Naan is a soft and pillowy Indian flatbread. It is one of the most popular bread to accompany Paneer Butter Masala or Dal Makhani. This is a failproof whole wheat naan recipe without yeast made on a tawa (cast iron griddle).
Origin Of Naan…
Naan made its way into the Indian cuisine during the Mughal era. The trade of yeast was an important landmark in the origins of naan as it was an important ingredient used in making it.
The soft and mild buttery taste of the bread provided the perfect complement to the indulgent Mughlai dishes.
Whether it is rich and creamy butter chicken or light and hearty dal makhani, naan is one bread that humbly compliments all.
Today, it is one of the most widely popular flatbreads across the World.
Naan Without Yeast…
Naan is usually made with all-purpose flour (maida) using yeast as a fermenting agent.
USP Of This Naan Recipe – is that the dough is fermented without using any yeast. Secondly, instead of tandoor or oven, I have cooked naan on a tawa (cast iron pan) directly over the gas stove flame. Third, it is a whole wheat naan.
Traditionally, the Indian bread is baked in a clay oven aka tandoor.
My naan recipe shows you how to make restaurant-style naan on a stovetop tawa (cast iron griddle) at home.
The stovetop version gives more control over the texture and cooking time of the naan.
Wheat Flour – I am using whole wheat flour but you can use all-purpose flour, or bread flour to make this naan without yeast.
Curd – for binding the dough I am using slightly sour curd. You can use yogurt as well.
Ghee – you can use butter or any other fat
Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, White Sugar
Variety Of Naan Toppings…
There are a variety of toppings one can use to make naan all the more delicious:
- Finely chopped garlic also known as garlic naan
- Finely chopped fresh mint and coriander
- A mix of nigella seeds, chopped garlic, and mint
- A mix of grated cheese and chopped garlic, also known as cheese naan
Ways To Cook Naan
There are a variety of ways to cook naan bread. Once the bread is shaped, you can:
bake it in the oven at 200-degree Celcius for 5 – 6 minutes like pita bread.
cook it on a cast-iron skillet/cast iron pan or Indian roti tawa like I did in this naan recipe video.
cook it on a stovetop (gas stove) tandoor available in many parts of Northern India.
bake it in a traditional outdoor tandoor.
Naan perfectly compliments spicy curry or creamy dal.
Here are few of my favorite Indian main-course dishes to serve with naan without yeast:
FAQ’s Related To Naan:
How to make soft naan?
The key to making a soft naan is the dough. From the mixing of the ingredients, kneading to fermenting, every step in the process contributes to the soft texture of the naan.
Especially, a good sticky dough will always give you fluffy naans. A perfect soft naan dough should never be dry or non-sticky.
What is the difference between naan and roti?
Naan and roti both are flatbreads widely popular in the Indian subcontinent. The roti or chapati has a perfectly round shape and is prepared with whole wheat flour without any yeast on a stovetop.
Whereas naan is a baked bread prepared with the all-purpose flour.
No toppings are added in the roti. But the naan is often topped with chopped garlic, mint, nigella seeds, or fresh coriander for the flavor. In India, roti is mainly consumed with everyday meal whereas naan is more of an indulgent affair.
Can naan bread be frozen?
Can you make naan in advance and freeze them? Yes, you can. Prepare the naan dough, shape each naan, and then place a piece of parchment paper of the same size in between each naan and make a stack.
Seal the stack in a freezer friendly zip lock bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the zip lock bag and freeze for 2 – 3 months.
How to use leftover naan?
The best way to use leftover naan is to make Naan Pizza. We as a family love Cheesy Naan Pizza to the core. Add toppings of your choice, sprinkle grated cheese, bake for 3 – 5 minutes and a delicious dinner is sorted.
Watch Whole Wheat Naan Recipe Video:
Love Indian Bread? Try These:
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Whole Wheat Naan Without Yeast Recipe
Ingredients for topping
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds ( kalonji)
- Combine flour along with baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a bowl. Mix nicely. Make a dent in the centre. Pour curd, and ghee in that dent. Mix well and let it rest for 1 – 2 minutes
- Using one tablespoon lukewarm water at a time form a soft and sticky dough. Knead well for 10 minutes. Naan dough is never dry. It has to be a bit sticky and moist.
- Grease a bowl with a teaspoon of ghee or oil. Transfer the dough into the ball. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or cling foil. Keep in a warm, draught-free place (I prefer inside the oven/ microwave/instant pot) for 1 – 2 hours.
- Combine topping ingredients in a bowl and keep near the gas stove. Keep one bowl of clean water next to it.
- Heat flat cast iron pan/griddle over medium heat. Divide the dough into equal golf ball-sized rounds.
- Gently flatten the dough ball with the pressure of your palm. Next, dip your fingers in water and gently try to shape the naan. Alternatively, you can dust the rolling surface with flour and roll out naan into an oval-shaped bread of 1/4 inch thickness.
- Again, using wet fingers stick a teaspoon of chopped toppings over the naan
- Place the naan on a hot griddle. Cook over medium heat. After a few seconds, naan will puff up and has charred, uneven marks on top
- Now turn the griddle upside down and cook the other side of bread on direct flame till it becomes light golden in color.
- If you are not comfortable flipping the pan, simply put the naan on direct flame-like Chapatis and cook until it gets charred marks on top or cook it covered in the cast iron pan itself.
- Apply some ghee/butter just before serving. Serve Naan warm with any curry of your choice.