Try my chilli garlic naan for a spicy and buttery twist to your naan. Pair it with my paneer kofta for a vibrant and flavourful dinner.
Chilli garlic naan
As far as I’m concerned naan in general has to be classed as a top tier bread, and I won’t ever budge on that statement. There is a huge variety of naans within the ‘naan world’ and this chilli garlic naan is definitely a very strong contender. It gets generously glazed with a spicy garlic butter whilst warm, with pieces of birds eye chillies running across it. Tear into pieces and dunk in your favourite daals or curries.
If you’re not a fan of spicy food then there’s plenty of other alternatives worth trying:
- Butter naan
- Garlic naan
- Peshwari naan
- Paneer naan
How is naan made?
Naan is a leavened bread, which means it contains some form of raising agent to provide its airy texture. Hence for this naan, the raising agent we will be using is yeast. There are other recipes which utilise baking powder or self raising flour, but they would not be interchangeable with this recipe.
Naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, however to adapt this to the everyday kitchen these naan will be cooked in a skillet or wide frying pan. I would advise a cast iron skillet, or anything with good heat conductivity for best results. Trust me, these homemade naan hold their own.
Differences with yeast:
If using active dry yeast or fresh yeast, both will require activation by placing it in the warm water mixed with the sugar. This process takes roughly 5-10 minutes. Frothing and bubbling will be the sign of activation. With instant dried yeast, the yeast can be added directly to the flour, you can still use warm water to shorten the proving time however cold water will also work absolutely fine.
How to make the perfect chilli garlic naan
Making the dough
First we have to prepare our naan dough, I’m using a standing mixer but this will also work just fine by hand. I’m also using instant yeast and hence adding it directly to my flour.
Mix together the flour, salt sugar and instant yeast. Then add the water and mix. If you’re using fresh yeast or active dry, activate it in water and sugar first. If you’re mixing the dough by hand it’s also easier to add the yogurt and oil now too.
Keep mixing the dough as it goes from looking ‘shaggy’ to somewhat smooth, this is showing that we’re starting to get some gluten development and the flour is absorbing the water.
At this stage then add the yogurt and oil and continue to mix until a soft and smooth dough that cleans the bowl as it mixes. It will have a slight tackiness to the touch.
Transfer the dough to a clean surface and shape into a doughball. This can be done by dragging the dough against the counter which will develop some tension on the top of the doughball.
Transfer the dough to a container and cover with a damp towel/lid/cling film and allow to rest until it doubles in size. The dough can be refrigerated at this stage for 12-48 hours. Once it has risen, lightly flour the surface and transfer again to a clean counter.
Shaping the doughballs
Portion your dough into 8 pieces, I tend to just use some scissors as it’s easy.
Take one piece and fold the corners in on itself to develop structure and tension.
Turn the doughball over so it’s seam side down and tighten the doughball by gently dragging it against a clean counter. Do this for all 8 pieces.
Transfer the doughballs to a lightly floured tray and cover with a damp towel/lid/cling film and allow to rest and prove once more. Then shape by hand or with a rolling pin into your desired shape. I always use my hands, it’s my preferred method and it preserves more of the air pockets (in my opinion).
Cooking the naan
Shake off any excess flour and transfer directly to a pan on medium-high heat. Once you start to see bubbling and the base has browned, flip over and continue to cook until lightly charred.
Brush with the chilli garlic butter as soon as it comes off the heat.
Can I make the dough in advance?
Yes you can, the dough can be refrigerated for 12-48 hours before portioning into the individual doughballs. I actually advise this if you have the time. This is known as cold proving and it allows for better gluten development, better flavour development and improved digestibility.
Can I make the chilli garlic butter mild?
You could omit the birds eye chillies, or use less. Or substitute for a milder chilli of your preference. The Kashmiri chilli powder is mild and does not provide heat here.
What is the mango powder for and where do I find it?
Dried mango powder, also known as amchoor powder provides a subtle sourness/tang to the butter which balances the heat perfectly. It’s a little background note that works really well here.
Do I have to use yeast to make Chilli Garlic Naan?
For my recipe, yes. But there are plenty of other recipes using self raising four or other leavening agents online if you wish to avoid using yeast.
Can I make this gluten free?
I’ve never tried and gluten free doughs are not my forté so I would implore you to find a recipe that’s designed to be gluten free.
Can I make the chilli garlic naan vegan?
Easily, substitute the yogurt for vegan yogurt and substitute the butter for vegan butter. It’s as easy as that.
Can I add wholemeal flour to the dough?
Yes but wholemeal absorbs water differently to white flour and hence you’ll likely need more water. Going for all wholemeal can be quite dense so I’d advise using half wholemeal and half white flour at the most.
Chilli Garlic Naan
- 490 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 7 g active dry yeast/5g instant dry yeast/10g fresh yeast
- 250 ml water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 g sugar ~2tsp
- 3 tbsp natural yogurt or vegan yogurt
Chilli garlic butter
- 2 tbsp butter vegan butter works fine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 birds eye red chillies
- 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried mango powder
- 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- Small handful coriander
- Pinch salt
Making the naan dough:
- Dissolve your sugar into the warm water and add your yeast (if using active dry or fresh) – leave to bloom for 5 minutes. Instant dry yeast can be added directly into the flour and does not need activating
- Mix your flour and salt
- Once your yeast mixture has bloomed, add it to the flour along with your yogurt and olive oil
- Mix to combine and knead for 5-7 mins until you can form a smooth dough ball. The dough ball should have the slightest "stick" to it
- Place into a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel, leave to rise for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled in size. You can also refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 12 hours up to 48 hours
- Once risen, turn out onto a floured surface and portion into 8 doughballs, transfer these to a baking tray
- Cover the tray with a damp towel/cling film or a lid and rest for another 30 minutes. If using dough from the fridge, allow to rest for 1 hour
- Roll each piece of dough into your desired shape using a rolling pin or by hand
- Cook each naan on a large flat pan on medium-high heat and flip once you see large bubbles and the base has browned
Making the chilli garlic butter:
- Blitz all the butter ingredients through a food processor
- Brush the butter onto each naan as soon as it comes off the pan