Middle Eastern food has got to be one of my all-time favorite things in the world. Now, I haven’t been overseas to have an authentic Hindu meal (YET) but I can dream and drool about it.
Last night Eric and I got completely sucked into a show called Chef’s Abroad. It’s a show about different chefs in different parts of the world eating and making foods traditional to whatever culture they are in. One particular episode was about traveling to Egypt. I didn’t know this until yesterday but Egypt is known for it’s authentic/traditional bread. They make SO much bread. They even have shrines to bread and hieroglyphics from over 3200 years ago showing how to make bread and why it’s so important to their culture. Did you know that leavened bread was invented by Egyptians?! It was, so so so many years ago. On average, Egyptian families will eat 5 loaves of bread a day. Their loaves aren’t like American bread (full of preservatives and CRAP). They usually consist of no more than 4-5 ingredients but usually just 3; flour, water, yeast. Or, for a flat bread such as pita or naan, it’s simply flour, butter and milk. They make a loaf of bread every 2 seconds in Egypt. WHOA!
My husband, Eric, loves bread. I mean LOVES bread. He begs me at least once a month to make bread and I never do. I don’t know why I don’t but I just don’t. I have before, I know I can, I just don’t because it’s so time consuming. But after watching this show last night I have realized that authentic bread is hard to come by and by golly the dude deserves some damned bread. Also, because we were starving and NEEDED naan right then and there!
I’m usually a homemade roll kind of bread maker. But last night I decided to whip up some naan. Mostly because our mouths were watering while watching the show and I knew he would love me forever if I made some for him. Naan is the easiest bread you will ever make and it takes literally all of 10 minutes to make. In Egypt they throw their bread in a fire oven but because I live in Kansas City, Missouri I don’t have one of those bad boys. But I do have a griddle so that’s what I made mine with. If you have a baking stone you can use that (we got rid of ours for the sake of minimalism and I’m totally ok with that).
But of course you can’t just have bread (although Eric would beg to differ) so I decided to whip up some Tandoori chicken to go along with it. Now Tandoori chicken is more of a Pakistani dish that was introduced to my sister by my uncle Jimmy. Jimmy is from Pakistan and moved here to meet my aunt (his real name is Adnan Khan). My sister LOVES Jimmy’s cooking and has been telling me about this dish for quite some time now. But I guess I just thought it was really hard to make. She’s the one who gave me the Tandoori spices and the black lentils. This dish is so good. I mean, its FREAKING DELICIOUS. Whatever you do though, don’t leave out the sour cream. The sour cream is truly what makes this dish come together. It’s easy, fairly quick and oh so damn good. (Thanks sis!)
Ok, ok enough chatter, here’s the recipe:
Tandoori and naan (Click to print)
Serves 4 – Cook time: About 30 minutes.
For the Tandoori chicken: 20 minutes
2 cups of prepared jasmine or brown rice
1 cup of prepared black lentils
4 chicken breast – diced
1/4 c. tandoori seasoning
salt and pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp cayenne
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or Mongolian fire oil
In a medium skillet drizzle with olive oil and heat to medium. Add chicken and a half of the tandoori seasoning. Cook down – you may need to add a couple tbsp of water or more oil if needed. Add the rest of the tandoori, cumin, cayenne and fire oil. Set aside.
For the Naan bread: 10 minutes.
2 cups flour
3/4 c. milk (canned coconut milk is delish but not necessary)
3 1/2 tbsp butter
In a large bowl, combine milk and butter. Heat in microwave just long enough to melt the butter – about 40 seconds. Add salt and flour. Use a rubber spatula to mix until it’s mixed enough to start kneading with your hands.
Knead until its soft and pliable. Cut dough into 4 pieces. Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out dough one at a time. Heat your skillet or griddle to high or 400 degrees. Lightly coat with EVOO and add rolled dough. Cook for about 1 minute or until brown on one side, if it bubbles up, press the bubble back down. Flip and do the same on the other side. Repeat with the other 3 pieces. You can melt some butter onto the top of the bread and sprinkle with a little more salt. Rosemary is so good to put on top as well.
Layer your rice, lentils and chicken and add a dollop of sour cream to the top. Enjoy with your fresh, hot Naan.
Needless to say, Eric was a big fan. We ate it all. ALL. I know it says it serves 4, and it does. We both regretted how much we ate but what are you going to do when it’s all right in front of your face and it’s SO GOOD?!
This was too good to not share- I hope you go home and whip it up! Also, if you live in the Kansas City area you can stop by the Farmers Market at City Market and pick up your Tandoori from the spice guys along the back wall (Kansas Citians know what this means).
If you’re feeling mondo nice you can make this for your mama or baby mama for Mother’s Day! It just might earn you some brownie points. And if you have some Naan leftover try drizzling some honey on it for a dessert! YUM!!!
Truly though, make this. You’ll hug me for it.
I hope you all have a super amazing rest of the week!
Love love love,