Indian food is great for celiacs as so many dishes are made without gluten containing ingredients so a trip to an Indian restaurant is usually the one time I can indulge in one of my favourite things, eating from other people plates. I grew up in a family of food sharers, if we go out as a group we will try to order different things, passing forkfuls of food across the table with regularity so we can each get a taste of everything on offer. Being diagnosed celiac has meant that I can rarely indulge in that kind of behaviour so when I do head out with my Mum and sisters it is usually to the local Indian Restaurant, Spice, where we will order a variety of dishes to share.
The one thing I really miss from that experience is tearing off a piece of Naan bread to sop up whatever fragrant sauce is on my plate. I know Tesco do gluten free Naans but they are dry and hard rather than soft, yielding and burnt in all the right places the way good Naan bread should be.
I was home recently and my sister made homemade Naan breads and it seemed so easy that I was inspired to give a gluten free version a try. I found a Jamie Oliver recipe and added some psyllium husks to give the dough a bit of stretch and basted each bread with garlicky melted butter and fresh coriander. These worked well and are definitely worth trying yourself but I am not done experimenting, next time I am going to use the Dove’s Farm Bread Flour instead of Plain Flour to see if I can get an extra bit of lift when the dough is rising.
Ingredients; Adapted from Jamie Oliver
½ x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
125 ml warm water
1 teaspoon of honey
I tablespoon of melted unsalted butter
250 grams of Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
2 teaspoons of psyllium husks
¼ teaspoon of salt
3 heaped tablespoons of natural yogurt, I used Greek yogurt
I tablespoon of butter
2 cloves of garlic
Fresh coriander roughly chopped
Mix the yeast with the honey and the warm water in a small bowl and set aside while the yeast activates
In another larger bowl stir together the flour, salt and the psyllium husks and then make a well in the centre.
Pour in the melted butter, yogurt and activate yeast and mix everything together with a fork until you have a rough dough.
The dough should be soft and sticky so add a bit of water if your dough feels dry.
Knead the dough of a lightly floured surface for about five minutes and then shape in to a smooth ball, place the dough ball in a clean bowl and cover with clean tea towel.
Put the covered bowl somewhere warm and leave for on and a half to two hours so the dough can rise.
Once the dough is risen give it one more quick knead and then divide it in to six or eight equal sized portions and form these in to balls, it depends on how big you want the breads.
Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface until they are about one cm thick.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan, cast iron if you have it and non- stick if you don’t, over a high heat.
Grate the garlic cloves in to the melted butter and set aside.
Flick a small bit of water on to the pan with your fingers and while it is sizzling place the naan bread in the pan. Cook for two to three minutes until the bread is bubbling and browning and then turn it over, while the underside is cooking brush the topside with the melted garlic butter.
Once the underside is cooked remove the bread, sprinkle on some chopped coriander and wrap it loosely in tin fil to keep warm while you cook the remaining breads.
Serve warm with the Indian dishes of your choice. These naan were pleasantly soft , moist from the garlic butter but still nicely chewy at the edges. They were perfect for tearing and wrapping around pieces of my tandoori chicken and I will definitely be making them again, and again tweaking the recipe until I get the perfect gluten free Naan.