Keema Naan (Lamb stuffed bread)


This is a great dish to use up leftover meat from a roast or just as something different – the girls both had keema naan for their lunchboxes the next day – it’s versatile and very tasty! It’s a bit of luxury in India (not everyone can afford to put meat in their bread) so we treat it more as part of a meal, rather than as a bread that you eat a meal with.  I have to say, again, you’ll never get the same type of naan as you do in a restaurant without a tandoori over – the high heats in a tandoor coupled with the smokiness is just not easily done in a conventional oven – this is how I do it at home – no, it doesn’t look like the naans you get at the takeaway – don’t complain ;)

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Ingredients:

4 cups of risen naan dough - pretty much the same as normal white bread dough, just with plain yoghurt added
1 cup of cooked meat (or minced meat that you’ve cooked – this is the leftovers from our Sunday roast)
Chilli flakes (to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cashew nuts (optional, as they’re expensive, but really add to the texture and taste – any mild nut, like almond, also works well)

Method:

Put all your ingredients (except the dough, obviously) into a blender and whiz it up – while your ingredients are being blitzed, turn on your grill (broiler in the US) to a high heat and have a pizza stone underneath, warming up

IMG_7774You want the texture to be fine, but not like a sausage meat.  It should still crumble, happily – if I squeeze it together, there’s enough moisture to make a loose kofta type ball (deep fry these and you’ve got another great dish – might need a binding agent, just to keep it together though)

IMG_7775Time to roll out your dough.  Take a chunk, about the size of your palm, and roll out on a well floured surface – I like my keema naan’s thin and crispy, so I roll the dough quite thinly.  If you want it softer, then use a bit more dough and roll it a little thicker (obviously, you’ll need to cook it a little longer, too)

IMG_7776Place a couple of tablespoons of the mixture in the centre of your rolled dough.  You don’t want to overfill it (despite the temptation) as your bread will fall apart.

IMG_7777Grab the edges a bit at a time and bring to the centre – keep pleating the edges over each other until you have all the edges in your hand.

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Twist the edges, slightly, and push down in the middle to seal the edges.  You should have a reasonably dry dough, so you may need a touch of water to help seal the edges (not too much, though!)

IMG_7779Flour the pleated side, generously – flip over and flour again.  You want to have the pleated side on the bottom – it’s thicker (as the edges overlap each other) and so less likely to break to when you start to roll out your bread.

IMG_7781Gently roll your naan out to your desired thickness.  Keep turning your naan and keep adding flour to make sure it doesn’t stick.  Like I said earlier, I like mine thin, so I roll a fair bit – if you want it thicker, then that’s fine – it’ll give you a softer texture, rather than crispy.

IMG_7782Brush with some melted butter, ghee or oil

IMG_7784By now, your grill (broiler) should be up to heat and your pizza stone should be nice and hot.  I keep my keema naan a little further away from the grill compared to normal naans, as I want to make sure all the ingredients are warmed through – you probably know why I’m using cooked meat by now – if I’d used raw lamb mince, then the juices would be going everywhere and there’s no guarantee it’d be cooked.  Cooking your meat in advance (or using leftovers) means you’re just here to cook the bread and warm the ingredients through.  Cook until golden on one side, flip, brush with oil, and cook again (depending on your grill and the height of your stone, it should take about 2-3 mins each side)

IMG_7788Serve as a whole naan on the side of a dish (quite decadent!) or with a simple side salad, like we’ve done here, for a light meal.  Enjoy!

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