A few years ago we had the opportunity to live in Japan with our little family. One of the highlights for me was sampling all of the unique cuisine. Not only did we eat delicious Japanese food, but we tried many different ethnic foods. One of our absolute favorite restaurants was a local, family-owned Indian restaurant. With maybe 8-10 small tables in the room, the smell of curries wafting through the air and naan bread the size of your head to lap it up…I can almost taste it all today. I still dream about the garlic-cheese naan I ordered every time, hot from the tandoor oven, to this day.
After our youngest was born (in Japan) one of the first meals I ate, aside from my clinic stay, was this amazing naan bread. All of our kids were always happy going to eat there because they could eat as much delicious naan as possible. When we moved back stateside, we searched for an Indian restaurant that lived up to the hype and memories. Sadly, we haven’t been able to find one and plane tickets for a family of six to Japan for dinner aren’t in the budget.
Instead I got creative and cooked it up myself. The first time we sank our teeth into this naan bread, dripping with garlic butter and oozing with cheese evoked all the memories of our favorite Indian restaurant in Nagoya, Japan. Even though this recipe isn’t quite as traditional (I subbed milk instead of yogurt and used a griddle instead of a tandoor oven), I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Yield: 12 pieces of naan
Time: 15 minute mix, 2 hour rise, 30 minute rise, 4 minute cook
- 1 ½ cups milk (warmed)
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 3-4 Tablespoons melted butter
For garlic cheese naan:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 slices Havarti cheese (or other creamy/melty cheese)
- Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove (be sure it feels like a baby’s bathwater…not too hot). Add the instant yeast and sugar to the milk.
- Pour the milk mixture into a mixer (or bowl to knead by hand) and add the salt and all purpose flour. Knead for 5 minutes in a mixer or about 8-10 minutes by hand. The dough should be smooth and form a ball. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Separate the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into a loose ball. Cover and let rest for about 20-30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, preheat a griddle to 400 degrees or warm up a frying pan. You could also use a pizza stone in a hot oven (450-500 degrees).
- Roll out each ball of dough into a circle (about 6-8 inches in diameter). You may have to let the dough rest for 10 seconds and then continue rolling depending on how thin you want your naan bread.
- For plain naan: Grill on the griddle about 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown spots appear on the bread. Brush with melted butter and serve warm or at room temperature.
- For garlic cheese naan: Roll the naan into a 6-8 inch circle. Put a square slice of cheese in the middle of the circle and fold the naan over the cheese, pinching the edges closed as you go. Continue rolling it out if needed with the cheese inside the naan bread. It will be more in the shape of a rectangle. Grill about 2 minutes per side. Add the minced garlic to the melted butter and brush on the naan bread. Enjoy warm!
This naan is delicious dunked in some vegetable curry, butter chicken or chicken saag. If you go the extra step and add in the cheese and garlic butter it will take your meal over the top! Even better than the flavor of this naan bread are the memories they evoke when we smell it, taste it and reflect on the wonderful time we spent as a family abroad.
Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂