Cottage Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Naan – Wholewheat Indian Flat Bread
Naan – a popular flat bread from South Asia, always reminds me of my college days in Delhi. The time I traveled quite frequently to my home during weekends and used to eagerly wait for the bus to stop at those high way Dhabas (makeshift village side eateries) for some scrumptious meal. Charcoal smoked Naans hot from Tandoor (clay oven), generously smeared with fresh butter and served with whole creamy lentils, yogurt raita and sliced onions…Mmm. Although I often make Naan at home but nothing can beat that authentic taste of charcoal infused slightly charred stuffed Naan. If only I knew that a food blog is on the anvil…I would have asked him the recipe for sure
Naan resembles Pita bread which is baked with white flour leavened by yeast and generally baked in oven, while a traditional Naan is baked in clay oven or Tandoor which gives the characteristic smoky flavor to it. Of late I have switched to wholewheat flour baked Naans and like the more nutty flavors and crispy bake of the wholegrain. This recipe of cottage cheese & garlic stuffed Naan is all time favorite of my family who enjoy these breads with just dollops of butter. I cooked this recipe over stove top using my thick iron griddle and served them with simple Kidney beans curry also known as Rajma, a very popular North Indian curry.
(makes 6 )
For the Bread
- 2 cups wholewheat flour
- 2 tbsp. yogurt/curd
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. instant dried yeast
- Warm water or milk for kneading
- 1/4 cup cottage cheese (paneer)
- 1/4 cup grated carrots
- 1 tbsp. crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp. mint leaves
- 1 onion sliced finely
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- Salt as desired
- Nigella seeds (onion seeds)
- sesame seeds
- coriander leaves
Method; Mix dried yeast and sugar in a little warm water and leave it to rise for a few minutes and make sure that the yeast bubbles up and make frothy solution. Take the flour in a large vessel and mix it with salt. Make a well in the center and add yogurt, oil and the yeast mix into it.
Knead all the ingredients into a soft dough using little water at each time. Cover the dough with a muslin cloth and keep aside for 2 hours to double. Since it has wholewheat in it, the dough will not rise as much as a dough with all purpose flour will.
Punch down the dough and make 6 balls of equal size. Smear little oil over each ball and keep side covered with muslin cloth for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile make the stuffing ready by mixing all the ingredients for filling together.
Take a ball and flatten it to about 1/4 inch round disc with a rolling pin dusting the board with dry flour, fill a little stuffing inside and close the disc from all the sides to secure the filling properly. Dust it with dry flour and roll it again into a thick round disc.
Lift the Naan and stretch it a little to give it a characteristic elongated shape. Sprinkle Nigella seeds or sesame seeds or chopped coriander leaves and slightly press the topping on it.
Flip to the other side and apply a little water on the other side (use a sprayer).
Heat a thick griddle/tawa and carefully lift the rolled out Naan and put the wet side on the griddle. Keep the flame high and see for bubbles on the Naan.
Turn the griddle at this point directly over the flame, Naan will not fall as it is struck to the griddle with water. Keep turning the tawa for even cooking and cook it for about 1 minute on high flame till brown spots appear on it.
Take out the cooked Naan with a knife, slice it into four pieces, smear it with butter and serve it hot with any accompaniment of your choice or enjoy these stuffed wholewheat flat breads just plain with extra butter.
Serve these cottage cheese stuffed wholewheat Naan with quick & simple recipe of kidney beans – Rajma.
- Make all the balls, fill the stuffing and keep them ready to cook or bake, saves a lot of time.
- Use a plastic sheet greased with oil to roll the Naan.
- White flour or all purpose flour (maida) will give much fluffy and lighter Naans. Try this here.
- You can avoid the filling and make plain Naan and pair it with any spicy Indian curry.