Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

RECIPE: Gluten-Free Naan

Published on June 20, 2011 by   ·   2 Comments Pin It

For those of you who don’t know what naan is, it’s a little slice of South Asian heaven! You can find it in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (or restaurants that serve that type of cuisine,) and it’s often used to sop up all that curry that your fingers can’t scoop up.  When the effervescent star of Aarti Party, Aarti Sequeira shared her gluten-free naan recipe,  you know we had to veganize it! Aarti Party is an adorable internet cooking show that takes viewers on a playful romp through a tiny Los Angeles kitchen, where Aarti’s childhood in Dubai, her Indian heritage and her culinary coming-of-age in California are braided together into budget-friendly, quick and easy recipes every week.  Too bad more of her clever recipes aren’t cruelty-free.  Moving on… let’s veganize!

Naan is a pillowed flatbread, usually (but not always) made with yeast, that is cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven that achieves temperatures of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, it’s those surface-of-the-sun types of temperatures that make recreating naan in our piddly little ovens so difficult. The dough doesn’t bubble in the same way, doesn’t char just so, doesn’t stay moist. Some recipes suggest cooking the dough in your oven (as hot as it can get) on a pizza stone. I’ve tried that method over and over again, and I end up with a dry, brittle and slightly undercooked bread. No good. So here’s this method, which I consider even better because it requires nothing more than a rolling pin and your trusty cast iron skillet.  It’s not the same as the gluten’d, tandoor’d version… but it’s still good eatin’. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Naan

Recipe and image via Aarti Party

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, plus 1 teaspoon extra
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons plain vegan soy yogurt
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill is best)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Melted Earth Balance butter for slathering on the finished naans

1) In a large glass, dissolve dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with warm water. Let it sit on your counter for about 10 minutes, or until it’s frothy.

2) Meanwhile, sift flour, xantham gum, salt, extra 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl. Once yeast is frothy, stir oil and yogurt into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the seeds if you’re using them, and using a fork, gently mix the ingredients together. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands. It will feel like there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and let it sit in a warm, non-drafty place for 1 to 3 hours.

3) When you’re ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky; this is good! Separate into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.

4) To shape naan: either shape the naans with your fingertips, pushing each ball into a teardrop shape about 1/4″ thick. Or, using a rolling pan, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. It should be 8 to 9 inches long, 4 inches wide at its widest point and about ¼-inch thick. Once you’ve formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough’s own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

5) Warm a large cast iron skillet over high heat until it’s nearly smoking; make sure you have a lid large enough to fit the skillet. Have bowl of melted butter at the ready.

6) Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Gently lay it in the skillet, and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.

7) After 1 minute, flip the naan. If it has blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet, and cook 1 more minute.

Remove from the skillet, brush with butter, sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt, and place it in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. I love it when you talk gluten free to me, baby. ::rawr::

  2. Theresa says:

    Begun, the great intrenet education has.

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