Naan is a soft and pillowy Indian-style flatbread traditionally made in a tandoor, or cylindrical clay oven. The dough gets slapped against the walls of the tandoor, where it adheres and bakes quickly over a burning fire. Fortunately for all of us, it’s possible to make naan at home and replicate the high heat and charred flavor of a clay oven by using a very hot cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. I’ve tried many recipes with varying degrees of success; the first time I made this one, my husband was still talking about it the next day, so I knew I had a winner. It’s pretty quick — save for the rising time — and so rewarding, especially once you taste how delicious it is compared to store-bought. Serve with soup or Indian-style curry dishes for soaking up the sauce.
As you can see, the ingredients are very basic. The yogurt and olive oil add a bit of tang and richness. The anise seeds add just a hint of licorice flavor — not traditional at all but I love it. Feel free to leave them out, or replace them with nigella seeds (which have a subtle onion flavor), poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
Begin by combining the flour, yeast, sugar, anise seeds and salt in a large bowl, then whisk to combine.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, and warm water.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients.
And stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
Dust your hands with flour and knead into a soft, sticky ball.
Cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise in a warm spot until about doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Hint: the warmer the spot, the faster it will rise.
Fill a small bowl with flour. Dust some of the flour onto a work surface. Dump the dough on top and sprinkle the dough with more flour.
Shape the dough into a rectangle, adding more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick.
Then, divide into six equal portions.
Heat a cast iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. While it heats, roll one of the dough balls into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.
Place the dough in the hot, dry skillet and cook until the surface is full of air bubbles and the bottom is browned and blistered in spots.
Flip the naan and cook a few minutes more.
Brush the cooked naan with melted butter, and repeat with remaining dough balls.
Sprinkle with parsley, if using, then serve warm.
My Recipe Videos
- 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife, plus more for rolling
- 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast or rapid-rise yeast (see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heaping 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds (optional)
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons melted salted butter, for brushing on finished naans
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional), for serving
- Note: This recipe includes instructions for both instant dry or rapid rise yeast AND for active dry yeast, so please be sure to refer to the applicable set of steps.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and anise seeds (if using). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together, the yogurt, olive oil, and 3/4 cup warm water (about 100°F). Add the yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, dust your hands with flour and knead gently into a soft, slightly sticky dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading.
- Lightly oil or spray a clean bowl with nonstick cooking spray (the bowl should be large enough to allow the dough to double in size). Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until about doubled in size (hint: the warmer the spot, the faster the dough will rise).
- Fill a small bowl with about 1/2 cup flour. Dust a work surface with some of the flour and dump the dough on top. Sprinkle some of the flour on top of the dough and on your hands. Shape the dough into a long rectangle and cut into 6 equal portions, dusting with more flour as necessary so the dough doesn't stick. Roll each portion of dough in the bowl of flour to keep them from sticking.
- Warm a large cast iron or heavy nonstick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a rolling pin, roll one of the dough balls into an oval shape about 1/8-inch thick (it should be about 9 x 4 inches). Pick up the dough and flip-flop it back and forth between your hands to release any excess flour; then gently lay the dough in the dry skillet and cook until the top is bursting with air bubbles and the bottom is golden and blackened in spots, a few minutes. Flip the naan and cook about 1-2 minutes more until the the bottom is lightly browned and blistered in spots. Remove the naan from the skillet and brush with melted butter. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining naans, adjusting the heat lower if necessary as you go (I usually find it necessary to lower the heat to medium after the first naan). Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve warm.
- To keep the cooked naan warm, place them in a 200°F oven. Store leftovers in a Ziplock bag and reheat in a 350°F oven wrapped in foil.
- Note: If using active dry yeast rather than instant or rapid-rise, the yeast will need to be activated in liquid before using, so follow these instructions for the first three steps:
- 1) In a medium bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100°F). Let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- 2) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, flour, salt and anise seeds (if using). Set aside. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and olive oil to it and whisk to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix the dough together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, dust your hand with flour and knead gently into a soft, slightly sticky dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading.
- 3) Lightly oil or spray a clean bowl with nonstick cooking spray (the bowl should be large enough to allow the dough to double in size). Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for 1.5 to 3 hours, or until about doubled in size. Proceed with recipe starting at step 4.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The naan can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once it’s completely cooled, wrap each piece securely in plastic wrap and put all the rounds in a sealable plastic bag prior to putting in the freezer. To reheat, wrap the naan in aluminum foil and warm in a 350°F oven until hot.
- Serving size: 1 naan
- Calories: 241
- Fat: 9 g
- Saturated fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Sodium: 323 mg
- Cholesterol: 11 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.