Side Servings

South African naan bread

Makes 14
20 minutes
1 hour

This naan bread, also referred to as Durban naan bread, is not the same as a traditional Indian flatbread. The South African version resembles little dinner rolls, baked in a round cake tin, and is sprinkled with fennel seeds. It’s traditionally eaten with a curry, but is also popular served with roast leg of lamb or slices of corned tongue or corned beef on Eid day.

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  • For the naan bread:
  • 1 ½ cups full-cream milk
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 50 g butter, diced
  • 420 g cake flour
  • 140 g self-raising flour
  • 1 T fennel seeds
  • 50 g white sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 10 g instant dry yeast
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 1 t sesame seeds
  • 1 t nigella or poppy seeds
  • 1 T fennel seeds

1. Grease and flour two 20 cm cake tins and set aside.

2. Heat the milk in a large jug for about 2 minutes in the microwave on a high setting.

3. Add the oil and butter to the warm milk. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

4. Sift the flours into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the fennel seeds, sugar, salt and yeast.

5. Using the hook attachment, mix all the ingredients at a low speed.

6. Add the beaten egg to the warm milk mixture and give it a quick whisk. Gradually add this to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.

7. Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes.

8. Brush the inside of a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

9. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

10. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface. Divide the dough into two portions, shaping them individually to form a long sausage shape. Cut the dough sausages into about seven equal-sized portions.

11. Shape the dough portions into balls and place them into the prepared cake tins, leaving spaces between each dough ball. Set aside for 20 minutes.

12. Brush lightly with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle with the sesame, nigella or poppy and fennel seeds.

13. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden. Pull the buns apart and serve hot straight out of the oven.

Cook’s note: Use the hook attachment of an electric mixer for kneading the bread. This will assist in making the dough more pliable and utterly light and fluffy once baked.

Find more bread recipes here.

This is an extract from Curried by Cariema Isaacs. It is published by Penguin Random House South Africa.

Photographs: Turhaan Samodien

Cariema Isaacs

Recipe by: Cariema Isaacs

Cariema Isaacs is a South African chef, recipe developer, food stylist and cookbook author based in Dubai.

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    Viknesveran Reddy
    21 September 2021

    Would you kindly advise as to what can be used as an egg replacement?

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