Indian Nachos

By now you have probably seen naan bread somewhere in your travels.  Perhaps you passed by it in the grocery store or saw it used on the food network.  In the last five years or so, it has come out of obscurity and become wildly popular.  I see it on menus in quite a few applications: as a flatbread appetizer, as a bread for a panini, or even as a warm wrap for healthy ingredients.

Naan bread is Indian by origin, and traditionally hand stretched into discs and cooked in a tandoor oven at an extremely high temperature very quickly.  The extreme heat forms the bubbly texture, soft airy interior and subtle smokiness.

I am constantly searching for different applications for items that somewhat stray from the norm.  About a year ago, I was expiriementing in the test kitchen and a friend of mine suggested dropping some in the deep fryer.  I was skeptical, but decided to cut the naan pieces in chip size triangles and go for it.  It resulted in an addictive snack. Crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside.

For this application, I decided to stick with Indian flavors and dust the chips with a garam masala spice blend (available at any grocery store) once they came out of the oil.  Traditional varieties of the spice blend include cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and corriander.  I doctor mine up with ground ginger, fine sea salt and cracked black pepper. In my world, any crispy chip needs something to dip it into. The salsa component is an indian tomato-onion chutney (recipe below), and I also added a cilantro- lime crema.  It's as easy as folding in juice and zest of a lime and a little chopped cilantro to sour cream.  This helps to cool things off a little bit.  

Happy Cooking!

Tomato-Onion Chutney

Saute one small chopped onion in a sauce pot until deep golden.  Add 2 garlic cloves and sautee for 30 seconds. Add in roughly 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, or chopped roma tomatoes.  Next add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of agave, and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Slowly cook down the ingredients until thick and chunky.  I prefer to put this in a blender or food processor, but some people prefer to leave this as is.  Serve room temperature.

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