Exotic Curry House,
39, Lorong Tingkat,
WAFTING aroma of freshly baked naan coming from a traditional earthen oven whets the appetite.
Cooked upon order, the naan that simply means bread in Persian and Urdu, is crisp on the outside with a bubble-like texture caused by the yeast mixed in the dough that makes it soft with a distinctive taste.
One stall that is popular among locals and shoppers from outstation for its flatbread is Exotic Curry House in Klang.
Mohammad Irfan Nizzam-ud-din, 25, who is passionate about making the naan, said he uses wheat flour, evaporated milk, margarine, salt and yeast that lends the bread a soft and more tender texture.
“Back in my village of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, we use ghee. We love the flavour of ghee but here we use melted butter or margarine. Sometimes I try to add yoghurt for tang and richness just like I do in Bahawalpur but not all Malaysians like it,” he said.
Irfan, as he is known to locals, said he would leave the kneaded dough in a large bucket covered with a damp cloth in a warm place for three hours for it to rise.
“We have to give the dough a three-hour ferment, then the dough is shaped into small balls. I give the them a half-hour proof before they are rolled and put into the tandoor. One secret for the taste and texture is to allow the dough to ferment,” he said.
Irfan, a father of two, said naan is a versatile bread that can be topped with chopped garlic, brushed with melted butter, mixed with cheese, sprinkled with sesame seeds, garnished with a mixture of cheese and garlic, or have raisins and almonds mixed into the dough before placing in the tandoor and even have potato masala wrapped with the bread.
“Over here, I serve the bread with chickpeas curry, mint sauce and pureed dhal. Most people love it with the pureed dhal. We also serve naan without toppings and just call it ‘original’,” he said.
Regular customer Loo Chin Hui said he enjoyed the naan with the mint sauce.
Owner of Exotic Curry House M. Baskran said all kinds of food in Little India was closely linked to the growth of this Indian business enclave.
“As many Indians dreaming of having a better livelihood came over, they brought their gastronomic treasures with them. All this has resulted in a smorgasbord of cooking skills with a flair that reflects our Indian heritage,” he added.
Baskran said the bestselling naan is the masala naan (top pic) where the potatoes are mixed with spices.
“Having naan is not complete without a glass of hot teh tarik,” said Baskran.