Naan - Leavened Indian Flatbread

India, Spicy bread, close-up
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  • 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
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There is no Indian bread that is more famous than the Naan! They are perfect for mopping up the gravy in Indian curries. Naans are traditionally cooked in a Tandoor or earthen oven but can also be made in your oven at home. Serve this delicious bread hot, with popular dishes like Tandoori Chicken or kebabs of different kinds. The dough for Naans needs to be made in advance so it can proof. Make sure to factor that into the preparation time.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 6 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened yogurt
  • 2 or 3 splashes vegetable cooking oil (or canola or sunflower oil)
  • 3 tsp. onion seeds

How to Make It

  1. Add the dry yeast and sugar to the warm water and stir till the yeast is dissolved. Cover and leave aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to froth. This indicates the yeast is active. Keep aside.
  2. Mix the flour and salt to taste and sift through a very fine sieve. Put it into a large mixing bowl and now add the yeast mixture, 3 tbsp of ghee, and all the yogurt.
  3. Use your fingertips to mix all this into a soft dough. Once mixed, flour a clean, flat surface (like your kitchen counter), and knead the dough till it is smooth and stretchy (elastic).
  1. Grease a large bowl with a few drops of vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil and put the dough in it. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest for about 90 minutes or till the dough doubles in volume.
  2. Punch the dough down and knead again for 10 minutes.
  3. Equally divide the dough and roll between your palms to form 8 round balls.
  4. Lightly flour the same surface on which you kneaded the dough and roll out each ball until you have a circle, 7-8 inches in diameter (1/2" thick). Gently pull on one edge of the circle to form the Naan into a teardrop shape. Do not pull too hard or you may tear the Naan. Instead of rolling the dough out (with a rolling pin) you can also pat it into a circle with your hands.
  5. Preheat your oven 200 C/ 400 F or Gas Mark 6.
  6. Lay a piece of aluminum foil ​on an oven tray (to cover) and grease it lightly with a few drops of cooking oil.
  7. Place as many Naans as will fit without touching each other on the tray.
  8. Brush each Naan with some ghee and sprinkle a pinch of onion seeds all over its surface.
  9. Put the tray into the oven and cook till the Naan begins to puff out and get lightly brown. Flip the Naan and repeat.
  10. Remove from oven and serve hot in a foil-lined basket.