Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Origin of Naan bread

Naan, a traditional bread, is made by baking it in a tandoor oven and crafted from a mixture of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, ghee, water, and yogurt.

The first known reference to Naan dates back to 1300 AC when the Indian poet and musician Amir Khusrow mentioned it, but its origins likely go even further back, possibly to the time when yeast was introduced to India from Egypt.

During India's Mughal era in the 1520s, Naan held a special status as a delicacy exclusively enjoyed by nobles and royal families due to the limited number of skilled individuals who could make it.

The name "Naan" is derived from the Persian word "nān," which simply means bread. In Iran, it serves as a general term for any type of bread. Similarly, other languages like Turkish, Uzbek, Uyghur, and Kazakh use variations of 'nan' to refer to flatbreads, showcasing the striking similarities across regions.

Throughout history, Naan has been traditionally cooked in a hot tandoor oven, either in the ground or with hot wood charcoal, producing temperatures as high as 900°F (480°C). The dough is shaped into a ball and then slapped onto the interior walls of the tandoor, a clay oven.

The Naan bread served in Indian restaurants worldwide likely originates from the culinary traditions of both India and Pakistan.

Over the centuries, Naan has spread to various regions, including Myanmar, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and the Chinese region of Xinjiang. As people migrated, Naan also found its way to the Persian Gulf.

In the early 1800s, an English historian and clergyman named William Tooke mentioned Naan in his logs and later incorporated it into his etymological Encyclopedia of Russia. His work introduced the recipe and tradition of Naan bread to the Western world, where it continues to be a cherished part of Indian cuisine.
Origin of Naan bread