The ever-evolving tradition of bringing a basket of breads to the table at restaurants is often a quandary. The reason you are there is because you are hungry, so it’s very easy to dig into a basket of warm rolls and ruin your appetite. On the other hand, the breads offered are often so mediocre that it’s easy to say no. Not so with my Kamut-Chickpea Naan with Banana Chutney. It’s made with freshly ground whole grains, for even more appeal.
Because the bread basket that I can’t pass up is the one at the Indian restaurant. Hot naan, paratha, poori, and kulcha are just too intoxicating for me to save my precious appetite. It’s a good thing curries make good leftovers, because I blow it on the breads every time.
So for a treat, sometimes I make naan at home. It’s so easy to use my Vitamix to make freshly ground whole grain flours, and then show off their flavor in a simple flatbread. It’s a bit of work to roll them out and griddle them, so I serve a simple chickpea curry or even dal alongside and call it a meal. The banana chutney is exciting enough to entice you to fill up on naan, I promise you.
Whole grain naan are usually made with a special whole wheat flour called atta. It’s a finely ground, lower-gluten whole grain flour, also used for chapati. I’m so smitten with my freshly ground kamut flour that I wanted to buzz up some for this. Kamut is lower in gluten than hard wheat, but higher than soft pastry wheat. A cup of chickpea flour adds a protein boost and cuts the amount of gluten in the mix overall. Sweet potato gives the breads some sweetness, and a lovely orange tint.
They are not as fluffy and stretchy as the white flour naan at my favorite restaurant, but they more than make up for it with fresh whole grain flavor.
The banana chutney is a riff on a more traditional one. I added crystallized ginger for a sweet and peppery kick, as well as the many magical things that ginger does for my body. Ginger is warming, aids in digestion, and boosts your immune system, so the fact that it tastes great only makes me love it more. Of course, I had to put fresh turmeric in, for even more color, flavor and anti-inflammatory punch.
Griddling the breads requires a heavy griddle or cast iron skillet. I happen to have a fantastic cast iron pizza pan from Lodge and I used that, slicked with a little coconut oil.
You can also use whole wheat flour for these, just start with 2 1/2 cups of flour and adjust with more flour or more water, the dough should be soft enough to handle easily.
For a bread basket that you won’t feel guilty about devouring, make these tasty whole grain naan. With the banana chutney on top, it’s like having a party in your mouth.
Kamut-Chickpea Naan with Banana Chutney
- 2 cup whole kamut or 2 1/2 cups kamut flour
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt dairy or non-dairy
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil plus more for griddling
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 large scallion chopped, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 large jalapeno chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoons cayenne
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger chopped
- 2 large ripe bananas sliced
- For naan: Grind the kamut in the Vitamix dry grinding container, the pour into a large bowl to cool. Add the chickpea fllour, yeast, salt and sugar and mix well. In a cup, stir the sweet potatoes, yogurt and coconut oil. Stir into the flour mixture, switching to kneading when it gets hard to stir. Knead until smooth and well mixed. It should be soft and easy to handle, if necessary, add a little water to make it softer, or flour if it is sticky. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover, let rise for an hour.
- While the dough rises, make the chutney. In a small pot, warm the canola oil over medium heat and add the white parts of the scallions, turmeric, mustard seeds and jalapeno and cook, stirring. Cook until the onions are softened the seeds pop and turn grey. Add the sugar and vinegar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the salt, spices and ginger and stir for a a minute to soften the ginger, then add sliced bananas. Stir until the bananas are starting to dissolve but not completely mashed. Take off the heat and adjust seasonings.
- To finish the breads: Smear some coconut oil on the counter and dump out the dough, then divide in 8 pieces. Form each into a disk and put on the counter to rise, covered with a towel. Let rise for half an hour, then roll out on the oiled counter into 8 inch circles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and pat to press them into the dough. Let them rise for another 15 minutes.
- Put a griddle or large cast iron pan over high heat for 3 minutes. Transfer dough pieces to the hot pan, cooking for 1-2 minutes per side, flipping as they brown. Reduce the heat to medium as you go and the pan is fully heated. Transfer to a platter to cool.Serve hot naan with chutney.