TODAY’S CHEF RECIPE: CHEESE NAN

A few days ago, I went to eat in an Indian restaurant with a dear friend of mine. I had had Indian cuisine before (and here, you’ll notice the big concession I made given my French pride😉 So yeah, nothing really exciting. This time was different though. Was it the atmosphere, the friendly waiter that we had a nice chat with or just… the dishes looked good and tasted even better. That triggered my curiosity. After a little research, I came up with a recipe that I especially enjoyed, I named the “cheese nan”. Quite common in India if I’m not wrong, but it takes a little skill to put it together. Fear not though, I did it, so you will too :) Should I mention that during the backing process, the whole oven was almost in fire and whenever I opened it, a black cloud of smoke would warn my family to stay away from the experimentation? Probably not, because that might make your hair stand up on your head… Let me just tell you that the cooking process involved some adventures that are due to the temperamental cheese only! If your adventurous sense has not been aroused yet, here is smth that might help. One thing though, I can’t quite guarantee this recipe because mine was in French, but it looks pretty similar🙂 The only sure thing in this world is the taste of heaven you’ll have if you ever get the right outcome🙂

Cheese Naan Recipe

Ingredients:

1lb white flour
1oz dried yeast
1 tsp nigella seed (also known in Indian stores as charnushka or kanolfi seed)
6 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp ghee or melted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
oil or ghee to coat

for stuffing:

50 gms. grated paneer or Indian cottege cheese 
1 medium sized onions, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped coriander
2 chopped chilies
1/2 tsp salt or as per your taste

Mix all the stuffing ingredients together. Method:

1. Dissolve sugar in warm water.
2. Add yeast. Yeast should froth, if it doesn’t, start over with fresh yeast.
3. In a seperate bowl, sift salt with flour and add nigella seeds.
4. Make a well in the centre and add yoghurt, ghee and yeast mixture.
5. Knead well until it forms a dough. Shape into a ball. If dough is sticky, add more flour until elastic.
6. Coat a seperate bowl with oil or ghee and roll dough into it until fully coated.
7. Shake off excess oil and cover with damp tea-towel or cloth.
8. After 2 or 3 hours, dough should have doubled in size. This happens best in a warm area.
9. Knead the dough and divide into around 6 equal portions.
10. Flatten and put one tsp of the paneer stuffing in the center. Close the edges and roll into pear shape.
11. Preheat oven to 450oF/230oC and bake all the naans for 10 mins, if possible on a brick (that makes all the different). Brush with ghee or butter and serve.

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