By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
During the looong lockdown, I got bored with cooking Italian cuisine. I needed something new and exotic, so I took a virtual cooking tour into the magical mystery world of Indian and Middle Eastern recipes. I experimented a lot and met with success, so over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing the recipes.
I'll start with the very basics: The Indian Naan.
Since I don't have a tandoori oven, I used a regular pan, and the result was excellent! I've made naan before, but this go-round I discovered a secret ingredient to give naan a soft, yummy heart. All you have to do is add plain Greek yogurt! I used the fat-free kind, but I’m sure the result with the whole-fat version is equally amazing.
I also experimented with adding a variety of ingredients to the dough. It turns out you can add just about anything that sounds like it would be good in the bread—veggies, potatoes, garlic, herbs, spices. It's delicious with my recipe for Maharaja's Chicken or a spicy tomato sauce. Enjoy!
1 pound all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs sunflower oil
2 Tbs of Greek yogurt
½ cup water
Place the flour with baking soda on a wooden tray, forming a well in the middle; it will look like a fountain with a hole in the middle. Add the yogurt into the well and start to work the dough into an elastic round loaf. Add a little water if it is too firm.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into four balls. Dust each section with flour and flatten into a thin circle with a rolling pin.
Drizzle a large skillet with oil over medium heat. Place each naan into the oil until bubbles start to form on the dough.
Flip the naan and cook the other side. Serve warm with your choice of any Indian recipe.
Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup,Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), and Superfoods, Ippo is currently finishing her latest work, The Lords of Florence (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).