Of course, what good is an excellent CTM without a fluffy naan for dipping purposes?  Yes, you guessed it.  Naan was also on the list of recipes to master.  Numerous recipes and cooking techniques were tried before I threw in the towel (and the not so fluffy naans).  Bottom line is that a good naan requires a tandoor oven: a high-firing, clay lined oven.  Well, given that we do have an acre or two (well, two to be exact) of land, we decided that building a tandoor oven is clearly the way to go.  Some quick internet research, and we found a number of prototypes by fine folk who clearly cherish a good tandoori chicken and, of course, a well fluffy naan:

How to build your own tandoor from a flower pot

Oil Drum Tandoor

Super Duper Tandoor Oven

Finally, I’m happy to report an exciting and suitable epilogue to our curry quest.  We were up in Birmingham this weekend to visit Nick’s niece Ruth and her boyfriend prior to our big move.  Of course, we went to a curry house for dinner, as Birmingham is known for great curry (and, these days, going out for dinner IS going out for curry!).  It was a lovely spot called ‘Blue Mango’ — very posh indeed.  They had an open kitchen set-up which meant that I spend a good amount of time trying to spy on the activities in the kitchen, and especially the naan making process.  Fed up with my rubber-necking, Nick finally suggested that I should just go up and ask to watch.  Didn’t need to be told twice…  

Once I expressed interest in the process, the restaurant owner invited me into the kitchen to watch up-close!  Oh heaven!  I picked up a tip or two about the naan making process but mostly, I was just thrilled to see the process firsthand.  It was really something to actually see the chef expertly stretch out the small balls of dough and plop them using his bare hands onto the sides of the blazing hot tandoor oven.  The small pillow traditionally used for this purpose (the oven get to about 400c cooking a naan in less than 3 minutes!) lay dejected and unused to the side.  Exciting stuff!  Yeah, I know, I need to get out more…  🙂


Naan in a tandoor oven