Updated – 15th. December 2014 – scroll to bottom of page
Generally speaking, it can be fairly easy to make an Indian main course dish Paleo friendly.
Usually minor tweaks only are required here and there.
The problem lies with side dishes and accompaniments, which are often pulse, wheat-bread, or rice based.
Those delicious breads in particular are something people miss when switching to Paleo, used as they are for mopping up the luscious sauce of a curry.
Imagine then how surprised and excited I was to come across a recipe for Paleo friendly Naan bread that to the Paleo conscious fan of Indian cuisine sounded and looked like the Mother Lode, the Alpha and the Omega, the King’s Blue Suede Shoes and the Last Train to Clarksville. If you think that description is somewhat over-the-top, then I suggest that you have never truly known the unbridled Joy of Naan.
The recipe in question can be found here, over at Ashley’s rather nice blog “My heart beets”.
Method & notes
I prepared the batter exactly as in the recipe.
When it came to cooking the batter, I opted for the better of my two non-stick frying pans, which in retrospect was a mistake, as it was the smaller of the two, which probably resulted in the way my naans turned out (see later for details!).
My first attempt used half the batter as the recipe advised. I heated up my frying pan over medium heat, allowed a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to heat up, and then poured in the batter.
I tried giving the batter about 6 minutes before attempting to flip the naan, at which point it was still not quite ready to flip. A couple of minutes later and I did manage to flip it, albeit with a slight bit of sticking.
After about another 8 minutes or so the naan was starting to look about right colour-wise, so I slipped it out of the pan and onto some kitchen paper to cool down and to drain of any excess coconut oil.
The taste was there, no doubt about that, but the texture was not quite right. The outside of the naan was crispy as expected, but the inside was more sticky and doughy than fluffy.
After trawling through Ashley’s responses to comments on her blog posting, I dropped the heat to low, cleaned and greased up my frying pan, and tried again. On the much lower heat setting I gave naan 2 almost 40 minutes cooking time – it flipped very easily and puffed up much more, but the inside was still just a little too sticky.
Having read the comments and suggestions once again, I realised that my frying pan being slightly smaller (8 to 9 1/2 inches) than the pan Ashley suggests using had indeed made a bigger impact than I thought it might. The amount of batter I had in the pan was simply too thick a layer.
There was only one thing to do – the very next day I went out an bought a new, larger frying pan. Next time I try this recipe I should have the correct thickness of dough in the pan to start with.
I also might experiment with adding a touch of baking powder to the batter, just to give it a bit of help in the fluffiness department.
One thing’s for certain – as sure as eggs is eggs I’m not giving up on this recipe. The promise of a Paleo Naan bread is not something to be abandoned lightly….
Update, 15th. December 2014
I revisited this recipe for Paleo naan bread today, having noticed something I previously must have missed.
Rather than frying half of the batter at a time, I used smaller amounts, of ¼ cup. In a pre-heated, large, non-stick medium hot frying pan containing a little coconut oil, I gave them 2½ minutes a side.
This gave a nice colour (see new picture, at top of page), and the texture I’ve been after – soft, pliable, and no longer sticky.