This oven-baked crispy Keema naan bread is stuffed with spicy and tangy kabab-like ground meat. They are also called keema walay naan. And what's more, they melt in the mouth soft from the inside and crispy from the outside. This Keema naan recipe has many variations and I shared both oven and on tawa cooking methods.
I love keema and I love naan, and this keema Naan or keema walay naan seems a love child of both. When I started testing this recipe, I wanted it to be perfect and just like the one you get at dhabbas in Lahore.
Originally, keema naan is baked in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven. The stuffed naan dough is pasted to the hot wall of tandoor. The wall cooks the bottom of naan while the heat of the oven makes the naan golden from the top. To mimic that same process at home, we first cook the naan on tawa which makes the bottom of naan crispy like tandoori naan, and then we bake it in an oven which mimics the heat of tandoor giving a crispy top to naan. You can learn more about naan bread on wikipedia.
Ingredients: The ingredients for naan are the same as those of bread which is flour, egg, milk, yeast, salt, cumin, yogurt, and sugar. Yogurt helps attain typical naan flavor with background sour touches. Cumin adds flavor to the naan bread.
Ingredients for keema stuffing are
- Finely grounded meat: I used 20% fat lamb mince and grounded it again in my chopper for a fine mince texture. You can also use beef or chicken mince alternately in this recipe. If using chicken mince add some butter or cream to mince to compensate for the low fat in chicken breast.
- The onion is finely chopped. I chopped onion in a food processor, just a few pulses. Then, I squeezed water from the onion by pressing it in my fist.
- and common Indian spices like turmeric powder, crushed coriander, and cumin. The dry roasted and crushed cumin seed and coriander seeds give the best flavors.
- Dried Pomegranate seeds are not easily available but they taste amazing. They can be substituted with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses or lemon juice.
How to make it?
I know the step-by-step cards are showing many steps and you might feel overwhelmed but actually, it is very easy to make. You can marinate ground meat a night ahead and store it in the fridge. The dough can also be prepared 4-6 hours ahead. Remove the mince stuffing 30-45 minutes ahead of making from the fridge, so the stuffing is at room temperature and cooks quickly. The dough is also pliable and fun to work with.
- In a bowl add all the dry ingredients that are flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Also, add yogurt and an egg. Mix well until you have a crumbly texture.
- Gradually add milk and bring the flour together in the form of a ball. Add lukewarm water as needed to form a soft dough.
- Knead the dough for 1 minute.
- Apply a thin layer of oil to the dough. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size. ( The rise time depends on the temperature so keep it in a warm place, I keep it near the stove where something is cooking.)
- Meanwhile, mix the ingredients of marination in a bowl. Keep the marinated mince in a cool place until the dough rises.
- When the dough has doubled in size, punch the air out and knead it lightly. Divide the dough into four balls. Dust the working surface with flour and roll the dough ball into a 4-inch circle.
- Also, divide marinated ground meat stuffing into four portions. Place a portion of stuffing in the center. ( Make sure the stuffing is at room temperature and not cold so it cooks easily.)
- Now gradually pinch the corners together.
- Continue bringing all the ends together until the mince is completely covered.
- Form a ball and make sure the stuffing is not visible and completely covered. Repeat with the remaining 3 balls of dough. Also pre-heat at 4000 F or 200 C while you shape the naan.
- Dust the surface again with flour and gently flatten the stuffed dough ball into a naan.
- You can do this using a rolling pin too but I recommend doing it with your hand as it allows spreading the stuffing evenly in the naan. Using fingers makes depression all around so the edges are a bit higher than the center like a pizza. ( If your ground meat stuffing gets visible from the top as you roll naan that's completely ok as you see in the featured image.)
- Using the bottom of a wooden spoon make holes all over the dough. This will let the air in the dough escape while cooking and the naan won't rise like pita bread.
- Heat a griddle (Tawa) or pan and place the prepared Naan on it. Brush the top and sides with whipped yogurt, and sprinkle sesame seeds.
- Cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the bottom is golden.
- Now transfer the Naan to the preheated oven to cook the top. The broiler and oven both should be working simultaneously so the oven mimics the heat of tandoor. ( If both broiler and bottom don't work simultaneously then pre-oven first and use broiler alone while baking naan. Place the naan on the medium rack of the oven and cook for 5 minutes or until naan is golden. ( Most ground meat stuffing will cook on the tawa only so no need to worry and the remaining cooking will complete in the oven.
- Once it is golden brown from the top, transfer to a plate and brush with melted butter or ghee. Serve the hot chutney of your choice.
- Make it super chat patta: The naan is plain and it undermines the taste of keema stuffing fairly. So make sure your keema is extra spicy and flavorful.
- Choice of mince: Most popular and common choice of mincemeat is lamb or mutton. But beef and chicken are also good choices. You can even try it with potato stuffing. Check this Amritsari Kulche by Thisthatmore for inspiration.
- You can also use your leftover cooked keema for stuffing, just dry out any excess water and load it with extra spices.
- Salt is most crucial in any recipe so make sure your naan has enough salt and it doesn't make the stuffing taste bland.
The naan recipe is simple but the keema stuffing recipe has a lot of variations. The recipe, I’ve shared in the recipe card is the easiest and most authentic one. The two most common variations are using cooked mincemeat stuffing or uncooked stuffing.
Naan stuffed with Uncooked keema: The uncooked keema stuffing is more authentic and easier as you skip the cooking process. The only drawback is you can't taste test it like a cooked keema but, I have a fix for that too. Just cook a small bit of keema on the stove. It will look like kabab. And you can taste test it.
Unlike some fear, the uncooked stuffing cooks easily as you bake the naan in the oven. The keema tends to cling together and taste like a kabab stuffed in the naan.
Naan stuffed with Cooked keema: Most home cooks prefer the cooked keema version as they do can do a taste test before adding keema to naan. If you choose this method, you don't have to touch raw keema while you spread keema on naan. You can use leftover keema too. If cooking keema naan on the stovetop, cooked keema works best.
Frequently asked questions
In simple words, it is an oven-baked flatbread with spicy kabab-like mincemeat stuffing, usually, lamb or goat mince is used. It is very popular in Pakistan, especially in Lahore.
Keema naan pairs very well with any chutney like mint or tamarind chutney. Garlic raita or any sweet and spicy sauce are good choices. You also add sliced onions or salsa on the side.
Yes, You can make keema naan on the stovetop too. For stovetop, keema naan makes cooked keema stuffing. Cook the bottom of naan on iron or stainless tawa with the handle. Then flip tawa and cooktop of naan by exposing naan to the direct flame of the stove.
Hungry for more? Try these!
For the dough
- 4 cups plain flour, about 500 grams, more for dusting
- 4 tablespoon yogurt
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoon oil, more for coating
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup lukewarm water , or as needed
For the stuffing
- 500 gram groundmeat, finely grounded again in a chopper (lamb, beefor chicken)
- 1 cup finely chopped onions , about 1 and half onion
- 2 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon dried pomegranate arils, or 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, preferably roasted and crushed
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, preferably roasted and crushed
- ½ tablespoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder, skip for less spicy
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 3 green chili, finely chopped
- ½ cup corriander/ cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup chopped mint leaves
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon butter or oil, for brushing
PREPARE THE DOUGH
- Mix flour, yogurt, egg, salt, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. The mixture will be crumbly. Protip: You can proof the yeast by mixing yeast first, sugar, and warm water in a bowl and then let it rise for 5 minutes. No need to do this step if using instant yeast from the sachet.
- Gradually add milk and bring the flour together with hands. Then add water as needed and need a soft dough.
- Drizzle some oil on the dough and coat evenly. Cover the bowl and keep it in a warm dry place. Let the dough to rise for 1 hours or until it doubles in size.
Marinate the stuffing
- While the dpugh rises preapare the stuffing. Mix all the ingredient of stuffing in a bowl and set aside. Protip: The mince should be finlely grounded which can be attained by grinding mince again in the chopper. If you wish to use cooked mince stuffing, find instructions in notes.
- When the dough has doubled in size, punch the air out. Transfer dough to the working surface. Grease your hand with oil and knead again for 1 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four equal balls. Dust each ball with flour and start rolling the dough ball into a 4-inch circle.
- Add the stuffing in the centre and bring the ends in the middle by pinching all corners in to make a stuffed dough ball.
- Pre-heat the oven top grill at 400 F or 200 C.
- Dust with flour and gently roll into the naan. Using fingers make depression all around so the edges are a bit higher than the centre.
- Using the bottom of a wooden spoon poke holes all over the dough so the naan doesnt bubble while cooking.
- Heat a griddle (Tawa) or non stick pan. Tranfer naan on the pan with help of a plate. (Slide a flat plate under the naan to lift it.) Brush the top and sides of naan with yogurt, sprinkle sesame seeds. Cook for 5-7 minutes on low flame until the bottom is golden brown.
- Then transfer the Naan to the middle rack of the preheated oven. Also lit the broiler simulatanouesly with oven. Bake for 5-7 until naan it is golden brown from the top. Remove naan to a plate and brush with melted butter or oil. Serve freshlu baked.