Note, 2018: My attempts at recreating curries and naan I ate in Indian restaurants in Japan were part of my interest in non-Japanese cuisine and food narratives in Japan. The chefs had adjusted for the local palate but imported certain ingredients in bulk, and I had adjusted for my home kitchen, where I didn’t have solid access to jalapeños, jasmine rice, etc. I don’t claim this recipe to be authentic to any region or culture, but rather home-cooking experiments trying to replicate my favorite restaurants: Roti and Spice Box in Kanazawa.
「ナンはパンだ。」<It’s bread [Japanese: pan da].>
-a terrible joke (寒い冗談) a friend once told during an Indian dinner night at Middlebury Japanese School
When I order the sitafal curry, I like to get a side of kashmiri naan, which has raisins and coconut in one of the restaurants. (I miss the almond-and-cherry naan back home!)
The day I planned to serve my spicy kabocha curry to a friend, I was in a bit of a rush and meant to buy some premade naan at the grocery store. Of course, I decided to go to at the smaller, closer grocery, which doesn’t stock naan or naan mix, and since I don’t have a Tandoori oven just laying around, I reworked a quick toaster-oven flatbread recipe into a fruity but not sweet flatbread.
This would probably be great with 1-2 Tablespoons of dried coconut, but I was fresh out. Nevertheless, it was the perfect complement to the spicy kabocha curry.
- 240 grams all-purpose flour (komugiko, 小麦粉)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (shinamon, シナモン)
- ½ tsp cardamom (karudamon, カルダモン)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (beikingu paudaa, ベーキングパウダー)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (kaien, 海塩)
- 120 mL water
- 80 mL olive oil (oriibu oiru, オリーブオイル)
- ~50 grams raisins, chopped (rezon, レゾン)
- Optional: 1-2 Tablespoons dried shredded coconut (komakaku kinzanda kokonatsu, 細かく刻んだココナツ)
- Toaster oven (for oven range, remove plate and place parchment paper directly onto the toaster part)
- Parchment paper (kukkii shiito, クッキーシート)
- Plastic wrap (saran rappu, サランラップ)
- Rolling pin (menbou, めん棒、 綿棒)
- Stir together flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Add raisins and coconut and knead dough gently 4-5 times on a clean surface.
- Divide dough into 4-6 pieces. While keeping the remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap, flour the rolling pin and a clean, dry surface, and roll out 1 piece into a thin oval.
- Place the dough onto parchment paper. If using a toaster setting of an oven range, remove the plate and set the sheet/pan/foil directly onto the rotating grill. If your toaster has a timer, toast for 7-8 minutes; if your toaster just has levels of heat with no set times, toast on high and then again on medium. The end result should be light golden and browned in spots.
- Transfer flatbread to a rack to cool; repeat with the rest of the dough. I used the same parchment paper for all the bread, but if it starts crisping, use a new sheet.