October 01, 2013

Channa Masala with Homemade Naan

I love cooking Indian food at home, but shy away from it when dining out because it's often too spicy for me.  When Tasty Bite asked if I wanted to try some of their vegetarian items, I welcomed the chance to try new Indian dishes.

Tasty Bite products just need to be reheated, yet they don't taste like leftovers.  I added a little fresh spinach to their channa masala and had plenty of time to make homemade naan to go with it.

Have you heard of Tasty Bite?  I hadn't until I was contacted by them but now that I know what to look for, I realize it's sold at many places that I shop (Woodman's and Whole Foods, for example).  I'm happy it's easy to find because I plan to buy more to have on hand when I need a quick meal. 

I think there's too much sodium to eat it frequently, but looking at the recognizable ingredient list it's certainly healthier than my other go-to quick meals that I'd rather not admit to eating :)

This was my first attempt at homemade naan and I'm really happy with the recipe I tried from allrecipes.com.  It made way more than I was expecting so I have a lot of little dough balls currently in my freezer.  It would have been better to cook them all and then freeze the naan, but I quickly grew tired of the production line and ended up cooking just enough to eat :)

This isn't a difficult recipe to make, but it is time consuming.  After mixing the dough together (love having a dough whisk for this step), let it rise for an hour.  Then roll golf size balls and let the dough rise for another half-hour.

Next, roll each ball flat before putting it in a hot cast iron skillet.  I just got my first cast iron skillet from Amazon and I love it.  I chose a 12" Lodge skillet based on my love of the two Lodge dutch ovens I have (one for home, one for camping).

This naan was fantastic on its own and is also a great accompaniment for Indian food.  Even Chris loved it, and he's picky as heck when it comes to putting carbs in his body.

Disclaimer: Tasty Bite provided the Channa Masala at no cost to me.

Prep Time: 20 mins (1.5 hour rise)
Cook Time: 2-4 minutes per batch

Ingredients (48 small naan)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough (about the size of a golf ball), roll into balls and place on a tray. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll one ball of dough into a thin circle, dust off any excess flour and place on the hot skillet.
  • Cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface of the dough, and the underside is light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Flip the dough and gently press down with the back of a spatula. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, another two minutes. Transfer bread to a cooling rack, brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with remaining rolled out dough.
  • Best enjoyed shortly after making. Dough balls will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
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  1. I'm kind of the opposite with Indian food--I love to have it in restaurants, but I don't make it at home because the smell of the spices lingers for days! I don't know if I've had Tasty Bite or a similar brand, but I do like those packets that you just heat up.

  2. Adding fresh veggies like you did with the spinach always helps to make the pre-packaged meals a bit better I think. I'm not sure if I'm adventurous enough to conquer the homemade naan (Chris is more the bread baker), but it sure looks good. I just bought 2 frozen packages of the garlic naan at TJ this past weekend as I love having it on hand for indian at home.

    1. I love TJ's frozen naan! Definitely my favorite store-bought naan.

  3. Looks tasty. My problem with packaged food is often that my husband would eat, um... 12 packages? I just opened some figs that I'd canned earlier this year (I am soooo wanting a fig tree) and I thought that figs are another thing that you'll be able to grow...