Monday, June 28, 2010

naan disclosure:

I have a confession to make. I’ve never actually eaten at an Indian restaurant. It’s one of David’s final frontiers, and he’s wearing me down gradually.

David went on a field trip to Chicago for work a few weeks ago, and I decided I wanted to make something new and different.

I was going to make Indian.

The difficulties were clear—I didn’t have all day to cook, so I’d have to prep some in advance, get up super early in the morning and use the slow cooker. And then there’s the teeny tiny detail that I had no idea what I was cooking was supposed to taste like.

“Even if it’s not authentic, I’m sure it will at least be edible.” I reasoned. “If not, Papa Johns delivers until 9:45.”

After a few hours of searching, I created the menu for the evening. Literally.

Welcome to "Nomvana"

I broke out the calligraphy set and attempted to write in sanskrit. I'm pretty sure that all I managed to write was gibberish consonants run together and forgot the vowels, but it's the thought that counts.

I found a nice recipe for lamb slow cooker curry with Serrano peppers for the main, paired with raita--a cucumber yogurt sauce to scale down the heat from the Serrano. For rice, I cooked basmati with spinach and a generous amount of cumin. Dessert was the result of my recent pudding shot experiments. And because if you are going to do something, you might as well go all out, I made naan.

I shopped for all my ingredients the day before, which included staring at the fresh ginger for an embarrassingly long time, trying to figure out how much I'd need. I had debated the night before about making naan and decided to go for it. I had never tried to make naan. After I tweeted a picture, apparently I'm not alone.

this is all you need!

I don't understand why, now that I've made it. It's kind of like making pancakes. You don't need a brick oven, or a crazy rigged terra cotta flower pot (I'm looking at you, Alton Brown), or anything expensive or weird like that.

I knew nothing about Indian cooking, and I made very passable naan. You can too! I found this recipe on Chow and followed it closely, because naan recipes are all over the place if you just search the internet. This one seems pretty standard. I've made it twice now, and the results are consistent.

makes me want some hummus real bad

I would definitely classify this as a great success. David said the flavors were great, and the raita was the best he'd had. I liked the spinach+cumin+basmati dish I invented. The curry was delicious and had just the right amount of heat. And even though I've never eaten at an Indian restaurant, I can assure you, our apartment certainly smelled like one for the next couple days.


  1. Laura,

    Your naan looks great. Any time you want to try Indian food without all the work, give us a call (or Tweet). Ambar is calling.


  2. I think you're totally insane. But in a good way.

  3. Today in the car with Sarah

    Sarah: "what is falafel"
    Mu (Sarah's co-worker): "Your sister makes nann from scratch and you don't know what falafel is? But you guys look like twins".


  4. I LOVE the color of your naan. Nicely done.

    However. There are two oversized flower pots in my closet. Don't hate. :)

    Also, we need to get you to Amabar, pronto. Even if it's just for a plate of fragrant basmati rice and tandoori chicken.


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.