Indian bread and yogurt

I’ve been on an Indian food kick recently and I’ve been wanting to make some Na’an (sp?) and yogurt, but I don’t know how.

Is the yogurt at Indian restuarants the same type of yogurt you can get at the grocery story?

Also, does anyone have any good recipes for Indian bread?

According to my friend from Bangladesh, yogurt is what happens when you leave a glass of milk on the kitchen counter for five minutes in India. :slight_smile:

He also told me (in a more serious vein) that most families have their own personal culture of yogurt-making bacteria that has been passed down for several generations.

Homemade yogurt = milk, possibly nonfat dry milk added for more body, and yogurt culture (i.e. a spoonful of yogurt from the previous batch). (The NFDM shows up in the ingredients list as “milk solids” or something like that.) Most commercial brands have pectin and stuff in them, to make them more smooth and cohesive, but it doesn’t make a big difference as far as taste goes. And it may be that your favorite Indian restraurant just gets their yogurt in big tubs from their distributor, anway. :slight_smile:

If you haven’t tried plain, whole milk yogurt, DO! It’s so amazingly rich and delicious, and especially refreshing on a hot day. If you don’t like it plain, you can add just a little honey, perhaps, or a spoonful of jam . . . Er, but, I suppose that’s another thread.

I don’t want to violate any copyrights, so I’ll just recommend *Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking * as a good source. She keeps her instructions clear and easy to follow. will also give you instructions for naan, poori and chapati, but I couldn’t find paratha. Good luck!

Well I’ll be darned. So that’s how to create a link. It even works.

The Indian yogurt, or dahi , as it is called, is a full cream yogurt. there are no secrect bacterias passed down generations. Just boil full cream milk so that the cream settles on the top, and when the milk is colled down to room temperature, add a spoonful of the supermarket yogurt and leave overnight.

Naan - plain and simple to spell. Not so simple to make if you don’t have a tandoor. You could make 'em in the oven, but the taste just isn’t the same. Maybe if you have a wood-fired oven…

As for the dahi, like noname said; boil the milk, let it cool, and then add a teaspoon of readymade yoghurt. Let it sit overnight, and voila - you’ve got dahi. The texture of the dahi depends on the fat content of the milk used - the lower the fat content, the less creamy the dahi will be.

I love dahi. Having said that, I really really miss Onken orange yoghurt. We don’t get flavoured yoghurt in India - not enough of a market for the stuff :frowning:

Indian breads are tricky without a Tandoor. I have substituted Mexican flatbreads, like flour tortillas. A very quick fry in butter puffs them up slightly. I have suggested this to Indian and Pakistani friends who now do it. I was in a Turkish/Afghani store last week and some of their sfuff looks promising.

Gouda (or anyone else who knows) – are dahi and raita the same thing?

Raita is served as something of a palate-cleansing condiment at the Indian restaurants both here and in the New Orleans area (although AFAIK it’s A-OK to eat a small bowl of it by itself). It’s pretty much just plain yoghurt with minced cucumbers and some mild spices thown in. Raita seems to have a lot in common with the tzatziki sauce of Greek cuisine.

My wife makes raita at home now and then. Regular ol’ plain yoghurt is the base.

We’ve never tried making naan here at home, but at our local Mediterranean grocery, we can buy large pieces of naan-like flat bread that do fine in a pinch.

AFAIK, recipes aern’t copyright. You can’t copy a site or a published book of recipes but there’s no problem to copy & paste one from the web.

Thank you. I wasn’t sure, copyright law is a mystery to me. For example, jokes aren’t protected, but once they’re published in a book, they are. Sometimes. I thought recipes might be considered in the same category of intellectual property, because cookbooks always contain copyright notices and so do many recipe websites. I was probably being overcautious.

raita is just dahi + anything else you might want to add in it (cucumber, tomato, spices, little deep fried pellets called boondi ) and made a thick paste of. And yes, it can be had had by itself as well.

Just to add to noname’s post, raita need not only be made with cucumber and tomatoes. It takes literally anything you want.

My favourite kind of raita is with boiled potatoes, cut into small cubes, with chopped green coriander, ground cumin and salt to taste. If you like it spicy, add in finely chopped green chillies.

Boondi raita is awesome, if you can buy boondi from wherever you are.

If you’re buying, not making … can’t you buy actual naan in the US? It’s available in all the supermarkets in the UK. :confused:

That’s true… I was pleasantly surprised to see naan on the shelves at the local Asda when I was studying in the UK. That said, eww!! Nothing like the real thing fresh out of a tandoor.

Actually, its not that hard to make naan without a tandoor. You just need a tavi (flat cast iron skillet) instead. And I can even give a recipe:

1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 sachet bread yeast
enough warm water to bind

mix the four and yeast thoroughly, and add the oil, and rub in well. Add warm water slowly, so that the four binds together and makes a nice dough. The dough shouldn’t be too dry or too sticky, but malleable.

Leave overnight in a warm place, kneeding a couple of times once its risen sufficiently.

To cook:

Heat the tavi on the stovetop.
Break off spheres of dough, about 10cm in diameter, and roll out till about 0.5-1cm thick. Toast on the tavi, one side, then the other, till the naan goes to a golden brown colour. It will also rise a bit as well.

Ta-da! Naan bread.

The thing I really like about naans is the flavour you get of the wood-fired tandoor. While you can make a naan on a tavi (or tava, as we call it at home), it just isn’t the same. Just like tandoori chicken or chicken tikka is just not the same when made in the oven.

True. However, when your alternative is to build a tandoor in your back garden or something, you sometimes have to make do, unfortunately.

We can’t get naan in the supermarkets here (I mean specifically “here” as in Central Mississippi). However, if we really hankered for true naan, we could just order a batch to go from our nearby Indian place.

MMV in other parts of the U.S.

Odd. ‘Tava’ is ‘skillet’ in Croatian as well.

Funny that you mention it - we actually did have a tandoor made for our backyard! We never did get the hang of it using it for naan - too many burnt hands! It was great for making kababs though - waay better than on the bbq.

That is one of the few things I miss about living in a bungalow… you can’t do this stuff in an apartment :frowning:

Brutus, not all that odd in the sense that there are many similarities between Hindi/Sanskrit and Germanic languages. This was discussed briefly in this thread. [warning]It’s all in German[/warning].