Naan? Roti? A recipe for homemade Indian bread

Indian flat bread, made with a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour.

The garden season has come suddenly to an end. The temperature plunged about 30 degrees and we got two frosts and that was pretty much it. The spinach, lettuce and chard are still going in the hoop house, but that’s all we have left.

G. jokes that we will have Christmas chard this year instead of a tree. The plants are amazing. They came up early, produced all summer and are still growing. As G. says, the chard is hardy and colorful (we have Bright Lights), and if we hang some decorations on it, we’ll be good to go for the holidays. Plus, we can eat it later.

We celebrated the end of the garden by eating our last cauliflower. I cut most of the cauliflower down and froze it months ago, but there was one plant that had no head on it. Then, a few weeks ago, we noticed there was a tiny head. It grew rapidly, and we ended up with a big, perfect cauliflower. It was completely unexpected. So, for dinner the other night, I roasted it with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. It was delicious.

Some of our last tomatoes went into butter chicken that I made using Anupy Singla’s book. That’s becoming one of my favorite cookbooks. I love Indian food, and making it in a Crock-Pot is so easy. I made chicken curry the week before, and that was good too, but I think G. really liked the butter chicken. He claimed most of the leftovers.

I made Indian bread to go with the butter chicken. I was inspired by Rufus and followed the links back to the original version posted by Indian Simmer. One interesting note: This recipe is posted as naan, but I think it’s actually roti. Anupy Singla differentiates the two by saying roti is a whole wheat bread, while naan presumably is not. But also, looking at various recipes for the two, naan typically uses yeast to rise, while this recipe uses baking powder. And, naan is often coated in butter. Perhaps this started as a naan recipe and became more roti-like as it was made healthier?

At any rate, it’s easy and it’s good, and I highly recommend it. G. made the leftovers less healthy the next day by smearing Nutella on some bread and eating it for lunch. He’ll put Nutella on anything.

Homemade Indian Flat Bread

5 ounces whole wheat flour

5 ounces all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup warm milk

1/2 cup yogurt

Note: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, 5 ounces of flour is about 1 cup.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Combine warm milk and yogurt separately. Add liquid to dry ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms. The dough should be soft enough to sink your finger into without applying any pressure. If it’s too dry, add more liquid. If it’s too wet, add a bit more flour.

Knead dough into a ball and then put it in a bowl, covered with a damp cloth. Let it sit a couple of hours.

Then, take out the dough and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes. Divide into eight balls. Roll each ball out until it’s very thin. It will puff up when exposed to heat.

I used a non-stick frying pan, so I didn’t need any butter or oil to fry the bread. I just put one disk into the frying pan at a time. The top will bubble when the first side cooks. When you flip it over, the bubbles will get brown spots, but it won’t be uniformly brown.

Indian Simmer does the second side over an open flame, but I didn’t because I thought I would burn the bread.

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One response to “Naan? Roti? A recipe for homemade Indian bread

  1. That looks fantastic and thanks for the clarification. Now I need to try actual naan.

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