“I am a little naughty and often butter my naan, it may be a little decadent but it tastes deeeeelisshious,” says Parveen Ashraf, when SBS Food chats to the cooking teacher and TV host about the delights of this chewy-but-fluffy bread.
“I think hot buttered naan should come with a health warning as they are so addictive!”
For those – like us here at SBS Food! – who also love a buttered naan, here are ten essential recipes to help you embrace this indulgence, including Ashraf’s own easy naan recipe, and a vegan naan, for those who don't eat dairy.
This is the easy naan recipe that Ashraf shares in her show, Parveen’s Indian Kitchen. It used baking powder, rather than yeast, so it’s a good one if you have less time.
“A good naan bread needs to be light and fluffy. For best results cook on a high heat. The naan cooks in minutes and leaves you with a lovely ‘crisp on the outside, but still fluffy on the inside’ texture. If you overcook a naan, it will dehydrate and become tough,” she tells us.
“To make garlic naan, you can just buy regular garlic butter and spread that over a hot naan, it works a treat! Alternatively, crush one small clove of garlic into 70g butter, spread this over your naan and pop under the grill until the butter has melted,” Ashraf says.
“I like to eat naan with any masala sauce or curry dish but my favourite way to eat naan is with either a lamb bhuna (recipe here) or chicken jalfrezi (find it in her cookbook),” says Ashraf.
“My lamb bhuna is famous in my family. I love it, my children love it and my husband absolutely loves it. It’s his favourite dish. I make it all the time, probably about twice a week. The best thing about this lamb bhuna is you just chuck everything in a pan and cook it through." Get the recipe here.
Easy chicken curry
Use Anjum Anand’s recipe to make a batch of her tomato, garlic and capsicum, and you can then whip up her very easy chicken curry ready in around 10 minutes. And then, of course, mop up the very tasty sauce with naan!
This greens and cheese combo is an Indian classic. Give it a go in this recipe from Matthew Evans, delicious served with his super-easy yoghurt flatbreads, which are fantastic served warm and brushed with butter.
The thick, full-o-flavour gravy in this recipe is perfect served with naan.
Of course, we had to include this famous favourite, with it’s rich, thick, oh-so-delicious sauce! Samira Nanda says of her recipe. If you don’t have every spice listed, “don’t worry… you can still enjoy an absolutely delicious dish.”
Red lentil dhal
This curry comes from Gujurat, a province in Western Indian known for its vegetarian food. Adjust the chilli heat to suit your tastes.
Chana and spinach masala
When Ashraf makes this in Parveen’s Indian Kitchen, she serves it with… yes, you guessed it, hot buttered naan. “It’s creamy, it’s filling, it’s flavoursome,” she says of this fantastic vegetarian dish.
And a bonus: Butter chicken parcels
Got some leftover butter chicken? Here's a different way to take on the butter-and-naan combo! Make these easy naan, fill them with butter chicken and pan-fry in ghee.
Watch Parveen's Indian Kitchen Saturday at 5.30pm 25 Jan to 28 Mar on SBS Food. Episodes will be available on SBS On Demand after they air.
Resembling a focaccia, these yoghurt flatbreads are topped with vine tomatoes, chilli and ricotta on one loaf and potato and anchovy on the other.
Naan breads are traditionally baked in a clay oven, giving them their distinctive burnished exterior and fluffy interior. To get a similar result at home, I use a combination of baking in the oven and charring over an open flame.
It's no wonder that butter chicken is India's most popular curry and even though there are many spices and ingredients it's all worth it at the end when you dive into a rich curry and mop up all that sauce. The Chefs' Line
This classic north Indian flatbread, called lachha paratha, is very simple and quick to make. It's made from wholemeal flour and ghee and is incredibly light and fluffy.
Amritsar has a particular flaky, tandoor-cooked bread stuffed with potatoes or paneer, onions and spices. It is one of the dishes I sought out in Amritsar and, when you eat the real version, you understand why they are eaten there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are crisp outside and soft within with lots of distinct flavours and textures. Eating them fresh on a bustling street with a cup of masala tea was one of my most memorable Indian breakfast experiences. This is as close to the original as I could get without a tandoor oven and it is really moreish. It is normally made with plain flour, but I sometimes make it with chapatti flour so it is healthier; or I mix the two. This bread is also amazing cooked on a barbecue: just brush with a little ghee or butter before serving.
Similar to Indian Naan, just lighter and flakier (and in my opinion yummier), taftan is a hearth-baked flatbread from Persia and Pakistan. It is often flavoured with saffron – as this one is – which gives it a striking golden hue and alluring flavour perfect to serve alongside curries and soups (although don’t discount just nibbling it on its own).