A leavened naan filled with a mixture of nuts and raisins

Peshawari Naan is believed to have brought to India from Persia in the 1500s; as did the other naan and the addition of dried fruits to it meant that it was favoured by the Mughals in India. With time, as more chefs learnt the art and the technique of making naan in tandoors (traditional clay ovens), Peshawari naan became popular. It became commercially available only in the later 20th century, and it tastes best when freshly made. Peshawari naan is rich and slightly sweeter than other naans and needs more care while making. Special care is taken to ensure that the dough is not over-fermented and that the nuts don’t burn while baking it.

Preparation Times: 10 Min
Resting Times: 8 hours to overnight
Cooking Time: 20 Min
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups maida (plain white ?our)
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2Tbsp Oil
  • 2Tbsp thick plain yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
  • ½cup warm water, as required
  • Melted butter, for brushing the Naan

For Filling

  • 2 tbsp cashews finely chopped
  • 2tbsp almonds, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
  • 2tsp fennel seed, coarsely crushed

METHOD:

  • In a bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder and mix with your fingers or a wire whisk. Make a well in the centre and add the oil and yoghurt, then the water a little at a time, while slowly mixing together with your fingers to form a smooth, soft dough. Knead well for 8–10 minutes, adding a little flour if the dough is too sticky.
  • Place the dough in a bowl that has been coated with a layer of oil, cover with a damp tea towel and leave it for 6–8 hours (or overnight) in a warm place to double in size.
  • Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Cover a heavy baking sheet with foil and place on the top rack.
  • Roll the dough ball on the clean counter, dusted with flour.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten the ball into a 12cm round circle.
  • Place about 1 Tbsp of the crushed nuts and raisins into the centre of the circles. Slowly lift the edges and bring them together in the centre to form a pouch; press the edges together tightly to close.
  • Once sealed, press the top down gently with the rolling pin and again roll out into
  • a circle.
  • Place the Naan on the hot baking sheet and grill for 1-2 minutes each side or until there are brown spots on the surface.
  • Brush the Naan with butter and repeat with remaining Naans.
  • Serve hot with your favourite curry.

Ruby's Tips: To make Peshawari naan in an easy way: Spread a little butter, sprinkle the fennel seeds and some crushed nuts mixture on top of the naan, slightly press the nuts with your finger, before placing the naan on the pre-heated baking sheet. Bake till done and brown spots begin to appear.