The best hosts know when to cheat. If your menu is built around a simple pasta arrabbiata, for example, you start with the best quality tomatoes you can find, but you certainly don’t have to handstretch and roll your own penne. If a curry is the star of the show, on the other hand, perfectly cooked rice must accompany it. But tandoor-cooked naan? It won’t kill you to fake it – and a store-bought ball of pizza dough will do the trick nicely.
Before you bake the dough (it can also be broiled or even grilled), brush it with vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter), then sprinkle with cumin, garam masala, black sesame seeds or black mustard seeds.
Your happy guests, addled by the double hit of carby goodness, won’t be in any position to notice.
– Michael Tong Chef Michael Tong is the owner of Toronto’s Sublime Catering.