Quick & Easy Chilli Cheese Naan

Quick & Easy Chilli Cheese Naan

Each year, it is expected of December to fly by at double speed. There are parties to attend, shopping to do, presents to wrap, Christmas baking to be done – you know what it’s like. Somehow, it seems like the year starts off slowly, barely able to rouse itself from its languidness in January & February, then gathers momentum with each passing month until it ends in a month that appears to last only 17 days. Or perhaps that’s just me.

However, none of us needs reminding that December 2020 was unusual to say the least. I was expecting it to be quiet, sluggish and to last longer than it has done other years. How wrong I was. Despite not attending parties, seeing friends or doing any real life shopping, the month was pretty busy. It was wonderful to have the whole family at home spending time together, watching Netflix and doing Christmas baking. However, it also meant that, on occasions, there was cake on the table but no dinner.

It was on one such occasion that I made these Chilli Cheese Naans. I first ate a version of it at a restaurant in Leicester and since then, I have seen it in a couple of cookbooks too. The restaurant one was rather disappointing as it was just some crushed green chillies and cheese on top of a naan without any thought for the balance in flavours – all you could perceive was the heat, not much else. But I liked the concept and after having seen it in the Dishoom cookbook, I made my own version. The recipe is for the basic version, which is good in itself, but I have since also played with variations with good results (let’s just face it, how can anything cheesy not taste good?)

The beauty of this dish is that it’s quick and adaptable – use what you have and make it your own (see notes below for ideas). And if you have some soup to dunk it in, even better!

Chilli Cheese Naan

A quick, delicious bite to eat when you're rushing.
Course Breads
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 - 4 green chillies deseeded if you like it less hot. Or use fatter, milder ones.
  • 6 stalks coriander
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 large naans plain or coriander flavoured
  • 4 tsp oil
  • optional extras: cooked chicken, crushed cashews, egg* (see variations in the notes below)

Instructions
 

  • Place the spring onions, chillies & coriander leaves in a food processor and pulse until you get a uniformly coarse mixture. Or, if doing it by hand, chop them all very, very finely.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add the grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed*. Add any other ingredient, if using, and mix well. Cut the naans in half along the width and divide the mixture equally on the top of all pieces.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then add a tsp of oil. Carefully put one half of naan in the pan. Cover with a lid, then turn the heat down to low. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts. Repeat with the other 3 pieces. You can, if you so wish, grill the naans too. I have even microwaved them just until the cheese melts, although if taking this route, make sure you don't overcook it.

Notes

*Variations:
If you want to make it more substantial, you could add some chopped cooked chicken breast at this point.
Or add chopped cashewnuts or pistachios for crunch.
To make it richer, consider adding an egg yolk or a tbsp of mayo.
Add spice with a pinch of garam masala or curry powder.
Swap naan for other types of bread - flatbreads or sliced.
A fried egg on top and you have the Kejriwal, that famous breakfast item in Bombay.
The possibilities are endless. Explore and make it your own.ย 
Keyword cheese, chilli, naan


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