Authentic Naan Bread Recipe

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Authentic Naan Bread Recipe

World Cuisines


Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Naan bread is a staple in many parts of the world, particularly in countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the surrounding regions. Its soft, fluffy texture and slightly charred flavor make it an irresistible accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes, from rich curries to grilled meats and vegetables. Making authentic naan bread at home can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to capture the essence of this beloved bread. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating authentic naan bread in your own kitchen.


2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg

Optional toppings: minced garlic, chopped cilantro, melted butter for brushing


Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy. This indicates that the yeast is active and ready to use.

Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour and salt. Once the yeast mixture is ready, add it to the flour along with the vegetable oil, yogurt, and egg. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.

Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 6 to 8 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft but not sticky.

First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, covering it with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1 to 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Shape the Naan: Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and then flatten it with your hands or a rolling pin into a teardrop or oval shape, about 1/4 inch thick.

Preheat the Skillet: Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over high heat. The skillet should be very hot to mimic the traditional tandoor oven’s high temperatures.

Cook the Naan: Place one naan at a time on the hot skillet. Cook for about 1 minute, or until you see bubbles forming on the surface and the bottom has browned. Flip the naan and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. If you like, you can press down gently with a spatula to encourage even cooking and more bubbles.

Add Toppings and Serve: If desired, brush the hot naan with melted butter and sprinkle with minced garlic and chopped cilantro. Serve warm.

Authentic Naan Bread Recipe

Tips for Success:

Yeast Activation: Ensure the water is warm (not hot) to activate the yeast without killing it. The ideal temperature is around 110°F (45°C).

Dough Consistency: The dough should be soft and pliable. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour; if it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

High Heat Cooking: The high heat of the skillet simulates the traditional tandoor oven used for making naan. Don’t be afraid to let the naan char slightly; this adds to its authentic flavor.

Variations: You can experiment with different toppings or mix-ins like onion seeds (nigella), sesame seeds, or even a sprinkle of cheese for a different twist on the classic recipe.

Making naan at home is a delightful experience that brings a taste of traditional South Asian cuisine to your table. Whether you’re serving it with a sumptuous curry or enjoying it as a snack with dips, homemade naan is sure to impress with its authenticity and delicious flavor.

Storing and Reheating:

Homemade naan can be stored for later enjoyment with just a little know-how. To keep it fresh, wrap the cooled naan bread in foil or place it in an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you’re ready to eat, naan can be reheated to restore its warmth and softness.

Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Wrap the naan in aluminum foil and heat for about 10-15 minutes.

Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium heat and warm each naan for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

Microwave: Wrap the naan in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds. This method works well to keep the naan moist.

Serving Suggestions:

Naan is incredibly versatile and can be served in numerous ways. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

With Curries and Stews: Naan is the perfect vehicle for scooping up rich and flavorful curries, dals, and stews.

As a Wrap or Pizza Base: Use it as a soft wrap for kebabs and grilled meats or spread it with your favorite toppings and cheese for a quick naan pizza.

With Dips: Serve it alongside your favorite dips such as hummus, tzatziki, or baba ganoush for a delightful appetizer or snack.

As a Side for Soups: Pair it with soup for a comforting and filling meal, using the naan to soak up the delicious broth.

Cultural Significance:

Naan holds a special place in many cultures, serving as more than just a bread. It’s a symbol of communal dining and hospitality, often shared around a table with family and friends. The act of breaking bread together is a universal sign of peace and friendship, and naan beautifully embodies this tradition. Its roots in ancient civilizations and its journey along the Silk Road highlight the interconnectedness of cultures and cuisines.

In many South Asian households, making naan is a cherished tradition, passed down through generations. Each family might have its own version of the recipe, with slight variations in ingredients or techniques that reflect their unique heritage and taste preferences.

Creating authentic naan bread at home is an enjoyable process that rewards you with a delicious, versatile bread that’s perfect for a variety of meals. By following the steps outlined above, you can bring a piece of culinary tradition into your kitchen, experimenting with different flavors and toppings to make it your own. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious beginner, making naan offers a delightful glimpse into the rich tapestry of food culture, inviting you to explore and savor the flavors of the world.


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