Naan bread (nan) recipes vary across regions spanning from India to Iran and thanks to globalization - in Indian restaurants world over. Although naan is a flatbread much like roti, it has a denser texture due to its ingredients and cooking technique. Most naans may contain either or yeast, yogurt or milk to form a thick, yet soft dough, cooked in a tandoor. While this may be the case it is possible to replicate restaurant like naan at home! a few easy steps...without a tandoor.

Naan bread definitely did not feature in Amma’s recipe collection; in fact she never tasted one… there was no need to eat at an Indian Restaurant if you ‘were Indian’. I first tasted naan bread sometime in my early twenties at my celebratory graduation dinner with my sisters at Buhkara. My first taste of naan and the last meal I ate with all siblings seated at the same table. How times have changed. Then all we aspired to was the future - now that is here …we long for the simplicity of days gone by...I do!.

easy naan recipe

I prefer naan breads which are less doughy  (pita bread like) to softer  roti  like ones…ones that can be pulled apart easily. For this recipe I have opted for simple soft bread dough using warm milk and yeast. From previous experience naan made with yoghurt (and sometimes egg) tend to be far too dense. My motto…keep it simple!

Naan Recipe
Recipe by Georgia
Prep time: 10 minutes + 1 hour
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6

  • 3 cups all purpose or cake flour
  • 1.5 cups warm milk
  • 7g dry yeast
  • pinch of salt

Optional  for Garlic Naan

  • 1 teaspoon melted butter or ghee
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped coriander

Cooking Directions
    1. Sift flour and salt.
    2. Combine yeast and warm milk. Mix then set aside for 10 minutes until the yeast has been activated.
    (See step by step instructions in the Hot Cross Buns Recipe).
    Add to flour. Mix until a soft dough forms. Do not add additional flour this will make the dough tough resulting in hard naan bread. Knead the dough for minimum 5-7 minutes. Cover then set aside in a warm place for an hour until it has doubled in size.

    3. Press the dough then roll into a ball. Flatten then cut into sections if you would like to make the teardrop shaped naans or roll into balls if you prefer circular naans.

    make naan bread

    4. To cook the naan breads heat a non stick pan, skillet or tawa on medium heat at least 10 minutes before cooking the naan bread.


    5. Place each naan on the hot pan. Cook each side for 20-30 seconds turning until both sides are evenly cooked. Spread with melted butter. For garlic naan add grated garlic and chopped coriander to the melted butter. Serve warm with curry of choice.

    indian naan recipe

    Will Naan Be Soft The Next Day?

    This naan bread recipe resulted in perfectly soft naan bread the next day...still soft and still delicious. I was still able to roll and tear apart the bread revealing thin layers similar to Amma's Soft Roti.

    SOFT NAAN TIP: Only apply melted butter to the naan you intend serving for a meal. Store remaining naan in an airtight container or wrapped in a cloth. Reheat  naan breads on a medium heat pan when serving, this will keep the naan fresh. You can also freeze naan. Simply leave out of the freezer for an hour or two before you intend serving the naan bread. Reheat for just cooked freshness.

    What Is The Difference Between Naan and Roti

    Naan has a delicious soft bread like texture as a result of levening agents such as yeast, yogurt or baking powder which gives the dough a very soft texture. As a result naan is perfect for dipping into gravy curries. It soaks ups curry better than roti does. Roti on the other hand has soft felxible texture perfect for creating wraps and for vegetable curries which tend to have less 'gravy'.

    Soft Naan vs Soft Roti... see for yourself...

    Read more in my Recipe for Making Soft Roti

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