Naan Recipe – Learn to make delicious, soft & fluffy butter naans at home with the help of this detailed step by step photo & video post. Naan is a leavened flatbread mostly cooked in a tandoor (clay oven). It is one of the most ordered flatbreads in Indian restaurants & is eaten with a curry or dal (lentils). Restaurants typically serve many kinds of naans with varying thickness, textures & flavors.
Originally naan dough was leavened using a bread starter that was left from the previous batches. This is very much similar to the way we make yogurt using a starter.
In the modern days, yeast & other leavening agents have replaced the bread starter. So most restaurants either use yeast or another leavening agent like baking powder & baking soda.
If you order naan in Indian restaurants you may not find the texture & flavor to be the same in every place. Each place may have their own recipe to make these. So they taste and smell so different.
Here I have shared 2 different ways to make the dough & 2 different ways to toast them. So this post will help you make the kind of naans you love!
2 ways to make dough
Each one of us have a different acquired taste for naans and would love them with a particular texture and flavor. Choose the one that suits your taste:
1.Without Yeast – Most often I make naans following this method for 2 reasons. First one – no wait time. Make the dough, then straight away roll and toast them. They are done under 30 mins.
Second reason is to avoid yeast. This method uses baking powder and baking soda (optional) as a substitute to yeast.
2. With yeast – If you love yeast breads, their flavor & the fluffy chewy texture then this will be the one you will love. But it does take time to make naan with yeast as the dough needs to rise.
I have a little kid who loves the soft & chewy texture of the yeast naan so sometimes I make this way. This dough is great to make naanizza with some curry & cheese toppings.
Preparation for naan recipe
1.Add 2 cups flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons sugar & 1 to 1½ teaspoons grated garlic (optional) to a large mixing bowl. If you prefer to use yeast please check the instructions in the recipe card.
2. Give the dry ingredients a good stir. Then pour 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter, ½ cup yogurt and ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons luke warm milk.
3. Begin to knead the dough adding more warm milk as needed. You may need more water or milk than mentioned in the recipe.
4. Knead the dough very well until soft & pliable. It must be soft & not sticky. (check video). Do not over knead as it will make tough naans.
5. Cover and rest for 30 mins to 1 hour. This is optional. I make them instantly after 10 mins. Divide the dough to 6 parts and make round balls tucking the edges inside.
6. Meanwhile chop 5 to 6 garlic cloves and ¼ cup coriander leaves. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and set aside all of these along with kalonji seeds (optional).
How to make naan
7. Flour the rolling area very lightly. Too much flour will toughen the naans. Place a dough ball and flatten it.
8. Roll or stretch the dough to a oval or a elongated shape. Sprinkle the toppings and then lightly roll it again. You can make all the naans. They will shrink and become smaller, just roll again while you cook them.
9. Heat a griddle or tawa. If the pan is not hot enough then the naan will not rise well. So ensure it is hot but not extremely hot. Gently remove the naan from the counter and place it on the hot griddle. Soon you will see bubbles on the naan. You can also cook them covered.
10. Hold the naan with a tong and filp it to the other side. After flipping you can cook them on the griddle or on direct gas flame as per your preference. Cook on the other side as well until completely cooked & slightly charred. Do not press down the naan with a spatula as it will make them dense.
For ease you may place a wired rack on your stove to toast them on the other side. Here I placed a wired rack over the electric stove and flipped it to cook on the other side. I used a electric stove (hotplate) which has a cast iron plate over it.
11. Remove to a serving plate and then brush some butter.
Butter Naans are best served hot, straight out of the griddle. Serve them with any curry or dal.
Tips to make naan recipe
Flour: Naan is always made with all-purpose flour (or maida). For health reasons please choose organic or atleast unbleached flour. You can substitute all-purpose flour with wheat flour but you will surely not get the kind of fluffy, soft and chewy texture in your naan.
I have made them with wheat flour several times and can just say they will no where be near to the real naan. However if you are health conscious and eat them often then you can use wheat flour.
Rolling Vs stretching dough: Naan is always hand stretched and not rolled with a rolling pin. Sometimes rolling toughens the dough and suppresses the bubbles making dense flatbreads.
Hand stretched naan have a lovely fluffy & light texture. So I usually make all the naans at one go and then toast them so they get time to rise on the counter.
Size & thickness: Naans are pretty much made in different shapes and thickness. For fluffy naan breads make them slightly thicker. Do not make them too thick unless you are going to use a good heat source otherwise they remain uncooked.
Trouble shooting tips for naan recipe
- Naan doesn’t get bubbles – Pan not hot enough, dough not moist enough or improper leavening.
- Naan turns hard – Toasting for too long, not enough moisture in the dough, toasting on low heat or not kneading the dough enough.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (organic maida or 1 cup wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour)
- ½ cup plain yogurt (curd)
- 6 to 8 tablespoons luke warm milk (¼ cup + 2 tbsps) (may need more)
- 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 to 1½ teaspoon grated garlic (optional)
For Leavening (or use ¾ tsp instant yeast)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves sliced or chopped
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cup coriander leaves chopped finely
- 1 tsp kalonji seeds (optional)
How to make the recipe
- To a mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and grated garlic . (If using instant yeast in place of baking powder and baking soda add it now. To use dry active yeast, refer notes.)
- Pour yogurt, oil and 4 tbsps luke warm milk. Begin to mix to form a smooth dough adding more warm milk as needed. You may need up to half cup milk.
- Knead well until the dough turns soft, elastic & pliable. When you press down the dough with your finger, it should dent easily.
- Optionally you can cover and rest the dough for 1 to 2 hours in a warm place. You can also make them instantly like I made here. (For yeast dough, rest in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough rises & doubles, Then punch the dough one to 2 times to deflate slightly).
- Grease your fingers and divide the dough to 6 to 8 parts depending on the size you prefer.
- Make smooth balls and keep them covered until you finish rolling the naans.
How to make naan
- Sprinkle little flour on the rolling area and place a dough ball.
- Roll the ball to 8 to 9 inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide depending on the size of the dough ball.
- Sprinkle kalonji seeds, sliced garlic and coriander leaves. Press down or roll them gently.
- When you are done with 5 to 6 naans, begin to heat a griddle or pan.
- Ensure the pan is hot enough, then transfer the naan to it. Within a minute or so bubbles will be visible on top.
- With the help of a tong, flip it and cook either on the pan or directly over the gas fire or stove. Or place a wired rack on the stove and toast it. (check video or step by step photos).
- When you see brown spots on the naan, remove them to a plate and brush with some butter. Ensure it is cooked through on both the sides well.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- If using dry active yeast, pour 1/4 cup of luke warm milk to a large mixing bowl along with sugar. Stir in the yeast and rest for 10 to 15 mins until it activates & turns frothy. Then add flour, garlic,salt, oil and yogurt. Knead the dough very well until soft & elastic, add more milk as required. Cover and rest in a warm place for about 2 to 3 hours or until the dough doubles. When the dough doubles, punch it one to two times to deflate a bit. Grease your hands and divide the dough to 6 to 8 parts. Follow the rest of the recipe from – how to make naan.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.