Indian food. A million flavours, colours and places rolled into (at times) one dish. I’ve had a love affair with Indian food since for at least the last 15 years.
Moving to Calgary has meant giving up A LOT of my old familiar favourites ~ and sadly, after 2 years here, I can find no honest to goodness replacement for some of them.
So, unwilling to suffer any food loss, I take control of the situation and roll out some pretty damn good Vegan/Vegetarian curry – WITH homemade Naan bread, my first try and definitely NOT my last.
This meal was amazing. I can’t wait to go to India.
Garlic Naan – if going gluten free skip Naan or use GF flour
1 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 cups organic all purpose flour
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp vegan yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seed
5 tbsp melted butter or earth balance spread
6 cloves garlic pressed or diced
In a large glass, dissolve dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water. Let it sit on your counter until it’s frothy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.
Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and add fennel seeds and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. 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 the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit for 1.5 to 2 hours.
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 the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.
Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, 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 1/4-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 this method with the rest of the dough. (If you’re making the gluten-free version, you’ll have better luck pressing the dough out with your fingertips, than rolling.)
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 and have a bowl of melted butter at the ready.
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.
After about 1 minute, flip the naan. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter **mixed with crushed garlic** and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.
* If you would like to make this gluten-free, you can substitute in 2 1/4 cups of a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix for the regular flour, plus 1 1/4 teaspoons of xanthum gum.
5 yellow potatoes peeled or not, sliced or cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion sliced and diced
1 can of chickpeas or equivalent thereof of fresh/dried & re hydrated
1 cup vegan cream or real cream
5 large chopped and pureed tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
2 inches fresh grated ginger OR 1 tsp powdered
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp curry powder
6 cloves minced garlic
1-3 handfuls of washed & chopped cilantro
Boil potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse and set aside.
Heat oil in skillet cook onion & garlic until translucent. Stir in all spices and cook for one minute.
Pour in blended tomatoes, cream and beans simmer for 10 minutes, allow to cook on low for 1-1.5 hours. No additional liquid should be necessary – very soupy.
Top with sprinkle of chopped cilantro and serve with fresh HOT garlic naan.
Serves 6, add basmati or jasmine rice if desired.
Naan Adapted from Aarti Sequeira