
150 ml (5.072 oz which is a little more than 1/2 cup) plain soy yogurt, toffuti sour cream, or regular dairy sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten (or 1 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tbsp warm water)
olive oil (optional)
extra rice flour for rolling and forming naan
Preheat the oven to the highest setting (mine is 500 degrees). Place a heavy baking tray or pizza stone in the oven to heat while you prepare the recipe.
In a measuring bowl or cup, mix water with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Sift the rice flour (and tapioca if using), salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum into a medium-sized bowl. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar, oil, yogurt (or sour cream), egg, and the water/yeast mixture. Blend until smooth. It will be very thick.
NOTE: When you begin working with this dough in the next step of the recipe instructions, if it is very sticky and uncooperative, wet your hands. Also, try sprinkling some white rice flour onto your hands and/or the dough before handling it.
Divide the dough into six equal portions. Sprinkle some white rice flour onto your rolling surface. If possible, roll your dough on a silicone mat as it is an excellent surface for keeping gluten free doughs from sticking. Even so, I still recommend sprinkling a little white rice flour onto your first piece of dough as well as on your rolling pin (alternatively, use your hands to press the dough into a round pita-shape). Roll the dough until it is about 1/4″ thick. Sprinkle more white rice flour as needed onto the dough and/or the rolling pin to keep it from sticking.
When you are ready to bake the naan, carefully place each piece of dough onto your baking pan or stone which you’ve removed from the oven. Avoid putting one pan or stone on a rack below another pan or stone. It is best to do one pan or stone at a time, as you’ll need to broil the naan in order for it to get browned.
The original recipe calls for baking the naan for 3 minutes, but I found it best to bake for 8 minutes, then turn them over with a tongs and bake for another 2 -3 minutes. They were pretty browned by this time, but I turned on my broiler and broiled them for another minute.
Brush them with the optional olive oil before serving.
Tonight, we ate our naan with leftover Kidney Bean & Vegetable Curry from last nights’ Sabbath dinner. This curry is a great, flexible recipe. The original recipe called for garam masala, a blend of Indian spices. I really wanted to punch up the taste of these spices, so I added some of the individual spices that make up the garam masala. Here’s a picture of the leftovers, followed by my adapted version of the recipe:
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped jalapeno pepper or 1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
one pound of mixed veggies (I used a blend of carrots, corn, green beans, and baby new potatoes)
1 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk
one 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water, optional
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic, and ginger until they soften, about 5 minutes.
Add Earth Balance. Once it melts, add cumin seeds and cook for another 1 minute. Add
diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, jalapeno (or cayenne), garam masala, salt, curry powder, turmeric, and cumin. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
If using potatoes, make sure they’re cut fairly small (1″ dice). Add them first and cook until they’re almost done. Then add other veggies. Stir until blended.
Add soymilk. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. If the mixture doesn’t have enough liquid, add 1/4 cup water.
Add kidney beans and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Add cilantro at the end of the cooking time.
Serve with basmati rice and gluten free naan. Dipping encouraged!