Shortcut Homemade Naan is my new favorite kitchen trick!
This easy no yeast naan recipe is ready in less than an hour and bewitches with its fluffy center and blistered exterior.
Thanks to the optional (or not optional) finishing brush of garlic butter, it holds its own against any traditional naan recipe you’d order in a restaurant.
Even though I adore Indian food today, when I first tried it at the age of 12, I was not a fan.
Put another way, now I am all about the Chicken Tikka Masala.
Back then I was all about the chicken nuggets, with one exception.
Indian naan bread was love at first bite.
Naan is a simple Indian flatbread made with wheat flour, yogurt, and (traditionally) yeast.
It’s cooked at a high temperature and brushed with butter. Special variations include garlic naan or even cheese naan.
It is a pillow of carb perfection, made to tear with your fingers and dip into curries with delight—unless you are 12-year-old Erin, in which case you will skip the curry and happily devour the naan for your entire meal.
Thankfully I have come to my senses and now find Indian food to be one of the most enchanting cuisines on the planet.
Indian food is healthy, you can find the ingredients you need to make it an average grocery store, and it’s become one of my favorite ways to add variety to our dinners.
With all of the healthy Indian recipes on my site, I thought it was about time we had a homemade naan to dip with them. Here we are!
Naan v. Roti
- Naan bread is more chewy and soft than roti.
- Roti is thin; naan is thicker and has a fluffier texture.
- Naan is leavened flatbread (meaning it rises), and roti is unleavened flatbread.
How to Make Naan from Scratch
Listen up: even if you have never baked bread before, you can make perfect homemade naan.
This is a shortcut, EASY naan recipe, inspired by the authentic naan I enjoyed abroad in India.
I skipped the yeast and used baking powder to leaven it. Since naan is a flatbread, you can get away with it.
My favorite way to prepare this naan is in batches. Cook one ball of naan dough on the skillet while you roll the next.
You can keep batches warm in the oven until you finish them all, or do what we do: enjoy the first few hot off the skillet while you cook the rest.
Fresh, warm naan is too pleasurable to miss.
- Flour. Naan is made with wheat flour. I incorporated some whole wheat flour for a healthy boost.
- Baking Powder. Helps the naan rise to fluffy perfection without yeast.
- Low-Fat Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt helps make the bread soft, chewy, and subtly tangy.
- Butter. Butter helps make the outside of the naan ultra devourable and, of course, buttery (yes, please!). To make this naan even more reminiscent of what you’d order at a restaurant, brush the bread with a quick and scrumptious garlic butter mixture.
- Toppings. Chopped cilantro or parsley and sea salt are our favorite ways to top this naan bread.
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Stir in the yogurt. Add a little water to the mixture to further moisten it (if needed). Form the dough into a ball with your hands.
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Lay a towel over the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the melted butter or garlic butter.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface, then cut it into 8 wedges.
- Roll each wedge into a ball, flour the top, then roll it into a circle or oval shape.
- Cook each piece of naan in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Brush butter on the top side.
- Flip the naan over, then brush butter on the top side. Cook for 1 minute.
- Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Serve with fresh herbs and salt. ENJOY!
I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet for this recipe. It does the best job of creating those irresistible outside blisters and puffed interior.
- This affordable cast iron skillet does a stellar job.
- This top-of-the-line cast iron skillet (or this one) will cook with you for a lifetime.
If you do not have a cast iron skillet, a non-stick skillet is your next-best option.
Whichever skillet you use, be sure to get it nice and hot, or your naan won’t blister and puff.
- To Store. Wrap leftovers in foil, and store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- To Reheat. Rewarm naan wrapped in foil at 300 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until hot.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Reheat pieces in the oven as desired.
Meal Plan Tip
If you don’t plan to cook the whole batch at once, roll the rested dough into balls, and refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, roll and prepare as directed (if frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator first).
Use your leftover naan to make this delicious Grilled Naan Pizza with Strawberry Chicken and Avocado, or use it as a base for any of your favorite pizza/flatbread toppings. For an easy sandwich, use a piece of naan as the bread (Curry Chicken Salad would be a tasty filling).
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Cast Iron Skillet. My favorite skillet for making homemade naan.
- Tongs. Perfect for flipping your naan bread over.
- Basting Brush. You can toss this one right into the dishwasher.
You’ll feel like a confident kitchen whiz when you pull batches of steaming hot naan from your skillet.
No need to tell anyone how easy it is. See if it doesn’t become your favorite party trick too!
FOR THE NAAN:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt or regular yogurt
- 2 to 5 tablespoons water divided
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley optional
- Flaky sea salt optional
TO MAKE GARLIC BUTTER:
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the yogurt. With a spoon, stir to combine, pressing the yogurt into the dry ingredients. Once it seems that you can't moisten the flour further, sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over the top (if you are using regular yogurt or your yogurt is on the thinner side and it doesn't seem like your dough is crumbly but not dry, you may not need the water at all). Depending upon how thick or thin your yogurt is, you may need more water. If so, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly between each addition, until the flour-yogurt mixture forms big clumps. Once you’ve mixed as best as you can with a spoon, use your hands to squeeze the dough together in a ball.
- Knead the dough in the bowl for 1 to 2 minutes, until it feels fairly smooth and cohesive. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The naan won't rise; this step is to relax the gluten in the flour and let the wet/dry ingredients fully incorporate so that your naan is tender.)
- Prepare the butter (or garlic butter): During the last 10 minutes of the dough’s resting, melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until fragrant. Remove the pan from heat. If you prefer not to make garlic butter, simply omit the garlic and melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave.
- Once the dough has rested, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With a bench scraper or butter knife, cut the dough ball into 8 evenly sized wedges. If you’d like to keep the naan warm between batches, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and keep a large baking sheet handy.
- Shape the first dough: Roll one wedge into a ball with your hands. Lightly flour the top of it. With a rolling pin, roll it to a circle or oval that is about ¼-inch thick (it will be about 5 inches across).
- Cook the dough: Heat a cast iron skillet (a non-stick skillet will work too) over medium-high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot. Add the dough to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, until it blisters on the bottom and big bubbles form on top. While the dough is cooking on the first side, brush butter on the top, uncooked side.
- With tongs, flip the dough and brush more butter on top. Cook until it is golden brown on the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a baking sheet, sprinkle with herbs and flaky salt (if desired), and place in the oven to keep warm.
- Repeat with the remaining wedges. I like to multi-task by rolling the next dough ball while the one before it cooks. Enjoy warm!
- *Different salt brands have different yields, and when a recipe has as few ingredients and the salt is ultra important like in this one, it makes a difference. If using Diamond Crystal kosher, increase the salt to 2 teaspoons. I do not recommend table salt, as it has a chemical taste and will be too salty; if using table salt, proceed at your own risk and reduce the amount in the recipe.
- TO STORE: Wrap leftovers in foil, and store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm naan wrapped in foil at 300 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until hot.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Reheat pieces in the oven as desired.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: If you don’t plan to cook the whole batch at once, roll the rested dough into balls, and refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to cook, roll and prepare as directed.
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