A Trick to Make Foolproof Naan in the Oven


I love Naan so much that is one of the three things I would wish on a deserted island. The best type of naan is tandoori naan, made in a traditional clay oven. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find authentic tandoori naan in the U.S. that tastes great. Of course, there are many places you can find tandoori naan, but it’s just not the same. It is fine fresh but cools down to have the texture of rubber (have you noticed?).

This is why I have been attempting to make own naan at home, minus the tandoor. If I could get a traditional tandoor I would, perhaps someday when my kitchen is much bigger, but for now, my oven is the only resource. I have been trying to figure out if my oven could replicate a tandoor. Both the top and bottom burner are gas flames and the best part is that the top burner flames are visible. So I started thinking of a plan to use the visible flames to my advantage because a traditional tandoor is run using wood fire.

I thought of a plan if I could get the oven to be very hot, and then switch on the top broiler, it might actually work. Because this way the oven is very hot and there is fire. So, excited about this, I kneaded some chappati atta (flour). After 6 hours, I shaped it into a round, put it in the hot oven and crossed my fingers. The naan came out hard as a stone. Gutted, I thought, maybe I was putting it in the oven for too long so, I tried again, and this time decided to take it out just as it was about to turn brown but when I took it out, the inside was raw. I quickly blamed the oven and swore to never bake anything in it.

Then, a few weeks later I was making homemade pizza in the oven and noticed how the pizza dough would turn brown and have a soft inside. This got me thinking, is it possible to make naan using pizza dough? I tried, and it worked! Warm naan goes perfectly with anything including delicious sauces, such as chicken curry, or served with omelets for breakfast. I have made naan using plain pizza flour multiple times, and every time it is a hit. Hence, why I am calling this the foolproof way to make naan in the oven. Here is how I make it.

Ingredients

300 grams or 2 cups of 00 flour
2 grams or ¾ teaspoon fresh yeast or instant yeast
8 grams or 1 teaspoon salt
4 grams or 1 teaspoon olive oil
A little less than one cup or 200 grams of lukewarm filtered water

Method

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together water and olive oil, then pour into the flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 5 minutes, then cover the bowl with cling film and let it rest for 6 to 12 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 480 F with a baking sheet inside. Knead the rested dough for 2 minutes. Cut into two equal pieces and shape into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes or until the oven is very hot and ready to be used.

To make the naan, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface, use your palms to first flatten it and then your fingers to gently stretch followed by using a rolling pin to shape into a round. Place the dough on the back of the sheet pan and using a fork pierce a few holes on the surface of the dough. Place the sheet pan back in the oven for 2 minutes. Switch the oven to the highest broiler setting. Take out the naan once its brown, approximately 5 minutes.

Snow Day in Northeast


We are having a big snow storm and I couldn’t be happier. There is something about waking up and rushing to the window to see everything covered in snow. It is always such a beautiful soothing sight. What are your plans? I am having an off day so I am spending the whole day indoors. I am also going to make the creamiest very chocolatey hot chocolate, and if you would like to join me here’s how I plan to do it.

Recipe: The Creamiest & Very Chocolatey Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

1½ cups of whole milk
½ cup of cream
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
A big bar of your favorite dark chocolate cut into small pieces
Sugar to taste (usually a tablespoon)

Method:

Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Add the cocoa powder, chocolate pieces, and sugar and whisk until it is all combined. Remove from heat, pour into a big mug, top with whip cream and dusting of cocoa powder. Settle with a book and enjoy!

Photo by Betty Petrella.

Have a Wonderful Holiday!


Happy Holidays! Hope you are having a good time. I am going to be spending my holidays cooking and baking from my favorite cookbook. I am not really a great baker, it is always a hit or miss, but I am keeping my fingers crossed this time. For Christmas day I am planning to make roasted rack of lamb, celeriac puree (from this cookbook), fennel risotto and tabbouleh salad. New Years day is going to be more relaxed with a big pot of pasta, a simple salad and finish off the day with hot chocolate :)

Photo of me in Washington D.C.

Gift Guide Part III: The Fun-Loving Person


Utowa Eyelash Curler, $22, the iconic Japanese beauty tool that delivers a natural lift and curl.


Stripped Cotton Pyjama Set, $30, a classic set that’s a must-have. This one with a longer trousers is also great.


Hi Bye Gloves, $48,  Hi Bye Gloves are saying hello with one hand, whilst waving goodbye with the other. 


xo necklaces set of two, $59, the dainty necklaces are the perfect way to your love and gift to any special woman in your life.


Fingerprint Bookmark Band, $7, cleverly designed Fingerprint Bookmark Band slips onto a book and has a hand shape with a pointing finger to mark your place on the page.


Square basket, $25, for their things.


Boy Hat, $25, because she’s a master at puling off any look.
  

Duralex Glasses, $36, set of six glasses in six colors: crimson, mint, yellow, lavender, gray and cobalt.


Peace sign, $50, bold and modern, the peace sign will catch the eyes of many with its brass shine.


Indoor Plant and Planter, $52, with a 1-year guarantee to replace dead plants, this gift will be a massive hit.


Inner voices notebook, $20, writing as a therapy journal.

P.S. Parts I and II here and here.

All photos via websites linked for each product. Hi Bye Gloves via Swiss Miss. Fingerprint Book Mark band via  A Cup Of Jo.

5 Books to Read This Holiday Season


‘Elmet’ by Fiona Mozley

Not many debut novels can claim a spot on the Man Booker Prize shortlist, but that achievement is just one of the things that makes Fiona Mozley’s lyrical, noir-esque tale exceptional. The story follows Daniel, his sister Cathy, and their gargantuan, bare-knuckle-boxer father as they eke out a living off the grid in modern-day England and gradually face off against a group of landowners bent on changing their way of life. The lilting beauty of Mozley’s prose combined with the casual, matter-of-fact violence that accompanies the characters’ lives brings to mind a time when fairy tales were filled with dark forests and bloody deeds—a perfect antidote to holiday sugar-and-spice overload.

‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee

This intimate saga explores the torment and small joys of life as a Korean immigrant in 20th-century Japan through the eyes of a tight-knit, fiercely loving family. Lee’s straightforward prose details the chaotic world of good but flawed people faced with agonizing decisions amidst a nation’s upheaval and the crushing force of modernity, yielding a poignant tale of survival and pride that's nearly impossible to put down. —Julie Kosin

‘Home Fire’ by Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire is a literary thriller about prejudice and the slide into radicalisation, but it is also an expansive novel about love. A modern-day Antigone set against political tensions in London, Shamsie’s latest is a haunting and arrestingly current portrait of two families forever caught in the insurmountable gap between love and country, loyalty and desire.

‘Things We Left Unsaid’ by Zoya Pirzad

Deep in an Iranian suburb, made rich by the booming oil industry, Clarice Ayvazian lives a comfortable life surrounded by the gentle bickering of her children and her gossiping friends and relatives. Happy being at the heart of her family, she devotes herself to their every need. But when an enigmatic Armenian family move in across the street, something begins to gnaw at Clarice’s contentment: a feeling that there may be more to life - and to her - than this. Set in Iran, Zoya Pirzad’s award-winning novel crafts an intimate portrait of family life – its joys and its compromises  – and how we find a happiness that endures.

‘Autumn’ by Ali Smith 

The extraordinary friendship of an elderly songwriter and the precocious child of his single-parent neighbour is at the heart of this novel that darts back and forth through the decades, from the 1960s to the era of Brexit. The first in a projected four-volume series, it’s a moving exploration of the intricacies of the imagination, a sly teasing-out of a host of big ideas and small revelations, all hovering around a timeless quandary: how to observe, how to be.

What book are you reading? I’d love to know :)