Earlier this week I was flipping through some old vacation photos from a trip to Disney World and came across my dinner at Disney’s famous African and Indian restaurant, Sanaa. One of my favorite meals of the vacation was their naan bread and multiple different dipping sauces. Luckily, I can still indulge in delicious naan bread and dipping sauces at the Indian on Town Square. I had the urge to get creative and attempted to make my own naan bread and a few selections of the sauces for a small dinner party I was hosting this week.
Naan is an Indian flatbread that is pillowy and elastic, with dark charred bubbles and normally glazed with warm butter or oil. It can be served with an array of different dipping sauces and a staple in most Indian and African meals. Naan is normally made in a tandoor clay oven that can reach very high temperatures. Sadly, I don’t have a tandoor in my kitchen, so I had to settle with making this naan in my cast iron.
After I had made the naan, I chose three different dipping sauces to try ranging in different levels of spice. I started off with making a cilantro chutney dip. This was the perfect excuse for me to harvest my newly bloomed cliantro from my herb garden. I ground a cup of cilantro, two green chillies, and a tablespoon of ginger root together to start my paste. I then added cumin, lemon juice, and some water to loosen up the sauce.
The next dipping sauce I made was a mango chutney. This is one of my favorite recipes to make because I put it on everything. It is light and fruity and the perfect summer dish accompaniment. First, I chopped up fresh mangos, red onion, red peppers, and ginger. After placing these ingredients in a bowl I added pineapple juice, brown sugar, and some cider vinegar.
The last dipping sauce I decided to try and make was a cucumber raita sauce. It is nice and cool and refreshing and would also be a great dip for chips. I peeled two cucumbers and finely chopped them up and added them to two cups of greek yogurt. Then I added three tablespoons of lemon juice and some freshly chopped mint. I added some granulated sugar and kosher salt to taste.
The best part of naan bread is that you can mix the dipping sauces on the bread to get an explosion of different flavors. In the end I really enjoyed mixing the cucumber raita and cilantro chutney sauces together. I glazed my naan bread with tuscan olive oil instead of butter and served it with a bottle of chardonnay. Overall, the naan was a great success and really easy to make once I got the hang of it. I’ve supplied the naan recipe here and most of the dipping sauce recipes can be found online through different recipe blogs.
Of course, if you don’t feel like making your own naan bread you can head over to the Indian and indulge in their delicious different flavors of naan bread accompanied with curry, raita and chutneys.