I must admit that most of my cooking is pretty simple, and doesn’t branch out into other cultures very often. I love food from other countries, but I just don’t usually know how to make it! I would like to try to branch out a little more, though, and tonight’s meal was a bit of that: Indian Naan and Butter Bean Curry.
We tried the Butter Bean Curry recipe while visiting my friend Christina in Canada a few weeks ago and Bogdan and I both thought it was fantastic, so I asked for the recipe. The Naan recipe I found here (varied just slightly), and I can’t wait to try more recipes from this site! Yes, if I try it looks like I can learn Indian cooking in the comfort of my own home. (Do any of you have favorite recipe websites from other cultures??)
Most recipes for Naan use yeast, but I was excited to find this (slightly simpler) recipe that doesn’t contain yeast. It is very soft, bendable, and tasty!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1. Sift flour, baking powder, and soda together three times. Pour into a medium mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, and pour into it the yogurt, warm milk, sugar, and salt. Mix together and form a ball with your hands, but don’t knead hard. (It will still be slightly sticky, but will get more firm as it sits.) Let sit, covered. (The original recipe said 2-3 hours but that it can be left for 7-8 hours. I only let it sit for 1 hour, and it turned out very well. I will try it longer next time.)
3. Knead the dough lightly, and divide into 5 or 6 pieces. With a generous amount of flour on the counter or table, roll out each piece until it is thin. I just made mine round, but ideally you should roll them into tear shapes.
4. Heat an iron skillet on medium-high, and spray liberally with oil (I used olive). Repeat after frying each naan if it gets dry.
5. Before putting the dough on the skillet, wet your hands and pat a little water onto each side. Fry one naan at a time. Do not flip until there are many bubbles showing up. Once you have flipped the naan, it gets done on the other side very quickly. Do not overcook.
bubbles starting to form
6. Spread butter on each side if you wish, and place one on top of the other in a towel to keep warm.
Now, on to the Butter Bean Curry!
The flavor of this dish is unique, and it’s perfect served beside rice and yogurt. Mmm, soooo perfect!
Butter Bean Curry
2 15.5-ounce cans lima beans, drained (there is enough liquid with this recipe that you could probably use 3 cans if you need to serve more people!)
1 medium onion, sliced (or I diced it today…)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium fresh tomato, chopped
handful of unsweetened flaked coconut*
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups water
1. Sauté onion and garlic in oil, then add the water and the beans as well as the turmeric. Simmer for a few minutes.
2. Stir in tomato; simmer for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the lemon juice; continue to simmer about 15 minutes or longer. The beans should be well cooked, but not broken.
3. Stir in lemon and simmer 3 minutes.
Serve with hot rice and yogurt (0ptional).
* The original recipe said to put the coconut in the blender, but I didn’t and it worked out. I used fine unsweetened coconut I bought in bulk.