Every friday night I plan out the next week’s meals and accompanying grocery list. This may seem about the dullest way to spend a Friday night ( don’t worry, I jazz the night up with not one, not two, but three cups of chamomile tea) but I look forward to it every week. Spreading out dozens of cookbooks, I read, think and plan what we’ll eat all in a wondrous silence that only mothers of young children can appreciate. I usually have too many ideas and slowly widdle my list down until I have a reasonable compilation of meals that won’t bankrupt us and and are feasible on a weekday.
But this past Friday I couldn’t think of a single thing. Nothing sounded good, everything seemed far too complicated and little boxes of macaroni and cheese started to float inside my brain availing themselves as legitimate dinner options.
So instead of flipping through page after page of fancy cookbooks I thumbed through my old meal planning entries hoping to find some easy inspiration. It was there I discovered the not so ugly truth; We have a clear Indian food addiction and didn’t even know about it. Curries, Daal, Tikka Masala; the list went on. At the height of our Indian obsession we were eating Indian food 2 or 3 times a week. And who could blame us? Is there anything better than piping hot vegetable tikka masala poured over a bed of rice with a huge delicious and buttery hunk of naan? I dare say not.
Speaking of naan, it never occurred to me to actually make naan despite making the accompanying dish from scratch. While I’d never actually seen a recipe for naan I assumed it would be laborious and difficult. Let me tell you something; once you go homemade naan, you never go back. Store bought naan is like cardboard and homemade naan is like manna from heaven.
Making naan involves dough balls and rolling pins and thus lends itself to tiny helping hands. Seeing all those tiny little dough balls rolled up elicited a high pitched squeal and a ” wow ..how cool!” from Fig who promptly got to work rolling out the dough balls and handing them over to me.
So as you might have guessed, Indian food is gracing our table several times this week. We made a batch of 20 and freezed most of it but not before eating a few warm slices just ensure it was palatable and safe for consumption ( the sacrifices we make as home cooks I tell you!).
Bonus: I showed Fig how to use his naan as a vehicle for getting Tikka Masala into his mouth and he was totally into it. I’m a bit embarrassed I didn’t think of it sooner since Fig is a sucker for all things bread. Getting him to eat heavily spiced foods with complex flavors usually comes with quite a bit of coaxing and sometimes even bribery but I think we’ve solved that with naan!
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tsp. honey
- ¼-oz. package active dry yeast ( standard one package)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plain, full-fat yogurt ( if you don’t have yogurt I’ve used coconut milk cream with amazing results as well).
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- Combine water, honey and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the flour and yogurt. Combine well and knead. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.
- After dough has risen, divide into 10 equal tiny balls.
- Roll out to to about a 1/4 inch thick.
- Oil a pan and heat on medium.
- Cook naan on each side. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when tiny bubbles appear over the surface.
- Serve warm!