Naan is a savory, soft and pillowy Indian flatbread. It tastes best when served warm with a spicy, rich Mughlai style curry. This failproof naan recipe is without any yeast and always yield perfect results.
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 spicy butter chicken or light and hearty dal makhani naan is one bread that humbly compliments all. Today, it is one of the most popular flatbreads in India.
Naan Recipe Without Yeast…
Naan is usually made with all-purpose flour (maida) using yeast as a fermenting agent. In this naan recipe, the curd is used instead of yeast for fermenting the dough. Though using curd doubles the rising time of the dough but the end results are truly gratifying.
Naan without yeast is warm, pillowy and can be brushed with butter/ghee and topped with a choice of ingredients as well. Traditionally, naan is baked in a clay oven aka tandoor. But nowadays it can be made on a stovetop or oven. The stovetop version is softer and gives one more control over the texture of the naan.
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
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.
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.
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. Whereas naan is prepared with all-purpose flour and has no definite shape.
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.
Serving Suggestions For Naan…
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Ingredients for topping
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
- 2 teaspoon nigella seeds ( kalonji)
- Sieve maida with baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and make a dent in the centre. Pour curd, salt, sugar and ghee in that dent.
- Mix well and let it rest for 1 – 2 minutes, gather the flour with your finger tips and using 1 tbsp of lukewarm water at a time bind firm dough. Knead well for 5 minutes.
- Form a smooth ball of dough and keep aside covered in warm place for 4 – 5 hours.
- Heat flat pan/griddle over medium heat. Divide the dough into equal golf ball sized rounds.
- Dust the rolling platform with maida, roll dough ball into small circle and sprinkle 1/4 tsp nigella seeds on top.
- Now roll the naan into tear shape.
- Apply water on top of naan with your fingers, and turn over it to the hot tawa ( buy it here ) so that the water applied part sticks to the pan.
- Cook in medium flame and after a minute it has puffed up marks on top.
- Now turn the griddle upside down and cook the other side on direct flame till the other side becomes light golden in colour.
- If you are not comfortable flipping the pan, simply put the naan in direct flame like Chapatis and cook until it get charred marks on top.
- Apply some ghee/butter just before serving. Serve Naam hot smeared with ghee/butter