Gluten Free Tawa Naan
Here comes the first gluten free naan recipe of the blog! I fully acknowledge that it took me quite a while to add a naan recipe to the gluten free section and yes I had many failures in the quest. Even with high rated recipes on the web, I was not getting good results. I tried many imported and local flour blends and a few turned out pretty decent but my only concern has always been… what if any reader or myself won’t find that particular brand or run out of it at any point, then what?! Personally I don’t want to rely on flour blends and prefer having My Favorite Gluten Free Flours in the pantry all the year round which gives me flexibility to adjust the proportions according to the recipe requirement. Coming up with a reliable proportion and blend of gluten free flours ain’t come easy my friend and it makes you question your decision many times. Long story/struggle short and let’s get down to business.
For this recipe of naan, I used three naturally gluten free flours/starch. Brown rice and tapioca flour and potato starch in different proportions. I find brown rice flavor better in bread based recipes rather than white rice flour. It is safe to say that you can use half and half of both rice flours in equal quantities, still I would recommend brown rice flour. To create some elasticity and make dough pliable, there is xanthan gum. I have not tried this recipe with any other gum so far. For leavening there is yeast and a touch of baking powder and baking soda to make sure the naan fluffs up well. There is ghee to keep naan soft and moist. Sugar is to help yeast proof and salt is to balance out the flavor. Water adding is crucial. There are many factors that could effect the required amount of water like over/under measuring, humidity, quality of flours and so on so make sure you add it gradually to get soft smooth dough.
My preferred method of kneading gluten flours is a food processor. It is convenient, saves time and there is just one bowl to clean. Usually I weigh gluten free flours but for this recipe I measured in volume. Please make sure to Measure It Right for perfect results. Put all ingredients in the processor, close the lid, run the machine and keep adding water gradually through processor’s tube. Gluten free flours behave differently and sometimes they take in more water than usual before even forming a dough which results in a very sticky dough (and situation!). The trick is to add 2-3 tbsp at a time with machine running and see how the dough is coming together.
When dough forms, it usually forms a rough ball and collects at a side. Even when it comes together, make sure to run the machine for few more minutes. Although there is no gluten that we are trying to create with excessive kneading and it is to be absolute certain that everything is well incorporated and well moistened. By the way, feel free to use electric beaters with dough hooks attached if you want to instead of a processor.
With prolonged kneading comes prolonged rest! Just like any yeast dough, this dough needs it’s sweet time to rest so it can perform it’s best. Cover the dough and let it proof and rest for about two hours in a warm place.
For easy, quick and no-mess rolling, place a piece of cling wrap over the counter and slightly grease it with oil. Make a ball of the dough and place it on the greased cling wrap. Take another piece of cling wrap, grease it and place it over the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll into a circle. I would recommend to make small balls of the dough which forms about 4-5″ naan when rolled. It would be easier to handle and would ensure even cooking. You can vary the thickness to make a naan or a tandoori style roti. Take the upper cling wrap off and lightly brush the one side of the naan with water.
Preheat a tawa and no you can not use a frying pan or a non stick tawa for this. You need a regular desi style tawa, (otherwise it won’t be a tawa naan, right!) Carefully place the naan with wet side down on the tawa. A regular tawa will hold the wet side well and will brown it crispy just like tandoor wali roti. As you can see in the picture, the naan will stick to the tawa instantly so don’t try to spread it evenly with hands if there is wrinkle. It will still cook fine. Another reason why I would suggest to keep the size of the naan small. After placing on tawa, cover it with a lid. This will create an oven like atmosphere and soon naan will puff up and there will be random bubbles on it’s surface.
Then comes the fun part.. inverting the tawa so the naan faces the flame and gets well cooked over the direct flame from one side. Naan will remain intact to the tawa from one side and will not fall. Rotate the tawa to get naan evenly cooked. Once cooked, put tawa down and scrape the naan off the tawa with a metal spatula. It will come off easily once fully cooked. Brush it with butter and serve.
Gluten Free Tawa Naan
Yes! You can make perfect tandoori style naan at home without turning the oven on.
- 2 cups fine brown rice flour
- ¾ cup potato starch
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour
- 11 gm instant yeast (1 packet)
- 1½ tbsp powdered sugar
- ¾ tbsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½-¾ tbsp xanthan gum
- 1½ tbsp ghee
- 1 cup +2 tbsp warm water
- butter for brushing, optional.
In a food processor combine brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and ghee. Close the processor and pulse for 20 seconds.
Gradually add water through the tube of food processor while keeping the machine running. Keep running the machine till a dough forms, about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let it proof for about 2 hours in a warm place.
Place a tawa over medium low heat and let it get hot, about 45 seconds.
Once the dough is well risen, take a small portion, form a ball and place on a piece of cling wrap, slightly grease the cling wrap. Place another piece of slightly greased cling wrap over the dough ball.
Using a roller pin, roll out the dough ball into a round shape. Keep it slightly thicker than regular roti. Try to make small, 4-5" naan.
Take off the upper cling wrap, lightly brush ONE side of naan with water. carefully pick it up and carefully place on hot tawa WITH WATER SIDE DOWN.
Cover the naan with lid of a pot that fits. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, make sure flame isn't high. Keep it low medium.
After one and a half-two minutes naan will get slightly puffy with some irregular bubble.
Take the lid off, pick tawa with it's handle and hold it upside down to cook the second side over the naked flame. Rotate a little to make sure it gets cooked evenly.
Once cooked, put the tawa down. Use a metal spatula to take the naan off the tawa. It will come off easily once fully cooked.
Brush with butter if required and serve immediately.