By Jack Hornsby
Baking has become a popular hobby over the last year as the pandemic had most of us sheltering at home. We at the Green Living Blog wanted to give you guys a healthy, fun to make, vegan alternative to a regular loaf of bread that you can try out at home! “Naan” is a popular, versatile type of indian flatbread that's perfect for just about any meal! Even if you are not a vegan this recipe is as good, or even better, than other non-vegan Naan options out there! This dish is very easy to make at home, very delicious, and incredibly versatile, so there’s a million different things that you can do with this bread! Let’s jump into it!
History of Naan bread
Naan is a flatbread that is used to accompany meals in Northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and other surrounding areas. The first accounts of Naan go back as early as 1300 AD. For hundreds of years Naan bread was seen as a bit of a delicacy, and the only people that were evidenced of having it in their diet on a semi-consistent basis were royalty and other people in positions of power. The reason that it remained a food for royals for hundreds of years is because it required ingredients, tools, materials and techniques that were just not available to people without some form of wealth. By around 1700 however the techniques and tools required to make this dish were much more widespread. While, at this point, Naan bread was still seen as a delicacy, it was available to those without great financial means. From this point onwards the spread of this dish became more and more widespread, until you get to today and it’s seen around the world. From India to North America, Naan Bread can be made by anybody who has the time required to make this amazing bread!
Different types of Naan bread
There are a plethora of versions to this bread, and a whole range of sides, dips, curries, and meats that can accompany it. On its own, it’s quite a healthy snack, perfect for any health conscious, vegan individual, or anyone on any form of plant based diet. Even if you do not fall into any of these categories, there are endless possibilities of how you can make and enjoy this dish! From your basic butter Naan and garlic Naan (which we’ll be making in this recipe!), to more filling and creative variants like Paneer Naan (bread stuffed with a fresh, soft, Indian cottage cheese called Paneer) , and Kashmiri Naan (which is filled with nuts and raisins) or Keema Naan (stuffed with minced, flavoured lamb) the options for making Naan your own are endless. There’s a ton of other fun things that you can easily do with your home-made Naan bread, which include easy-to-make health conscious, vegan/ vegetarian dishes, gluten-free accompaniments, and healthy meat-based curries and sides. You really cannot go wrong with this dish, whatever direction you decide to take it!
What can you do with the Naan bread?
Making the Naan got me thinking about what you could do with this bread, and after a little bit of research and experimenting on my own, I wanted to share with you the ideas I liked best.
First of all this garlic Naan bread is delicious on its own! It really is a great snack that can be enjoyed by itself, but if you do want to spice it up a little here’s what I recommend. If you’re vegan, and living a health-conscious lifestyle, you can easily make a vegan pizza out of it! Throw on some vegan cheese, whatever vegetables you fancy, put it in the oven until it’s all warm and melted and you’ve got yourself an incredibly easy and low effort pizza! Another medley type dish that you can make with this Naan is a wrap of any kind! Throw your chosen ingredients on top, wrap it up, and boom you’ve got a wrap of your choosing! The dish that I had along with my Naan bread was a wonderful Chicken Tikka Masala with rice, and I thought those three dishes together was an absolutely amazing combination. Finally, something that I am definitely going to try to make within the next week is making a Gyro with Naan bread. I’m still deciding if i want to go with a vegan Gyro or just a regular one (There’s a lot of amazing looking vegan Gyro recipes out there!) That all said, I'm sure any way that I spin it, having this Naan bread around will be great for further cooking experimentation, and I think anything that I make with this bread will be absolutely amazing!
Is this easy to make?
Actually, i did not find this recipe for Naan Bread too hard to make at all! I have personally never made any form of bread (flatbread or regular), so coming into making this was a little daunting. I have a lot of cooking experience, but next to no baking experience. Luckily this recipe requires no baking! The hardest part for me of this whole recipe was making sure that I had all the ingredients measured out correctly! Once you have your dough all made up and let it rest for a while you just need to knead and cook it up!
I know cooking can be scary if you are inexperienced or have just never really worked with dough too much before, but fear not this recipe is pretty hard to mess up! Overall, I would say that this dish is easy to make, delicious, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a little extra time on their hands, and wants to try and make a pretty low effort flatbread at home!
In this section I wanted to lay out the hard parts and pitfalls to look out for with this recipe. The actual hard parts of this recipe are as follows; making sure you knead the dough enough, and making sure you get the dough right. Actually cooking this bread is incredibly easy. You just put the dough on your cast iron skillet, let it sit there for a bit, and flip it over when ready. As for kneading the dough, you really have to make sure you get in there and knead it correctly. DO NOT skimp on the kneading! Secondly, getting the dough just right is essential to the success of cooking this Naan bread. Making sure you measure out the right amount of the ingredients, having the exact ingredients specified in the recipe, and combining them as instructed is essential to success here. Pay extra special attention to steps one through four to ensure you end up with a great tasting finished product. Finally, make sure you add the garlic! I personally cannot get enough garlic on anything, so i am a little biased, but i felt that garlic on this dish really elevated it to another level!
This recipe was a lot of fun to make. It’s a great recipe for anyone whose diet is completely plant based, vegan, or even someone who is not, because this Naan is just that good. To go along with this dish my family decided to do a tikka masala and this Naan bread was the perfect side to go along with it! Even if Tikka Masala isn’t a recipe you have tried before this is such a flexible dish that you can really do anything you want with it! Go take another look at my recommendations for it above, or find something else cool to do with it! I have a couple extra portions from this recipe still sitting in my fridge, so I'm excited to be able to do a lot of fun things with it!
OUR Promise TO YOU
Factual, Accurate and Reliable Information.