After completion of culinary school, I spent several months backpacking through India and getting to know a chef in the Kerala Region of Southern India named Vikram Laud. I was staying in a tropical beach town in the south named Kovalam. Tandoori ovens are engrained in Kerallan cuisine and I was determined for Chef Vikram to teach me to make his Naan Bread, which is cooked in a tandoori oven. Vikram was kind enough to share his delicious Naan bread recipe with me.

At Max’s Harvest, we serve our Smoked Cobia fish dip with Vikram’s Naan bread, Calabrian chiles and pickled okra. Unfortunately, we do not have a tandoori oven, but we make do with a non-stick pan, which gives us a similar desired outcome.

In ancient times, Kerala was a major spice exporter. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine named Kerala as one of the “ten paradises of the world” for its beaches, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries. Kerala also has the largest number of domesticated elephants in India that participate in the 10,000 festivals in the state each year.

So, now you can take an imaginary trip to Kerala, while you make up a batch of Naan. 

INGREDIENTS

• 1 oz of yeast

• 4 cups of warm water

• 1 cup of sugar

• 6 oz of yogurt

• 4 eggs

• 3 Tbsps. of kosher salt

• 18 cups of high
gluten flour

• 3 Tbsps. of
garlic, minced

• 3 large onions,
minced

DIRECTIONS

• Add the dry yeast and sugar to the warm water until the yeast is dissolved. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes or until mixture begins to froth. This indicates the yeast is active. Keep aside.

• In a bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, flour and salt and mix until combined and add the yeast mixture. Put the dough aside.

• In a sauté pan slowly cook the onions and garlic until translucent and cool.Add the onion and garlic mixture to the dough and mix until fully incorporated.

• Grease a large ball with a few drops of cooking oil and put the dough in it. Cover and allow to rest for about 90 minutes or until the dough doubles in size. 

When complete knead the dough until it resembles a smooth texture, then divide into 2 ounce balls. Roll each ball with a rolling pin till about 1/4 inch of thickness. Add some butter to a nonstick pan and cook each side of the bread until golden and crispy. Season with a touch of sea salt and enjoy.