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Naan creating new breadwinners

By Mao Weihua in Urumqi and Li Hongyang in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-25 07:52

The oven is usually heated by burning locally grown red-willow branches to make the naan taste better. Photo Provided To China Daily

Kahar Kari, a local baker who has 10 years of experience, said that the earthen pit oven becomes a caldron of white-hot embers and he needs to be quick when sticking rolled flour inside.

"My oven is 1.3 meters deep and I need to lean in and put half of my body inside," he said. "Sticking each naan inside takes two seconds. When I first made naan at age 17, it was really hard and I could only stick 60 in at one time with my face too red and my body sweltering. But now I can make 400 at one go. It really takes years of practice."

Despite the hardships, Kari still insists on handmade naan instead of using modern ovens and kneading machines.

"We use locally grown red-willow branches to bake naan so that it has even better flavor," he added.

Over the past half year, Yuli's online and offline sales revenue from naan reached 7 million yuan. And as the executive head of the online business association, Omarjan is helping the age-old food gain in popularity on China's major e-commerce platforms.

"Local online business companies are helping with packaging and taste adjustments, and we hope that Yuli naan will soon enhance its brand cachet across the country," he said.

Contact the writers at lihongyang@chinadaily.com.cn


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