The Continuing Evolution of Naan

A Short History About Naan

Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in Central and South Asian cuisines. Nan or non is a Persian word, and the bread is Iranian in origin but the term ‘naan’ is spoken of in those parts of Asia as the English spelling of this flatbread in early 19th century.

In Iran, naan is just any kind of bread, while In South Asia the naan is a specific kind of a thick flatbread (another well-known kind of flatbread is chapati). In western countries today, the naan they are used to are from the South Asian varieties. It typically consists of dry yeast, all-purpose flour, warm water, sugar, salt ghee and yogurt.

Just like pita, naan is leavened (with yeast) or unleavened. It is cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven, from which tandoori cooking takes its name. This distinguishes it from roti, which is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tava. Typically, it is served hot and brushed with ghee or butter. It can be used to scoop other foods or served stuffed with a filling.

But the naan today has evolved into not just plain flatbread. You can put raisins into it or topped it with vegetables (like spinach), meat and cheese. It can be brushed with ghee or butter. It can also be graced with herbs or fragrant essences, like rose, such as what they do in Pakistan. Sometimes naan is stuffed with mashed potatoes and onion or garlic, or incorporates fruits, nuts, dessicated coconut, and even spices. Some versions are served as fast food, dipped in soups, or eaten with coffee or tea. There seems to be no end to what you can do with naan. There’s even naan pizza and naan burger.

Delicious and Healthy Naan in Bellevue

Did you know that naan has its own nutritional values that make it not just tasty and filling, but healthy as well? When you visit Spice Route, your Indian restaurant in Bellevue, have any of our quality naan varieties on the menu to try. It is loaded with carbohydrates, different vitamins like B1 and E, and minerals to boot, like calcium phosphorus and potassium. Come over. India’s best-loved bread is served here fresh and hot every day.

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