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A recipe for "red naan bread" [1] results in very satisfyingly thick naan breads, thicker than other (unstuffed) ones. The key difference from other naan recipes seems to be adding a tin of chopped tomatoes in the dough mix. The naans taste the same as other naans (except for the tomato of course) and have a similar texture to other nice chewy ones. They're just thicker. I'm rolling them out as much as other naan bread dough before cooking them, so they get the extra bulk cooking in the skillet.

I'd like to make other naans with the same quality of being nice and thick, either traditional plain/garlic & coriander/etc. naans, or just using other ingredients if necessary. What properties of a tin of chopped tomatoes can cause this thickening, and so which other ingredients might reproduce it?

The possibilities I've thought of are "it physically has chunks of tomato in to bulk it out", "tomato juice may have something in it causing this in the baking", "chopped tomato is basically thick somewhat acidic liquid"

I noticed the proportions are 500g flour to 400g chopped tomato to small amounts of yoghurt etc.

I've tried searching for other recipes to no avail, and experimented myself with substituting mushrooms into this red naan recipe (400g fresh, or equivalent dried rehydrated 240g + 160ml water), on the basis they might be similarly soft and chunky and wet; and trying unrelated Greek yoghurt recipes that have similar proportions of flour and yoghurt, thinking yoghurt is quite thick and acidic like tomatoes, perhaps. The yoghurt recipes [2] came closer but still not as bulky.

What ingredient would be like a tin of chopped tomatoes, but not containing tomatoes, for the purpose of including in naan breads?

(Failing that, comments about any other "extra thick naan bread" recipes references I could try to compare against would be appreciated)

For reference here's the red naan recipe summarised:

400g plain flour (plus extra to dust)

100g wholemeal flour (or more plain flour)

1½ tsp instant dry yeast

1 tsp each salt and sugar

1 tbsp tandoori paste, or chopped fresh coriander (I use coriander)

400g tin chopped tomatoes

50ml yoghurt

50ml sunflower oil

2 cloves garlic, finely crushed

Cumin, fennel or kalonji (nigella) seeds

See link for full recipe but it seems a typical mix and knead, leave alone for 90 minutes, divide and cook method

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/may/15/red-naan-bread-recipe-lepard

[2] e.g. https://www.tasteatlas.com/naan/recipe/naan-with-yogurt

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    I'm sure when I've made naan there's been much more yoghurt - another thick acidic liquid - but I hint have the recipe I use to hand
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 20:27
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    I would expect just swapping natural yogurt for the tomatoes would work, so if it didn't I can't help you.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 0:29
  • @FuzzyChef Thanks for confirming that, anyway. Maybe I will try a different richer brand of yoghurt next time (for the record I think I was using Tesco Natural Yoghurt when I tried the substitution, which is 5% fat 10% protein 3% carbohydrate, I have no idea which if any of these is the crucial factor). In the meantime, I have discovered aloo (stuffed potato)) naan is another interesting alternative, it isn't as thick but captures some of the same satisfying mouthfeel. Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 16:17
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    The Tesco yogurt should be fine, Chetna Makan uses it all the time.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 22:05

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