North Indian Cuisine

What happens when you are craving for garlic naans and tandoori chicken and have too much time on your hand? You D-I-Y! As it is apparent on this site, I’m not fond of cooking. I prefer baking with its approximately precise ingredient quantities. Maybe it is just the way my mother is trying to pass down her recipes, what’s with the random throwing of ingredients into the pot.

Back to the food, naans and tandoori chicken are traditionally cooked in a tandoor – a cylindrical clay oven. Now, most of us will not have a tandoor in our kitchen – if you do, wow! So the chicken was cooked in the oven and the naans were pan-fried with the lid on. It might not taste 100% authentic what with the lack of the smokey taste but it is still “Yum!”.

Garlic Naan

adapted from allrecipes

makes about 15 small naans

1 (0.25 oz) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup white sugar (the naans were a tad too sweet for me – will reduce the amount of sugar the next time – oh yes, there will be a next time)

3 tbsp milk

1 egg, beaten ( I just realised that I forgot to add the egg but the naans turned out fine..hmm)

2 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups bread flour

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup butter, melted (I love garlic so I added 2 cloves of minced garlic to the butter for a stronger garlic flavor)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow to activate for 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise for approximately 1 hour or until double in size.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about a slightly larger golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.

Lightly grease frying pan and turn on to medium heat. Roll one dough out into a thin circle. Place dough into pan and cover the pan. Let cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Brush uncooked side with butter, flip and cover the pan for another 1- 2 minutes, until slightly brown. Repeat until all dough have been cooked.

Tandoori Chicken

1 medium-sized chicken (~ 1 kg)

1 cup plain yoghurt

1/2 small onion

1 small shallot

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala

A hefty pinch of salt

Ground pepper to taste

2 crushed cloves

A pinch of turmeric

Red Colouring (optional)

Finely chop the onion, shallot and garlic, and add them to a glass bowl with the yogurt. Add the lemon juice, stir to combine, before adding the paprika, ginger, garam masala, salt, and pepper (also add the cayenne or red chili flakes if you’ve chosen to use them). If you want to simulate the smoky flavor of the tandoor, add the crushed cloves to the mix. Add the turmeric and the coloring (optional).

Stir everything together and then place the chicken thighs in the bowl. Rub the mixture over the chicken thighs, place the chicken in your fridge and let it marinate for at least 4 hours – the longer the better, I let mine marinate for a day.

Place the roasting pan and wire rack in the oven and preheat to 230 degrees Celsius. Cook the chicken for at least 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken is poked.

The garlic naan and tandoori chicken goes well with the chick pea chole/curry but I do not have the recipe for the chole because I didn’t prepare it. My mom did and she said she threw in stuff in the pot with a bit of curry powder and voila..chick pea chole.


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