The Quest for Kabocha Curry, Part 2: Raisin Flatbread

「ナンは何だ?」<What’s naan?>

「ナンはパンだ。」<It’s bread [Japanese: pan da].>

「パンダ?」<Panda?>

-a terrible joke (寒い冗談) a friend once told during an Indian dinner night at Middlebury Japanese School

No Indian-style curry meal would be complete without naan, of course. 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 kashmiri 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 “naan.”

Apologies for using the same picture twice!

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.

Raisin Flatbread

Ingredients

  • 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)

Equipment

  • 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)

Procedure

  1. Stir together flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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