Recipe: Noni Afghani (Afghan Flatbread/Naan)

Makes 8-12 Noni Afghani

When cooked gently over medium heat Noni Afghani is soft and chewy. The yogurt keeps the bread moist, while the cumin seeds add an earthy flavor.  This comforting flatbread is ideal for sopping up Afghan dips and curries.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 package)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup plain yogurt, low-fat or whole milk
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for bowl
2 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
4 Tbsp ghee or butter, melted

Method:

1. In a large mixer with paddle attachment, combine flours, yeast, sugar, salt, water, yogurt, and olive oil.

2. Switch to dough hook. Mix for about 10 minutes, or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be moist but not overly sticky. Add extra flour a little at a time, if necessary.

2. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a clean, oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Divide in 8-12 portions and roll into balls. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

4. Press each ball flat. Sprinkle each side with cumin seeds. With a rolling pin, roll into 1/3″ thick oblong discs.

5. Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add ghee (or butter). Add one or two discs to skillet at a time. Do not crowd.

6. Cook about 1 minute on first side. Flip and cook until the second side is brown and aromatic. This will take about 2-4 minutes.

7. Place Noni in a cloth lined basket. The bread will retain heat without getting soggy. Serve immediately.

Adapted from “Indian-Style Flatbread” in The Best International Recipe, by Cooks Illustrated.
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  1. [...] greens or spinach with homemade cheese [recipe]), garam masala spice blends [recipe], and naan [recipe]. The terrain is often rough – host to the tallest mountain range in the world, the [...]

  2. [...] a tandoori oven in her private home, if I had one, I would use it to cook our cumin seed naan (the one we made back in Afghanistan. P.S. This bread which would also work for a Pakistani meal. P.P.S. Oh, how far our recipes have [...]

  3. [...] you’ll find a lot of Indian food. You’ll be able to try all manner of samsa, naan (recipe 1 and recipe 2), and chapati [recipe] with curry. Then there’s more traditional African fare, [...]

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