Burnt Aubergine Hummus with Nigella Seed Naan
Now that I’m equipped with ‘divide & conquer’ and black iron I’m enjoying some open lid grilling/baking – and the warmth from KJ is much appreciated by the chef writes SandraTate…Having enjoyed low and slow cooking for a long while, watching the almost immediate pillowing of bread dough on hot iron is an absolute joy – and the open grill iron is perfect for cooking aubergine until it is blackened and blistering. The latter looks like a disaster has occurred it’s exactly what you want to achieve to make this deliciously rich and smoky dip. Because your lid open cooking session will take little more than 20-30 minutes in total you have enough charcoal hours left to lower the temperature afterwards and bang in a casserole or some such to cover lunch and dinner in one session!
Naan Bread is simple enough to make but does require 1½-2 hours of rising time so start prepping mid morning. Place 300g strong white bread flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Place 1½ tsp dried yeast in the well with 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp warm water to cover and leave for a few minutes until it’s frothy. Now add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp nigella seeds and 150ml live plain yoghurt and enough warm water to bring the mixture to a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for 6-10 minutes until smooth and silky then return it to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double (this can take up to 2 hrs).
While the dough is proving, light up Kamado Joe and get yourself a constant temperature of 250°C/480°F with the heat deflector at low level and the flat sided black iron & the iron grill at high level over. When you open to cook (burp the lid first) the iron will be good and hot for instant naan results. Place a large aubergine on the grill side to begin roasting.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces, forming 6 balls. Dust with flour, one at a time, and roll until 2-3 mm thick circles the size of side plates(or traditional teardrop shape if you wish), you can make all into a pile ready for baking but make sure they are dusty with flour or they will stick to each other. Place 2 at a time onto the flat iron and as soon as they are puffing up, sneak a look underneath and if suitably browning then turn to cook the other side. They will take but a few minutes each side to cook. Move to a warm plate when ready and carry on with the rest of the flat breads. As you do so, turn the aubergine occasionally until it has blistered all over and the skin is black and crisp before removing to a plate.
Once cool enough to handle, pick the blackened skin from the aubergine and place the flesh in a processor together with a clove of garlic, crushed; 1 tsp salt; 2tsp tahini; 1tbsp olive oil; juice of half a large lemon, and a small handful of fresh coriander. Process to smooth and check seasoning. Serve with warm naan immediately.