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Naan

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Shutterstock

In the West, Naan bread is considered to be the daily bread of Indians. Nothing could be further from the truth. It requires the intense heat of a tandoor, the clay oven you may have seen in Indian restaurants but that is not found in homes. It is one amongst hundreds of mouthwatering breads made in the north but is not a bread made in home kitchens. Although no recipe for homemade naan comes close to the restaurant version, my recipe is simple and a reasonable substitute.

Makes5

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Mealdinner

Moodadventurous

Taste and Texturelight, savory

Type of Dishbread, flatbreads

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups (625 mL) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 6 tbsp (90 mL) ghee or softened butter, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) milk (approx.)
  • 2 nonstick baking sheets

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add 2½ tbsp (32 mL) of the ghee and egg and pulse again. With processor running, gradually pour in milk through feed tube and process until dough comes together. Process for 1 minute more. Knead bread for 1 minute. Dough should be very soft and smooth. Form into a ball, cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

  3. Knead dough for 2 minutes. Divide into 5 portions and roll into balls. Cover with a towel. Working with one ball at a time, pat dough into a disk and roll into an oval, about 8 by 4 inches (20 by 10 cm). Gently pull one end to make into a teardrop shape. Transfer to baking sheet. Make remaining naans and place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Flip and cook other side until cooked through, for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and brush generously with remaining ghee. Serve immediately.

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I made this bread to go with her recipe for Chicken Tikka. I thought it strange that there was no yeast so I looked at other recipes. They included yeast and many called for a bit of yogurt rather than milk. Hmm, I tried it anyway. It turned out to be very dense and stiff. It was not pliable and when bent it broke. I will try some other recipes which use yeast. Like she said, this "recipe is simple and a reasonable substitute." I must admit, the more I ate it with the Tikka, the better it tasted. It really is far from any thing I've had from a restaurant. But it is simple.

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