Cumin and Sesame Paleo Naan
Makes 2 x 20 cm (8”) flat breads
Paleo, vegan; no gluten, grain, dairy, eggs, legumes or nightshades
Hot bread in about 10 minutes can jazz up the simplest meal. Just 3 core ingredients and a few seasonings. Serve it on the side with a curry, soup or main dish salad. Use it as a pizza base or stack wedges with a filling for a pita-like sandwich; slice into small wedges and serve with hummus or guacamole. Or serve as a sweet pastry: omit the seasonings and add a little coconut sugar or honey instead; top with sliced berries, or stewed apples with cinnamon and raisins. It is pliable enough to use like a wrap.
There are many versions of this recipe and what follows is one of my own. The original idea seems to be from an American of East Indian heritage who is a Paleo fan: http://myheartbeets.com/paleo-naan-indian-bread/
The recipe is easily halved. It is surprisingly filling, so 1 bread – sliced in pie-style wedges – could suffice for 2 people. Eating more is tempting though. The naan is OK the next day, but better eaten on the day of making.
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cumin or caraway seeds
½ cup almond flour*
½ cup tapioca flour*
1 ½ tsp sea salt with kelp*
1 cup coconut cream*; or use 3 Tbsp cold pressed oil and enough Milk Option* to total 1 cup (soy or oat milk are ideal for their higher fat content)
oil for frying
This bread can easily stick so use a good quality non-stick pan with a base of 18 – 20 cm (6-8”). Toast the sesame and cumin seeds for a few minutes until golden. Place in a medium bowl. Add the almond flour, tapioca flour and salt. Stir. Add the coconut cream or Milk Option and beat briefly until well mixed.
In the same fry pan, heat a little oil over medium heat (enough heat is needed to make it crispy). Add half the batter. Cook at least 4 minutes on each side until browned and bubbly. Do not undercook or it will be very oily. Keep warm (or eat!) while preparing the next naan. Let people rip off chunks, or slice into quarters or eighths.
Shopping and Preparation Tips*
- Almond flour: very finely ground from dried, blanched, skinless almonds will give the best result. This makes it act and bind more like flour than just ground nuts or almond meal (which gives a crumbly texture). Purchase from health stores or more economically online, such as www.nutsonline.co.nz
- Coconut cream: a tinned product from the South Pacific and found in most supermarkets. It should have the consistency of pouring cream and contain no dairy, flour or added sugar. ‘Lite’ types are not necessary: they just have added water and more processing. Aram is a good brand without additives.
- Milk Options: organic cow, goat, soy, oat, almond or hazelnut milk is available in most supermarkets. Or use rice milk – to each cup 1 Tbsp coconut cream or mild cold-pressed oil can be added for more body. Use options in the same quantity as regular milk called for in recipes. Check packet milks for added sugar; ensure soy milk is made from the whole bean (less processed). Pure Harvest is a good brand with many varieties; whole, organic.
- Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Malcolm Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.
- Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour is very light and starchy like cornflour/cornstarch. Such ingredients help create gluten-free products that are light and easier to rise. Buy it from Asian food stores, health stores and some supermarkets.