NAAN AND SAJJI

Naan bread is a round flat bread made of wheat flour, and is a ubiquitous accompaniment to the hot savoury meals served all over South and Central Asia. Various types of Naan can be found from the Punjab to Iran to Uzbekistan and countless places in between.

The inhabitants of the near and middle east have been making Naan for a very long time. The 1st recorded historical mention of Naan dates as far back as 1300 AD, found in documents from the Amir Khusrau. Indian Naan bread like Naan-e-tanuk (light bread) and naan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven) was apparently served at that time in the imperial court in Delhi. Naan was in Mughal times was a popular breakfast food of the royals when accompanied by keema or kababs.

The average Naan bread recipe includes white flour mixed with salt, yeast, and yogurt (in order to make smooth, pliable dough). After the dough is kneaded for a few minutes it is set aside for several hours while it rises. Once the dough has risen, it is divided into roughly equal-sized balls weighing around 100 grams apiece, which are then flattened into the usual Naan shape. Traditionally Naan is cooked in a clay oven called a Tandoor. Tandoori-style food is named for this type of oven. Not every home has a tandoor, of course, so a cast-iron frying pan without oil can also be used to make Naan.
There are many types of Naan. However, due to lack of space, the recipes of only a few types shall be discussed. These are Plain Naan, Roghni Naan and Kulcha.

PLAIN NAAN:

Ingredients:

– Flour 2 Cups 225 Gms
– Milk + Water For Kneading
– Yoghurt 1 Tbsp
– Yeast 1 Tbsp
– Sugar 1 Tsp
– Ghee 1 Tbsp

Method:

Dissolve yeast and sugar in luke warm water. Sift flour and add salt, ghee, yeast, yoghurt, knead with luke warm water and milk. Leave to rise. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 balls. Roll into small nans. Prick and brush with milk. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake on No 6 or 200 C. for 15 min.

ROGHNI NAAN:

Ingredients:

– Flour 225 Gms
– Ghee 1 & 1/2 Tbsp Or Oil 3 Tbsp
– Salt 1 Tsp
– Milk For Kneading
– Soda 1/2 Tsp
– Sesame seeds

Method:

Sift flour and add soda, rub ghee and knead with luke warm milk. Leave for 2 hours. Make in the shape of Nan. Prick it and brush with milk. Sprinkle sesame seed and bake at mark 6 or 200°C till done.

KULCHA:

Ingredients:

– Flour 225 Gms
– Soda 1/2 Tsp
– Salt 1/2 Tsp
– Yeast 1/2 Tsp
– Sugar 1 Tsp
– Ghee 1 Tbsp
– Curd 1/4 Cup
– Milk For Kneading

Method:

Mix the yeast with sugar and warm water and leave to rise. Sieve flour, salt and soda. Add ghee and yeast mixture and mix all well and knead. Let it rise again. Make round shaped Naan and bake in a pre-heated grill until cooked well.

SAJJI

For making Sajji the meat is roasted to a delightful degree of tenderness and is not very spicy. It is a whole leg of lamb or whole chicken deliciously marinated in local herbs and salt, barbecued beside an open fire. It is very popular among the locals and is offered with great insistence to the guests. It is served with special bread “Kaak”, “roti” or “naan”, which is baked in an oven, wrapped around a stone.

Sajji is amongst the favorite delicacies of Baluchistan natives specially it is famous in Quetta. A spicier version is preferred in Karachi or Lahore, using chicken instead of lamb. Below is a recipe for Lamb Sajji.

Ingredients:

– 2.5 – 3 kg whole leg of lamb
– 4 tbs. lemon juice
– 1 tbsp. garlic paste
– 3 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. black pepper
– 1 tbs. ground coriander
– 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
– 1 tbs. ground cumin
– 250 gm yogurt
– 1/2 cup cooking oil

Method:

• Trim all fat and silver skin from lamb. Prick lamb thoroughly with a sharp knife or large fork or cut small slits all over lamb with a sharp knife.
• Place the lamb in a deep baking dish, spread lemon juice all over lamb and rub it into the slits. Cover and marinate for an hour.
• Combine garlic paste, salt, black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, cumin and yogurt in a small bowl. Mix well.
• Pour the marinade over the lamb and coat well all over. Cover and place it back in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or preferably over night.
• Prepare the grill and grill lamb on an oiled rack set 5-6 inches over glowing coals for 10-15 minutes on each side. At the end of cooking time brush lamb with oil.
• Serve it with Nan and Chutney.

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