Naan’Wich, an Indian take on the sandwich
May 05 2016 10:36 PM
Naan’Wich. Photo by the author

When the sandwich gets an Indian makeover, Naan’Wich is what we get. As evident from the name the bread used to make this sandwich is the world famous naan bread and the filling can be as per your choice ranging from chicken tikka, seekh kebab, paneer bhurji, vegetable bharta, aloo subji and much more.
I have travelled to many places across the globe and while I am visiting a new place I always try out the local dishes and regional cuisine of the place. I also study and evaluate the evolution of cuisines and dishes. One food dish that I particularly admire and appreciate is sandwich.
Almost every country or place I have travelled to has its own version of sandwich using the locally available and preferred bread and choice of vegetarian and non vegetarian fillings. A sandwich is such a convenient and versatile food dish that it is not only easy to prepare but can be served at any time of the day and is a perfect food item to eat while you are on the move.
The English popularised it by sandwich, Arabs call theirs as shawarma, Indians call them kathi rolls, the Americans call them wraps and Mexicans call theirs tortilla. No matter what you call them, they are nice, simple yet exotic and everyone from kids to elderly people love to relish them.
Naan is one classic Indian bread which is so popular that almost all the countries I have travelled to know about it. Naan has its own teardrop shape and requires practice and skill to master. The technique is to sap the bread on the tandoor wall which causes the dough to spread under its own weight and makes the teardrop shape. It is made with enriched dough and contains egg to give it elasticity. So my advice for vegetarians is to ask your server for the egg content in your naan bread— some vegetarian restaurants omit egg from the recipe.
Chicken tikka on the other hand is much more popular than the naan bread and has travelled more places owing to its delectable, smokey and succulent taste. The chicken tikka is undoubted king among tikkas. Chicken tikka is a boneless chicken morsel marinated with yoghurt and spices roasted in a charcoal fired clay oven called tandoor. The word tikka means ‘bits or pieces’.
The below recipe combines the goodness of two classic dishes and is a must try.

Naan’Wich Chicken Tikka

(chicken tikka in naan bread)

For the naan bread
Flour 4 cup
Milk 4 tbsp
Warm water 1 cup
Sugar 3 tbsp
Yeast 1 tsp
Egg 1 no
Salt 2 tsp

For the chicken tikka filling
Chicken thigh 600 gm
Ginger paste 2 tbsp
Garlic paste 2 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Mustard oil 3 tbsp
Kashmiri red chili 1 tbsp
Yoghurt 2 cup
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Kasoori methi 1 tbsp
Mint powder ½ tsp
Chat masala 1 tsp
Fricassee lettuce few leaves
Tomato 1 no
Cucumber 2 no
Coriander leaves few leaves
Mint sauce to accompany

For the naan bread, sift the flour with salt and keep in a clean and dry bowl.
Make a mixture of egg, sugar, yeast, milk and 4 tbsp of warm water and place it in the centre of the flour and cover with the remaining flour from sides.
Allow it to stand for 10-12 minutes until crack appears on top and knead with the remaining water.
Make a soft dough and cover with a damp cloth, keep refrigerated.
For the chicken tikka, wash and pat dry the chicken thigh and cut into 11/2 inch cubes.
Marinate with ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and salt and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Hang the yoghurt in a thin muslin cloth to remove the excess water and get thick hung yoghurt.
Take the hung yoghurt in a bowl and add the remaining spices and mix well to make a smooth marinade.
Marinate the chicken morsels in the prepared marinade and leave them for another 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Heat the oven at 180 degree Celsius and skewer the chicken and cook evenly, turning them to get an even browning of meat, remove the dough from fridge and allow to stand at room temperature.
Once the tikka is half-cooked remove from oven and allow to stand for 5-8 minutes to allow the excess moisture to drip down.
Baste with butter and return to oven to get the colour and cook the chicken.
Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions and flatten using rolling pin and bake in oven or tandoor till the bread becomes fluffy and is cooked.
Cut the tomato and cucumber into small dices and chop the coriander leaves.
Place the prepared chicken tikka in the prepared naan bread.
Sprinkle some tomato, cucumber and coriander on top, drizzle with mint chutney and roll the bread and serve hot.

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