Pea & Herb Stuffed Indian Flatbread (Naan)
|June 7, 2010||Posted by Lauren Keating under Breads, Indian, Shawn's Favorites, Sides, Summer, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Before you run away in fear from a post about bread, let me reassure you: this recipe couldn’t be simpler.
It doesn’t involve yeast.
You don’t need to knead it.
If you have a grill, you don’t even need to turn on your oven.
On top of all that, it’s mouthwateringly delicious. Beneath a crisp exterior that has been left slightly charred from the grill flames, the bread is soft and pillowy, perfect for wrapping around skewers of grilled meat and vegetables.
At fist glance, it looks like your ordinary flatbread — generic pita or naan. But tucked inside is an amazing paste of creamy peas, fragrant herbs and spices, and a touch of briny feta cheese.
One bite and you’ll be hooked. I’m already planning to make them again, and my head is reeling from the possible filling variations — everything from ground almond and raisins to a traditional Italian pesto. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Still hesitant? What if I told you that, start to finish, this revelation in bread can be made in 90 minutes?
Ok. Fine. If you really don’t want to believe me that this bread is super easy to make — or if you just can’t wait until you have 90 minutes to spare — you can cheat. Make the filling as directed below and stuff it inside a store-bought pita. Spritz with water and grill or broil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side to warm it through.<
I served these flatbreads with grilled kebabs of beef, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms that I marinated in red wine vinegar, olive oil, cumin, cardamom, and garam masala (1 tsp of each). They were flavorful and delicious!
Tucked inside this quick and easy bread is a fragrant paste of starchy dried peas, fragrant herbs, and a touch of spice. The base recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, and altered to include whole wheat flour and peas as well as a slight change to the flavor of the herb mixture. If you are baking this bread on a humid day, like I was, you may need to add more flour — keep adding it until you get a dough that is soft and sticky, but manageable.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole white wheat flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup dry yellow peas
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, mined
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup crumbles feta
- Melted butter for brushing
- Kosher salt for sprinkling
Whisk the yogurt and egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in 1-1/2 cups of lukewarm water and the oil. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low speed until a soft, sticky dough starts to clump around the hook, about 5 minutes. Add more flour if needed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rest 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the filling: Add the peas and 2 cups of water to a heavy bottomed pot set over medium heat. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until water had been absorbed and peas are soft and pasty. Mash gently with a fork. Combine with the cilantro, mint, garlic, jalapeno, ginger, and salt.
To form the breads: Working on a floured surface, roll each ball of dough into a circle approximately 5 inches in diameter. Spread about 2 tsp. of the filling in the center, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle 1 tsp feta over the filling.
Fold in the top, bottom, and sides of the circle so that the filling is covered. Flip over so the seam is on the bottom, and roll into a 6 inch circle. Repeat with remaining breads.
To Cook: Light a gas grill or preheat your broiler. Wipe the grates of the grill with an oiled paper towel. Place the breads directly on the grill grates or on a broiling pan, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bottom begins to brown and cook. Flip and cook an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until breads are cooked through. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
Yields 10 breads.
Through June 15, I will be blogging healthy and unique recipes featuring lentils and dried peas under a sponsorship agreement through the USALentil and Dy Pea Council. I will then be choosing my favorite recipe to be in a contest that will be held at RecipeRivalry.com. Although these posts are sponsored, opinions in them are my own and all recipes are original unless otherwise noted.
Congratulations to Meghan, the winner of my dutch oven giveaway! She said she’d make Beef Bourguignon as her first dish — sounds delicious, I can’t wait to see it!