Homemade Naan

Homemade Naan
At my dad’s birthday last year, we made an entire menu of Indian curries – his favourite. But when I volunteered to make the naan, my mom insisted on ordering some to pick up from a local restaurant. It’s ok, I told her – I can make pretty good naan from scratch! But she insisted, and someone wound up stuck in traffic driving to and from the restaurant, and we wound up with cold, no longer fresh from the oven naan with which to scoop up our curries.

Naan dough 2Naan dough 1

A few months later she was over when I had a stack of naan on the kitchen counter. She tore into a piece and asked where I got it. “You made this?!” she asked, incredulous. We really could have had some of yours!

Of course there’s no beating a batch of naan that has just been cooked in a tandoor oven, which is tall and cylindrical and reaches temperatures of about 800F, much like a pizza oven. But you can make a decent batch of naan in a cast iron skillet, which withstands high temperatures and distributes it evenly. You could even bring a batch of dough and a skillet camping, and cook it directly over the campfire for a little added smokiness. I’ll never get tired of the way the dough bubbles dramatically in the hot skillet.

Cooking naan 1

When people talk about prairie ingredients, wheat isn’t always the first to come to mind—but it’s a significant agricultural crop, and a staple in our kitchen. I love driving through the prairies past fields of wheat and canola. And so when Alberta Wheat’s Life’s Simple Ingredient asked me to share a recipe that highlights the wheat we grow right here, I was thrilled to.

There are flatbread and pizza crusts around the world and I’m a fan of all of them, but there’s something about buttery, chewy naan that’s universally loved. The oil (or use ghee!) and yogurt gives it that soft, creamy texture and slight tang, and the wheat flour gives it its famous texture and chew. It’s a simple enough dough to make; soft and yeast-risen, slightly tacky, which makes it easy to work with. Let it rest, then pull off chunks and roll the pieces as thin as you can on an unfloured surface (the counter needs to be tacky enough to grip slightly, like a post-it note) before cooking in a blazing hot skillet, flipping with tongs. Or you can cook it directly on your grill, giving it charred edges and a smoky flavour. In fact, warm grilled naan makes the perfect vehicle for roasted chicken, beef or lamb kebabs, grilled cheese and veggies with tzatziki, and is the best thing on a platter of hummus and olives, or with cheese or charcuterie, or just about anything.

Cooking naan 2

To make garlic naan, crush a clove of garlic and swirl it around in your cooking oil or warmed butter or ghee to infuse it before you cook your naan. If you’ve never cooked with ghee, it’s clarified butter that has had any milk solids removed, meaning it won’t burn – it behaves like oil when you cook with it, but tastes like butter. Truly it’s the best thing ever. (You can buy it, or make your own: melt butter until it separates, spooning off the foam that rises to the top. (Eat it, or cook some eggs, or make popcorn.) Slowly pour off the clear butter, leaving the nutty milk solids in the bottom. Again, swipe that stuff up with some bread or something.)

Naan 6

Once you’ve got ghee – and homemade naan – in your repertoire, you’ll find all kinds of uses for it.

Thanks to Life’s Simple Ingredient for supporting this site by sponsoring this post, and helping me spread the word about one of Alberta’s most significant crops!

Homemade Naan

AuthorJulie

Homemade Naan

1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
oil, butter and/or ghee, for cooking

1

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. (If it doesn't foam, the yeast is inactive; toss it out!) Stir in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg and stir until the dough comes together, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour or two. (If you want to make it in advance, cover and store in the fridge to slow down the rise.)

2

Pinch off pieces the size of an egg or two (depending how big you want your naan), and roll into a thin circle or oval — don’t flour the surface, it needs to be tacky enough to grip slightly, like a post-it note. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle generously with oil and a pat of butter, or add a spoonful of ghee and rotate the pan to coat the bottom as it melts.

3

Peel each piece of dough off the countertop and lay it in the hot skillet. Cook until it grows dramatic bubbles on one side, then flip and cook until golden on the other. Stack on a plate as they cook, and bring them to the table warm. Makes about 8 naan.

Category

Ingredients

 1/2 cup warm water
 2 tsp active dry yeast
 1 tsp sugar
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/4 cup canola oil
 1/3 cup plain yogurt
 1 large egg
 oil, butter and/or ghee, for cooking

Directions

1

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. (If it doesn't foam, the yeast is inactive; toss it out!) Stir in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg and stir until the dough comes together, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour or two. (If you want to make it in advance, cover and store in the fridge to slow down the rise.)

2

Pinch off pieces the size of an egg or two (depending how big you want your naan), and roll into a thin circle or oval — don’t flour the surface, it needs to be tacky enough to grip slightly, like a post-it note. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle generously with oil and a pat of butter, or add a spoonful of ghee and rotate the pan to coat the bottom as it melts.

3

Peel each piece of dough off the countertop and lay it in the hot skillet. Cook until it grows dramatic bubbles on one side, then flip and cook until golden on the other. Stack on a plate as they cook, and bring them to the table warm. Makes about 8 naan.

Homemade Naan
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35 comments on “Homemade Naan

  1. Kellee
    June 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Yum! No other words needed!

  2. Faye
    June 6, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    You are the best…..I too ( like your Mom) order in….but I will try this….I love nan.

  3. Karen Joy Anderson
    June 6, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    yum julie!

  4. Valarie Olafso
    June 6, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Well…now I know what’s going on my camping list.

  5. Lee Rosenthal
    June 6, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    How to tweak to make this whole wheat??

  6. Sandra Cody
    June 7, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Definitely looking forward to trying this recipe with my next batch of Butter Chicken. But …. that rolling pin in your photos – stunning!!! Would love to know where you found it. Thanks.

    • Niki Prattley
      September 10, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Oh dear. I was so busy looking at that wonderful naan that l hadn’t noticed the rolling pin. Of course l had to go back and look. Wish l hadn’t now. Its gorgeous!

  7. Lee Anne
    June 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Your recipe has been my go to naan recipe for a few years now. My hubby is Indian & he’s used to roti but even he likes this naan.

  8. Bonnie Scott
    June 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Easy and delicious. We use the homemade naan in place of pitas for souvlaki.

  9. Keoma Duce
    June 8, 2018 at 8:19 am

    So glad that you posted this. We had the worst naan in the world a couple of nights ago so if we can make it ourselves – yay!!

  10. Lori
    June 10, 2018 at 9:04 am

    That rolling pin! Tell me about that rolling pin!

    • Julie
      June 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Isn’t it awesome?? It’s made out of recycled skateboards! By a couple brothers with a company called Adrian Martinus.

  11. Jennifer
    June 27, 2018 at 9:30 am

    This naan is the best I’ve tasted! I recommend doubling the recipe – everyone will want more.

    • Julie
      July 1, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Yay! so glad to hear it!

  12. hotmail login
    August 1, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Its taste is so good. My family love it, specially my daughter.

  13. Xperia Stock Roms
    August 16, 2018 at 2:49 am

    This naan is the best I’ve tasted!

  14. Creative Destruction Apk
    August 16, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Yay! so glad to hear it!

  15. Xperia USB Drivers
    August 16, 2018 at 2:51 am

    I recommend doubling the recipe – everyone will want more.

  16. TeleMods
    August 16, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Easy and delicious. We use the homemade naan in place of pitas

  17. Creative Destruction for PC
    August 16, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Definitely looking forward to trying this recipe with my next batch of Butter Chicken. But …. that rolling pin in your photos – stunning!!! Would love to know where you found it. Thanks.

  18. principles of good digestion
    October 29, 2018 at 5:19 am

    love it

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    November 5, 2018 at 2:14 am

    i thinks it so Amazing

  21. Motorola
    April 3, 2019 at 6:29 am

    i found it so amazing love it try that

  22. Niki Prattley
    September 10, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Oh dear. I was so busy looking at that wonderful naan that l hadn’t noticed the rolling pin. Of course l had to go back and look. Wish l hadn’t now. Its gorgeous!
    Can you please clarify how thin l should roll the naan? Thank you.

  23. xfinity stream for pc
    April 16, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Naan shops are closed nowadays, but I’m gonna make them at home using this recipe. Thanks a lot.

  24. Dale Brandstrom
    April 18, 2020 at 10:59 am

    These are still THE best!! I have not found a better recipe for Naan…

  25. Shawn
    May 19, 2020 at 6:12 am

    Wowww, I haven’t found the better naan recipe then this.
    Amazing!

  26. Anna
    August 8, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Needed something to go with my home made butter chicken and my sister sent me this recipe. Sooooo glad I decided to make it – totally last minute too because the butter chicken was already done and ready to be eaten. The rising time almost prevented me from making it, and I didn’t have plain yogurt on hand. But as I stared at my butter chicken, it felt like it deserved better than just rice…

    So I quickly gathered all ingredients, subbing buttermilk for the yogurt (which worked beautifully) and quickly proofed it in my oven. Waited patiently for an hour and then eagerly made the first naan ….. oh wow …. to see the bubbles made me excited and once they were done – how chewy and soft and oh so glorious they were!!!!

    Thank you for the fabulous recipe – it’s a keeper!

    • Julie
      August 13, 2020 at 10:42 am

      Oh yay, I’m so glad to hear it!! I love it.. been making it for decades!

  27. Dorothy
    November 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Hi,

    If I want to make it ahead of time do I put it in the fridge right after kneading it or do I allow it to rise a bit before putting it in the fridge? Do I let it rise once it comes out of the fridge before using it?

    Thanks!

    • Anna
      November 12, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      I’ve made this recipe 3-4 times now and have been able to successfully make it the day before: after kneading, I place it in bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge until I’m going to use it. It will rise and expand. I have also done it where after I knead it, I’ve left it out to rise and then placed it in the fridge. For both methods, when I’m ready to use it, I just take it out and let it sit in the counter as I prepare the pan, oil, rolling pin, etc. If I have leftover, I’ll place back into the fridge and use it up by the next day. 🙂 works great!

      • Dorothy
        November 14, 2020 at 1:34 pm

        Awesome, thank you!

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