For the dough for naans
230gm all-purpose white flour (maida)
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder
4 tbsp yoghurt
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 whole egg and 60gm yoghurt or just 115gm yoghurt alone
4 tbsp milk
For basting over the naans
30gm melted Ghee
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (black cumin or kalonji)
1. Heat the milk and yoghurt slightly over hot water and stir till they are mixed.
2. Add whole egg and yoghurt or just yoghurt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the melted ghee in a bowl. Keep the mixture aside
3. Sieve the flour together with the salt and sugar. Make a depression in the centre of the flour and pour in the prepared mixture, a little at a time, until it is all used.
4. Add the leavening agent and knead hard for 15 to 18 minutes (sprinkle a little dry flour if the dough is sticky) or till it becomes smooth and elastic.
5. Cover and leave in a warm place till it swells to one and a half times its original volume. This takes about 3 to 4 hours in cold weather (10 to 21°C) and 1 ½ to 2 hours in hot weather (26 to 40°F).
6. Divide into 6 equal parts and shape them into balls with the help of dry flour. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
7. Sprinkle a little flour and flatten each ball into a pancake (chapatti) by tossing it from one hand to the other.
8. When the pancake is ready, apply a little mixture of the melted ghee, sesame seeds and the nigella on one side and a little warm water on the other.
9. Stick the moistened surface of the chapatti to the hot wall of a clay oven (tandoor). Remove when it is cooked. If a clay oven (tandoor) is not available stick the bread on a hot griddle (tawa).
10. When its lower surface is baked invert the griddle (tawa) along with the nan over direct heat or place it under the grill and allow the upper surface to cook. The bread however is much better baked in a clay oven than over a griddle. Serve with meat curries, tandoori chicken or tandoori fish.
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