If you are new to south Asian cuisine, you may be unaware of a delicacy known as Naan. Naan is just another version of a familiar staple food found all around the world; bread. This bread, however, has some differences. Lucky for you, it’s delicious!
Naan bread is generally very flat, roundish in shape and quite doughy. It tends to have little burnt spots once cooked, which may remind you of an authentic Neapolitan pizza (the consistency is surprisingly very similar!), but with more of a rubbery texture, and a much more savory profile.
Its origins date really far back. Some of the oldest civilizations had some form of bread they used, including civilizations in the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia and Egypt.
The Persians used to cook their bread on top of hot stones. The Persian word for bread is nan, and there are variations of this word scattered all throughout Central and South Asia.
Exploring the creative process
Authentic naan calls for two main methods of preparation; on a slightly concave griddle (tava), or on a cylindrical oven, often made of clay, (tandoor).
If this has you thinking of similar foods in your own culture, well that’s because cooked dough is indeed a staple food for humans worldwide. Whether it’s pita, pizza or tortillas, Naan bread is just another iteration of all these local favorites.
Another characteristic of Naan bread is its slightly salty flavor. This is mostly achieved using ghee (butter), which is typically added to the mixture during the cooking process.
This yields a flat bread that is more flavorful than its western counterparts (pita for instance), although some may find it just a bit too greasy. Once you bite into it however, all concerns are quickly forgotten.
When Naan meets chicken
Well as they say in my hometown, sorrows with bread ain’t too bad. Just about everything goes well with it. It’s basically the food version of If it fits it sits, that is, if you can wrap it with the bread, you probably should. But there must be something that pairs just right surely? Well there is. Yet another Indian classic: Butter chicken.
Creamy butter chicken with Naan is second to none. Trust me, I am not South Asian, but I would immediately trade in my passport if it meant eating authentic Naan with spicy butter chicken.
Butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes around the world. Tender chicken chunks are marinated in a deliciously spiced yoghurt marinade, and the end product after cooking are aromatic golden chicken pieces in an amazing creamy curry sauce.
The spiciness of the chicken is controlled and perfectly accompanied by the salty and doughy bread. Since Naan is starchy, it absorbs the sauce like it was designed to do, thus acquiring all its flavor. Simply the best.
Our chefs at Rice Bowl Deluxe are obviously in the know about the beauty of butter chicken with Naan. They’ve used this knowledge to produce our sensational butter chicken bowl! They prepare carefully cooked pieces of tender chicken with their delicious in-house made spicy chicken sauce, and flame grilled Naan bread. We are sure you will be wanting more!
The best way to learn and to master Asian cuisine is by trying different authentic Asian dishes. You can do this at Rice Bowl Deluxe where we offer a wide variety of Asian dishes that will make your palate explode with all the flavors.
If you’re ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of Asia, drop by any of our three locations in Alberta today!
Rice Bowl Deluxe offers a variety of authentic Asian dishes that will satisfy your cravings. We offer high-quality, health-conscious dishes such as Korean rice bowls, Japanese steak bowls, Thai bowls, spring rolls, and noodle bowls in Edmonton. Check out our menu and have some amazing Asian food today!