Chef Ravi’s Cheesy Naan
Chef Ravindra “Ravi” Verma is a pastry pro. As a Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructor at ICE's New York campus, Chef Ravi teaches the ins and outs of the curriculum, including the differences between sweet and savory doughs, the basics of custards and the technique of tempering chocolate. (According to Chef, chocolate is his forté.)
Chef Ravi is a savory savant as well — and he makes a mean naan. In fact, both faculty and staff come a-runnin' when the word's out that he's pulling the charred goodness out of the tandoor in the technology lab.
Cheesy naan is exactly what it sounds like: naan that’s been stuffed with cheddar, chiles, cilantro and garam masala before it’s rolled out and thrown into the tandoor.
“The stuffing that you see in my country is potato, or onion or cauliflower,” Chef Ravi says. “This is basically [a riff on] pizza. It's an American concept.”
For those attempting naan for the first time, Chef Ravi offers words of encouragement.
“You don’t have to knead the dough — you just have to mix all of the ingredients together,” he says. “Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. The dough gets tender and then you scale it into 100-gram balls, oil it, and put it on a sheet tray. That’s it.”
We’re so lucky that Chef Ravi shared the recipe with us. Here’s how to make it at home.
Makes 16 Naan
- 1 kilogram all-purpose flour
- 20 grams salt
- 25 grams sugar
- 15 grams baking powder
- 150 grams yogurt
- 200 grams water
- 200 grams milk
- 25 grams oil
- 450 grams shredded cheddar cheese
- 25 grams chopped green chile pepper
- 30 grams chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt, to taste
- Combine all ingredients together and knead. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and shape them into a round ball. Place shaped dough on a greased parchment-lined sheet tray and cover with plastic wrap.
- Meanwhile, combine cheddar, chile, cilantro and garam masala in a mixing bowl; season with salt.
- Flatten the dough ball and stuff it with 40-50 grams of cheese filling; enclose tightly and shape into a ball.
- Roll the stuffed dough ball out into 8-10" round discs. With the help of a baking cushion or tandoor gaddi, place in the tandoor oven, and bake until golden brown.
- Using metal skewers, carefully remove from the tandoor, brush generously with butter, cut into wedges and serve immediately.