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Last night we had an Indian dinner, complete with homemade na’an and raita, and chicken/tomato biryani (without the rice, but with potatoes instead).  It was actually a substitute main dish; the original idea was to make Tandoori Chicken, but unfortunately due to a lack of foresight (I thought Tandoori Chicken was made with a dry rub), I didn’t allot enough time to marinate the chicken overnight.  By the time I started making dinner, we only had a window of 2 hours to make the chicken, cook the chicken and eat the chicken…far too little time for a marinade.  The marinade is a yogurt-based marinade that is best when marinated for at least 8 hours (the general “overnight” time).

I’m going to post the na’an and raita recipe because those two were the two worthy or mentioning.  Not that the chicken Biryani was bad; it was just average, so not blog-worthy.  The na’an and raita combination turned out phenomenal. I think the humid and very hot weather caused the na’an to rise at a record time, so even just after 50 minutes (instead of 90 minutes), the dough was nice and aerated, risen and soft…like a baby’s butt.  🙂

My mom used to always say that…good dough should feel like a baby’s butt.

The raita recipe was taken from a magazine, I think…I’m not quite sure and don’t remember, so don’t quote me on that one.  At any rate, my cookbook/recipe collection is in a 3 ring binder with photo adhesive paper pages (so I can adhere cut-out recipes to it and laminate it to protect it from kitchen goo).  The raita recipe was just one in the recipe book…with no title or reference.  If my memory serves me correctly, it could very well be from “Real Simple.”  Not 100% though.

Anyway, we started eating the meal with just our hands and the naan, but we eventually busted out the spoons because being unpracticed at eating with only naan, we weren’t being very efficient eaters.

On to the recipes.



Indian Naan

2 1/4 t. dry active yeast (less if it’s instant yeast)
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. white sugar
3 T. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 t. salt
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. minced garlic

1.  Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 10 minutes until frothy.
2.  Combine sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour and add yeast/water mixture and knead 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
3.  Place dough in well-oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hr. or until size is doubled.
4.  Punch down
5.  Knead in garlic.
6.  Divide dough into 16 golf ball sized balls and place on trays.
7.  Cover with plastic wrap or towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes or at until doubled.
8.  Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick and place on a buttered pan 2-3 minutes high heat.
9.  Serve warm.

Indian Raita

Traditional Indian Raita
Prep:  10 minutes/Total:  10 minutes/Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 t. chopped green onions  (we omitted this because we didn’t have any on hand, and it tasted fine…just more subtle and plain)
1/4 t. ground coriander (you can do this in a coffee grinder)
1/4 t. ground cumin

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl.  Season to taste with salt.  Chill raita, covered, until ready to serve.

Try it with a hot/spicy curry if you want to mellow out the spiciness.  Or just try it on a piece of na’an.