Skillet Naan Balls with Saag-Artichoke Dip

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By Soni Satpathy-Singh

Homemade naan, in the form of buttery, soft, and satifying balls. Homemade though? OK, before you look at me with a “are you crazy, girl?!”  kinda stink-eye for proposing you make homemade dough, I will offer three points of defense.

1.) Unlike other naan recipes, this one does not require any yeast or proofing. 2.) It tastes amazingly soulful and delicious and 3.) there are not other points. “Point 2” is what reels me in every time.

Now jokes aside, I will offer you this – in the event you do not care how easy or quick it is to make homemade naan, you can get away with using store-bought dough and your end product will still taste delicious.

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I recommend store-bought biscuit dough as a solid contender. Simply halve the biscuit rounds, roll each half into balls, and continue on with the recipe as directed.

Did I mention my recipe for naan though requires only 5 minutes to combine the ingredients and 30 minutes to let the dough rest and voila! You are en route to homemade naanville? But I digress.

I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, you can make the dip on your stovetop and then transfer it to the center of a round cake pan with the naan balls circling around it, and bake per directions. This works in oven-proof skillets that are not cast iron as well.

Also, please note, I have made the dip to be quite spicy to appease my spicey-tooth. If serving this to kids, or if you want your dip with less of a punch, decrease the amount of garam masala by half or omit the cayenne powder altogether.  The amount of garlic may seem large  for the dip, so be aware of sensitive eaters.  You can decrease the amount used, though I believe all the cream and cheese mellow out the garlic punch.

I’m a huge fan of farmer’s cheese, which is essentially a pressed and unripend cottage cheese. I have used it in my version of saag-artichoke dip. But if you are not feeling it or do not have it readily available, a good substitute in this instance is fresh ricotta.

 

NAAN BALL DOUGH masalamommas4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons (full fat) yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, whites only

SAAG-ARTICHOKE DIP

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup diced white onions
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh garlicmasalamommas5
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ¼ teapsoon nutmeg powder
  • 16 ounces thawed frozen chopped baby spinach
  • 10 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup artichoke liquid from jar
  • 8 ounces fresh unsalted farmer’s cheese
  • ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 4 Tablespoons grated parmsean cheese

Directions

  1. Prepare a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Place dry ingredients—bread flour, garlic powder, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl and combine. To the same bowl, add the wet ingredients – milk, yogurt, and egg whites. Mix dry and wet ingredients together until a soft dough is achieved.
  2. Divide dough into two mounds. Cover both with a damp cloth and rest for 30 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting, preheat oven to 350 F. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Melt butter. Once butter is browned, add onion and garlic. Reduce heat/flame to medium and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add garam masala, cumin powder, salt, dried oregano, cayenne and nutmeg to skillet and stir. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Next, stir in spinach, artichoke hearts, and artichoke liquid to skillet. Smash in artichoke hearts and evenly distribute. Cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Add Farmer’s cheese, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese to skillet. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Using the back of a spatula or spoon, flatten and smooth out dip so it’s even and leveled in the skillet. Sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Form naan dough into even, small balls. Using the inner parameters of the skillet, encircle dip with the naan balls.
  9. Melt remaining butter and brush it evenly on the naan balls. Bake for 25 minutes.

 

 

 


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