Yesterday was SO cold and SO windy up on the mountain I was frozen and tired by the time we got back to the house. When we walked in the smell of indian food instantly warmed us up. I walked in the kitchen and my mom and uncle were fussing over a pot of lentil daal and starting the butter chicken (for the carnivores). Gord passed me a beer and cleared off a space on the counter for me to make this naan, it’s a neccesity with indian food.
I’d actually never thought of this before, but naan isn’t vegan. It’s often made with buttermilk or yogurt. Gord said that sometimes you can find vegan naan, but it’s a bit tricky, so most of the time he eats his indian food with a different kind of flat bread, so I was happy that I could show him how easy vegan naan is to make! I just think that eating indian food with pita bread or a tortilla isn’t the same. It doesn’t soak up the yummy sauces the same way naan does, and it just doesn’t seem fair.
Everyone at the table loved this naan, it was chewy, soft, fluffy, hot and fresh. These can be wrapped up and kept for a couple days OR frozen up to 3 months! Which is great if you have a sudden craving for naan, you can take one out of the freezer and toast it to have fresh, homeade naan at your fingertips.
This recipe itself is very easy, it’s only a few ingredients, most of which you may already have in your kitchen. As easy as this recipe is, it is bread, so it does take some time. Making the actual dough takes 0 time, but it does take 2 hours to rest and then a bit of time to cook them, but honestly…SO worth it! There’s nothing like fresh naan. If you know ahead of time that you need naan, then this is the way to go. You can make the dough earlier in the afternoon, let it rest, and then cook them right before dinner so that they’re hot and fresh when you go to eat, which is what we did. I made the dough at around 4:00 and we ate around 6:30. You could smell the naan throughout the house and it smelled AMAZING.
I used a vegan based coconut milk yogurt, that I just bought at save on foods. Don’t be tricked though – lactose free doesn’t mean vegan. I find the coconut milk based yogurt is best, I love coconut milk, and the yogurt itself doesn’t take super coconutty, but the texture of the yogurt is perfect. If you’re not a vegan, this recipe is still perfect because you can use just regular plain yogurt and it will turn out the same, so this recipe is perfect for eevveerrryoonnnee! Feel free to have some fun with this naan – add in a couple cloves of chopped garlic, some curry powder or some coriander or cilantro! I’m only sad that I wasn’t here to get the lentil daal recipe from my uncle, he made it while I was up snowboarding!
We served our indian food with a bottle of Gewürztraminer and a bottle of dry Riesling from Quails Gate, a local winery here in Kelowna that we popped into on our way up here. The perfect pairing for indian food!
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tsp. active yeast
- 2 tsp white or organic sugar
- 4 cups ap or unbleached flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 6 tbsp. plain vegan yougurt (So Delicious is what I use) or regular plain yogurt for non-vegans
- 4 tbsp. olive oil or grapseep oil
- Garlic, curry, cumin or coriander (optional)
Makes 12 naan
In a medium size bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir abd set aside until mixture becomes foamy, around 10 minutes or so.
While the yeast is activating, in a large bowl combine flour, salt ande baking powder.
Once the yeast mixture is foamy, add yogurt and oil. Stir to combine.
Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Don’t panic the dough will be a bit sticky!
Turn onto a floured surface and add just enough flour to gently knead for 5 turns and form into a loose ball. Place back in mixing bowl and rub with a bit more oil and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
Once the dough has risen, turn the dough out on to a floured surfae, and knead for 30 seconds, adding more four if needed. Divide the dough into 12 balls.
Let the balls rest for 10 minutes.heat. Once the balls are rested, take a piece of dough and lay it on a floured surface. Then roll out into an oval or circle with a rolling pin. Carefully flip over and pat the dough with a bit of water so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Heat a cast-iron skillet or non stick skilet to medium heat. I sometimes add a pat of oil or vegan butter to the pan, but that’s optional.
Place one your naans in the pan. Cook for 1 minute or until the edges of the dough look dry and it’s beginning to bubble. Flip the dough and cook until the underside is dark brown.
Repeat until all naan is cooked. If you want, brush with melted vegan butter or coconut oil and sprinkle with cilantro and sea salt (optional).
Serve warm and cover leftovers and store at room temperature for about 2 days or in the freezer up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through. Enjoy with your indian food and a glass of wine!