Once again, I’m raving about Dishoom. As soon as this lockdown is over, this restaurant is going to be my first destination. Cooking their recipes has been a delicious adventure over the past few weeks. I am yet to try one and not declare it my favourite recipe. Honestly, if you make one purchase during this period, I couldn’t recommend their cookbook enough. Every recipe is so different, and just so special.
However, I was slightly apprehensive to try their famous Naan. Perhaps the most famous of Indian breads, Dishoom stresses that no home oven will be able to create a naan as perfect as one cooked in a traditional Tandoor Oven. But following their book promises to give you a very good alternative. And it delivered! After watching their head chef’s tutorials on Dishoom’s Instagram page on repeat, I decided the time had come for me to try them out!
They came out so good – definitely better than any naan I’ve made before. Dishoom’s naans are quite a bit thinner than other naans I’ve tried. However, they’re beautifully soft and fluffy inside with a nice blackened char on the outside. Drizzled with some melted butter or ghee and used to scoop up your favourite curry (I recommend Dishoom’s Chicken Ruby) they are just the best.
The original recipe calls for maids flour, and baking powder, however, I couldn’t get a hold of this. After scouring the comments section of Dishoom’s Instagram page, I saw they recommend self-raising flour as a substitute and omitting the baking powder. This is what I ended up doing, but if you have Maida flour, definitely give it a try! you’ll need to add back in the 1 tsp baking powder though.
I have come to realise how important resting time is. I often just brushed it off, especially with no yeast breads such as this, as I didn’t have the patience to wait. However, though I can’t explain the science behind it, it is definitely essential. I have tried this naan both with and without the full resting time, and it turned out so much better when rested. The making of the dough doesn’t take long at all, so all you need to do is plan in advance when you want to eat it to ensure there is enough time to rest for the full 2.5 hours.
To create the right cooking conditions, you need to pre-heat your grill as high as it will go. Then you need to heat a large dry frying pan, also as hot as you can. It needs to be one that can be placed under the grill – i.e not one with a plastic handle that could melt. Once rolling the naan, you place it on the hot pan for 20 seconds. This cooks the underside of the bread. Then you immediately place it under the grill until it bubbles and creates the classic char on the top. However, you don’t want it to burn, so keep an eye on it. It will probably take between 1-2 minutes, depending on your grill and your preference.
Give these naans a try, and after a few tries, you’ll be a pro! I can’t promise they’ll be as good as they come served at Dishoom, but they’re a close second!
Soft Fluffy Dishoom Naan
- 280 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp caster sugar
- 70 ml milk
- 70 ml water
- 1 small egg
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- melted butter (to serve)
- Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. In a jug beat the egg, sugar, milk and water. Pour into the well and gradually incorporate the flour stirring with a knife.
- Once the dough has come together, tip onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until it is smooth and soft. Set the dough aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- After the 10 minutes, tip the tbsp oil over the dough and knead quickly for 30 seconds to mix in the oil. Shape the dough back into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 2 hours.
- Once rested, shape the dough into 5 equal balls and place onto an oiled baking tray. Cover with cling film and leave for a final 30 minutes.
- Heat your grill to high. Lightly oil a work surface and roll a ball of dough out, pretty much as thin as you can, to about 2 mm. Use oil instead of flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Heat a frying pan as hot as you can on the hob (you need to use a frying pan that can go under the grill). Once hot, place a rolled naan onto the pan and count to 20 seconds. Now place the pan under the grill and wait for the naan to puff up and cook. This will take between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Take the naan out from the grill and place in a folded tea towel to keep warm while you cook the others. Brush with melted butter and serve.
Method in Pictures
Gather your ingredients
Add the flour and salt to a bowl and make a well in the centre
Whisk the milk, egg and sugar in a jug
Pour into the centre of the well
Mix in using a knife
Until fully combined
Tip onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes
Once smooth, shape into a ball and let rest for ten minutes
pour the oil over the dough and knead aggressively for 30 seconds
Put the dough in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 2 hours
After 2 hours, shape the dough into 6 balls and add to a baking tray covered with cling film
Leave the dough to rest for half an hour, then roll into 2mm thin pieces on an oiled surface
Place on a very hot frying pan for 20 seconds, then place under a hot grill for a minute until it puffs up
Serve with a drizzle of melted butter and your favourite curry