Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 206 :: FROM THE GARDEN
LACHCHA PARATHA INDIAN PUFF PASTRY
Method: Direct Grilling
Serves: Makes 12 to 14 breads
Advance
Preparation: 
2 hours for making and rising the dough
Category: N/A
Ingredients:
1 envelope active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 cups warm water
4-1/2 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting and rolling
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus oil for the bowl
4 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted, or more oil

Directions:
Country of origin: India

1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the water in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Place 4-1/2 cups flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor or mixer with a dough hook. With the processor or mixer running, add the yeast mixture, yogurt, and vegetable oil. Youre looking for a dough that is soft but not too sticky: add additional flour as needed. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes in a processor, 5 to 8 minutes in a mixer, or to 8 minutes by hand.

3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, turning it to coat all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

4. Punch down the dough and pinch off 2-inch pieces. Roll them between your palms into smooth balls. You should have 12 to 14 balls. Place the balls on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a lightly dampened clean kitchen towel. Let rise again until puffy, about 30 minutes.

5. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high.

6. Rolling, folding, and grilling the dough. In India, this would be done right next to the tandoor. I like to do it at grill side. (I bring a cutting board and rolling pin outside and work next to the grill. Roll out a dough ball on a lightly flowered cutting board to form a flat disk about 6 inches in diameter. Using a pastry brush, brush off any excess flour. Using a second pastry brush, brush the top of the bread with melted butter. Starting at the end closest to you, fold the bread up like an accordioneach pleat should be 1 inch long. This will give you a thin flat rectangle of dough. Now, starting at 1 end, roll the rectangle into a roll (from the top it will look spiraled, like a sticky bun. Finally, using your rolling pin and a little additional flour if necessary, roll out the dough to form another flat disk about 6 inches across. Lightly brush the top with butter. Continue rolling and folding the breads, until all the dough is used up.

7. Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the breads, buttered side down, on the grate, a few at a time (dont crowd the grate). Grill each bread until the bottom is crusty and browned and the top is puffed and blistered, 2 to 4 minutes. Lightly brush the top with a little more butter. Invert the bread and grill the other side until lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Lightly brush each bread with more butter as it comes off the grill and serve piping hot. Serve whole, or cut each naan into 3 wedges to serve the traditional way. Thanks to the pleating, folding, and rolling, the bread with puff and separate into thin buttery layers.

VARIATION: TRADITIONAL NAAN

Traditional naan is to Indian barbecue what pita bread is to Middle Eastern grilling (or for that matter, a slab of white bread is to the barbecue of the American South)an indispensable accompaniment and side dish to the grilled meat. You can use the same dough as above to make naan. Heres how.

1. Prepare the proceeding recipe through step 5. Instead of rolling and pleating the dough, roll it into a flat 6 inch disk, then gently slap the disk from one hand to the other to stretch it into an elongated 7- to 8-inch oblong with a narrow end like a teardrop. Lightly brush both sides with butter and grill as described above. Lightly brush with more butter and serve at once.
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