Pulled Lamb with Garlicky Tzatziki and Naan




This is the sort of thing that needs to be portioned out. Prepared and purchased in some wonderful hole-in-the-wall far from my house. Preferably somewhere accessible only by foot, after a 10k hike.

I cannot have unbridled access to a veritable buffet of moist shredded lamb and soft, chewy naan hot from the skillet, along with as much tzatziki as my heart desires. Because when this is presented to me, and there are no witnesses, it’s easy for my brain to forget the fact that my birthday suit now more resembles a sumo suit, or at the very least care not at all until I’ve had just a little bit more… another wee bite… and a few more chunks of lamb, and what’s this, another fresh naan still warm from the buttery pan? I wonder what it might taste like doused in cinnamon sugar?

There was leftover lamb; we rewarmed it and shredded it with two forks. I decided to make naan – one of the main reasons I could never give up bread products entirely – because really, aren’t all flatbreads similar versions of the same general idea? I didn’t want flour tortillas, and I could have done with pita, but I wanted something soft, bulbous and chewy to wrap around the meat and garlicky tzatziki. (Also easy to make: grate cucumber onto a paper towel and squeeze excess moisture out; stir into thick plain yogurt with two finely smooshed garlic cloves and a big pinch of salt; leave to get to know each other and intensify for a few hours.)

It’s funny that naan seems like such an undertaking, but is really as easy to make as anything else. Stir and knead the dough, roll out pieces, cook in a hot skillet. The oil and yogurt makes it smooth and wonderful to work with; more so to eat.

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of each naan bread as it cooked:


My friend and Indian cook Tahera Rawji taught me to make naan (also samosas!) – she instructs to brush each piece of rolled dough on one side with oil and the other with milk before placing in the hot pan. I’ve brushed both sides with in the past but this time didn’t bother – brushing it is a bit messy but does ensure even coverage.

1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
melted butter or oil, for frying

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast is inactive; toss it out!

Stir in the flour, salt, canola oil, yogurt and egg and stir, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about an hour.

Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a thin circle or oval.

Cook each naan in a nice hot skillet drizzled with oil (with a dab of butter too, if you like) until blistered and cooked, flipping as necessary. (When the surface has big blisters and is golden on the bottom, flip it over and cook until golden on the other side.

Makes about 8 naan.

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March 17 2010 11:02 pm | bread

38 Responses to “Pulled Lamb with Garlicky Tzatziki and Naan”

  1. Laurie in Burnaby BC on 17 Mar 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Oh, that’s insane! Delicious, sinful, cravable. It should not be possible to make garlic naan – it needs to remain one of those unnattainable things if I’m ever to loose this weight.

    Love lamb, love soft shredded meat with cool yoghurt based sauce in hot warm soft garlicky wrap.

    I had butter chicken in garlic naan yesterday, with mixed vegetable korma.

    And now this …

  2. Josh on 18 Mar 2010 at 12:58 am #

    OK this obviously needs to be made by me and soon! but there are a few questions that present themselves.

    You managed beautiful bubbles. After rising and dividing dough are you just smacking it flat and rolling it out as is or do you give it a few folds before rolling it out to get the giant pockets?

    Brush one side with milk, one side with oil…
    do you put the milk side down first into the hot pan or the oil side? Do you know what the purpose of this is? Also, when you say flipping as necessary do you mean flip when necessary or flip back and forth?

    Very Hot Skillet – is the oil at the edge of starting to smoke?

  3. JulieVR on 18 Mar 2010 at 3:11 am #

    Josh – Nope, no folding – the pockets just present themselves. Pinch off a piece the size of a golf ball or so, roll it out, smack it into a pan. It should be hot, not smoking. Bingo.

  4. bellini valli on 18 Mar 2010 at 5:40 am #

    I prefer the chewy texture of naan as compared to pita, but would not be known to refuse either..hence the unremovable sumo suit:D

  5. Kalynskitchen on 18 Mar 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Wow, this sounds like a wonderful meal. Lamb + Tzatziki is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

  6. Joni on 18 Mar 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Oh my, YUM! I make naan often with butter chicken, but I just use my standard recipe for pizza dough and it works perfectly. I’m not even a fan of lamb and this makes me want to make it and eat it tonight.

  7. sarah @ syrupandhoney on 18 Mar 2010 at 7:37 am #

    This post made me so hungry! LOVE the naan photos.

  8. pauline on 18 Mar 2010 at 7:50 am #

    I would be in heaven to eat this.

  9. Terri on 18 Mar 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Homer Simpson drooling over a beer=me drooling over the thought of partaking in this work of culinary art!

  10. Jan (Family Bites) on 18 Mar 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Love lamb and tzatziki together. Nestled in homemade naan sounds sinfully delicious!

  11. erin on 18 Mar 2010 at 8:19 am #

    I can’t wait to try this recipe – the naan looks so good!!

  12. sue.d on 18 Mar 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Must get me to a grocery store and entirely replicate your last couple days – starting with the leg of lamb in the slow cooker. Great pics!

  13. Fiona on 18 Mar 2010 at 9:12 am #

    I love making naan. When I tell people I make naan they look at me with big googly eyes and a mouth like an O, like I spend my evenings building brains or something. (Same with bagels. You get that “You whaaa…?”)

    It’s fantastic on the barbecue! You just have to make sure you really oil the grill first.

  14. JulieVR on 18 Mar 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Oh yes – it would be fab on the grill! Just like pizza!
    I’d brush the dough with oil first in that case – insurance that it’s well coated – and preheat the grill to high before slapping it down. Great suggestion!

  15. Theresa on 18 Mar 2010 at 9:35 am #


  16. Fiona on 18 Mar 2010 at 9:57 am #

    You have to oil the dough, for sure, when you make them on the grill. I oil both because I’m paranoid. And make the grill hot, hot, hot.

  17. JulieVR on 18 Mar 2010 at 9:59 am #

    It’s funny how paranoid people are – and I was too when I first did it! I’ve never had pizza dough (which is very similar) stick to the grill. WARNING: don’t spray your grill with nonstick spray after it’s on! Spray it first, or brush it, and then turn it on.

  18. Erica B. on 18 Mar 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I made the Brown Soda Bread epicurious had in their St Pats feature…add that to the list of things I shouldn’t know how to make/have in the house because I can’t be left alone with it (:

  19. Andi on 18 Mar 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Hey, do you think it’s possible to make naan with sourdough starter? I’m always looking for ways to keep mine happy and peppy and love the zing it gives breads.

  20. Aimee on 18 Mar 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Looks MIGHTY good Julie. Especially since I’ve been in the hospital for 5 days with Mateo. Hope to go home soon and COOK!

  21. Cheryl Arkison on 18 Mar 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Some days I am happy that I’m not your neighbour.

  22. Barb on 18 Mar 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    It does look like something you could get addicted to….

  23. Christina on 18 Mar 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    This looks OUT OF THIS WORLD!! I looked at this first thing this morning and have been hungry all day!! HA HA!

  24. lauren on 18 Mar 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    oh man, Julie, you’ve done it again! I am literally drooling at this? That top photo with the side of chickpeas and greens? I want that plate for dinner. And I want dinner to be 5 minutes ago.

  25. Vincci on 18 Mar 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    The naan looks scrumptious! I’m also jealous of your cast iron skillet.

  26. bluejeangourmet on 18 Mar 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    the food of my people! Julie, I’m so impressed. and hungry :)

  27. malithi on 18 Mar 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Hi Julie! I was wondering if you got the email I sent you about empty bowls…
    ps. the naan looks beautiful. I get very excited when flat breads puff up. pita breads in the oven hold the same sort of fascination!

  28. Robin (Hippo Flambe) on 19 Mar 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    When I make things like pita bread, bagels, spaetzle etc I feel like a magician. Simple ingredients and i can make at home what people think of as foods you have to buy in the store. Now thanks to this recipe I can add Naan to my magic food list. Plus I have a leg of lamb waiting for me in the freezer.


  29. Trissa on 21 Mar 2010 at 12:07 am #

    This is just brilliant! I love love naan bread – thank you for sharing your recipe. It looks delicious with the lamb!

  30. Naan Bread « Photoboom.ca on 24 Mar 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    […] Pulled Lamb with Garlicky Tzatziki and Naan – (Dinner with Julie Blog) […]

  31. Soup for Spock | dinner with Julie on 28 Apr 2010 at 9:21 am #

    […] The guys were starving, and wanted lunch, of course. Fortunately I had enough to make thick grilled ham & cheese for Tahmoh and a vegetarian avocado, cheese and tomato sandwich for Aaron. Fast-forward an hour and the organizers are asking if I can please come again tomorrow, but cook for everyone this time? And so on Saturday night I skipped out of a fundraiser (for the Janus Academy) so that I could go grocery shopping for legs of lamb and more lunch ingredients closing in on 11pm. I mostly thawed the lamb in a sinkful of warm water at around midnight, Mike browned them on the grill in the dark and I cooked them overnight (one in the CrockPot, the other in the oven at 275F) – in the morning I made tzatziki and naan. Exactly what I did here. […]

  32. Denise on 01 May 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Julie, I saw a program with Ricardo (food network) where he baked the naan bread in the oven. Have you done it both ways? (stove and oven). Do you like one better than the other?

  33. sheena on 06 May 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I just made this….we LOVED it!! Thanks for sharing:)

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  35. Angela on 30 Oct 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I recreated your bubbles perfectly! Thank you for an excellent Naan recipe. I had been laboring with another recipe I ran across on tastespotting. The bubbles though — they just weren’t happening. And I think they are essential! Thanks again from me and my family. Hit all around.

  36. Christine on 08 Jul 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Just made this. I used King Arthur brand white whole wheat flour, and olive oil instead of canola. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and so fun to do! The dough was surprisingly easy to work with.

  37. Honey Banana Muffins & a Summer of Baking » Dinner With Julie on 13 Sep 2013 at 8:34 am #

    […] made homemade naan, then used the leftovers (believe it or not, there were some) for pizza, topped with fresh basil, […]

  38. Lori on 22 Apr 2015 at 7:21 am #

    My search for the perfect naan recipe is over! Thank you!

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