Kheema Naan Recipe
I have been working on a traditional home made Kheema Naan recipe that works well in either an oven or on the grill. Kheema Naan is just naan that has been stuffed with spiced minced meat. Usually in India, ground lamb is used but you can use ground chicken, ground turkey or even a vegetarian version using minced mushrooms.
The key to soft naan lies in the kneading. You must knead the dough properly until it becomes soft and pliable; until you can actually physically feel a change in the texture of the dough. Trust me, it makes all the yummy difference in the world. My freshly baked home made Kheema Naans are truly out of this world.
KHEEMA NAAN (Indian Flatbread Stuffed with Spiced Minced Meat)
*Ingredients: for the naan
1 cup + 2 tbsp (9 ounces) of all purpose flour (maida), sifted
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt to taste
2 tsp sugar, to taste
2+ tbsp oil (vegetable or canola), you can use melted butter or ghee of you prefer
2 tbsp yogurt
½ cup of milk
a little melted butter or ghee
*Ingredients: for the kheema
½ lb of ground turkey (or ground meat of your choice)
½ medium onion, finely mined
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1/2” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
1-2 green chilies, finely minced (to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola oil)
freshly minced cilantro leaves
To make the kheema:
In a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions along with the garlic & ginger. Stir fry until lightly browned & then add the green chilies along with the spices (ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala, paprika, red chili powder, salt & pepper). Stir well to combine all of the ingredients and then add the ground meat. Mix well and add the tomato paste along with a tbsp or so of water. Let cook until the ground meat is fully cooked through and all the liquid is fully evaporated. Stir in the cilantro & pine nuts. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed, let cool completely before use. Set aside until needed.
To make the naan:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour along with the other dry ingredients (baking powder, salt & sugar). Stir well to combine all of the ingredients & set aside until needed.
Now in a smaller mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients together (milk, oil & yogurt). Mix well & set aside until needed.
Now in the dry ingredients mixing bowl, make a small well in the center & slowly add the wet ingredients while incorporating the flour from the sides of the well. Your clean hands are the best tools for this job, keep mixing until the dough comes together. Sometimes the dough may seem to have a mind of its own and can be affected by such factors as high altitude, dryness or humidity. So use your culinary instincts & judgment – if your dough seems too “wet” or sticky, just add a little flour as needed. If it’s a little too dry, just add a little milk as needed. You basically just need the dough to come together so it can be kneaded.
The easiest way to do this is on a clean countertop with a little sprinkling of flour so the dough will not stick. So now transfer the dough from the bowl to your work surface. Start kneading the dough until it becomes soft & pliable. This may take anywhere from 10-12 minutes. Next place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or towel for at least 15-20 minutes. Keep the bowl in a warm place, do not refrigerate. The dough should rise slightly.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F, making sure the oven rack is set in the middle or the center of your oven. Don’t forget to also lightly oil your baking sheet as well. If you have a pizza stone, that works really well for this task. The naans bake up rather quickly, so you must be present & also vigilant while they are in the oven. Keep the baking sheet (or pizza stone) in your oven, I put it in just a few minutes ahead of use. Alternatively, this could be done outside on a well-oiled grill. You can make the naan directly on a well-oiled grill grate.
Now out of your dough, you can easily make 4-5 smaller balls of dough. Knead the dough ball for just another minute or so before rolling it out. Make sure to keep the rest of the dough balls covered with a damp cloth or towel so they don’t dry out. Using a floured rolling pin on a well floured surface, start rolling out your dough balls into thin flat circles about 5-6” in size. Next, add about 2 tbsp of the cooled mince filling to the center of your naan. Now carefully gather up the sides sealing them together and forming a ball. Gently pat into a flattened disc using your palms and gently roll out into a circle about 6-7” in diameter. If it tears, don’t worry - just pinch it together and patch it up.
Now very carefully, slide out your oven rack & slap your naan onto the hot baking sheet or pizza stone. Slide it back in and let the naan bake for just 2-3 minutes. The naan should be lightly golden brown, brush it with melted butter or ghee when it comes out of the oven and serve immediately.
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