Naan – Indian Leavened Flatbread

I made this recipe as a treat for my family while in lockdown due to the Corona pandemic. It’s easy to make and versatile as you can customize the toppings. I doubled this recipe as it is a family favorite.

It helps to have a baking stone or a cast-iron griddle or grill. If not, use one or two heavy-duty cookie sheets. It is also helpful to have some silicone oven mitts, but I did this with my hands only.

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes – 4 to 5 minutes per Naan

Yield: 8-9 Naan

leavening agent

  • 4 teaspoons All-purpose flour
  • 8 teaspoons plain yogurt/greek yogurt (with live cultures)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Mix the ingredients for the leavening agent and leave it in a warm place to ferment overnight. If you wish to make more Naan the next day, just increase the recipe by 1 1/2 and add more flour/yogurt/sugar the following day to “feed” the starter after removing the amount needed for the recipe.

Ingredients for Naan Dough

  • 16-20 ounces (460-590 g) All-purpose flour – about 8-81/2 cups Use the lesser amount and add the extra flour only as needed.
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons yogurt
  • 10 tablespoons milk
  • 1.5 oz (45g) melted ghee or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg (or 2 eggs if not using Chia) or replace each egg with 1/2 cup additional yogurt
  • 1/2 cup leavening agent
  • 1 tablespoon chia soaked in 3 tablespoons of water for 2 hours or overnight – optional
  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee/butter for brushing on after baking

Topping ideas

  • 1/4 cup poppy seed, sesame seed, or nigella
  • 1/3 cup Zatar mixture
  • 1/3 cup minced garlic in 2 tablespoons melted ghee/butter
  • 1/3 cup minced hot chillies
  • 1/2-2/3 cup minced onion and corriander with or without ground sumac or powdered anardana (powdered) seeds in 2 tablespoons melted ghee/butter
  • 1/2-2/3 cup paneer or feta cheese with/without ground Sumac or powdered anardana (pomegranate) seeds
  • Everything bagel topping
  • Any combination of the above


1. Using a microwave-safe glass measuring cup heat the milk and butter/ghee until warm.

2. Add yogurt and/or beaten eggs and/or soaked Chia seed to the measuring cup and mix well.

3. In a medium-sized bowl mix all the dry ingredients. I needed to use 8 1/2 cups of flour because of the high humidity in Sao Paulo. Make a depression in the center of the flour and the prepared wet ingredients a little at a time until it is used up.

4. Mix well. Knead the dough well for 10-15 minutes. It helps to use a wooden spoon to mix. Add enough dry flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. The resultant dough will be sticky.

5. Cover and let rise for 4 hours (If the temperature is between 65-70 F) or 2 hours if the temperature is between 80-105F (I pre-heat the oven at 350F for 5 minutes and turn it off and place the covered bowl wrapped in a bath towel in the oven).

6. Using oiled hands, divide the dough equally into 8 or 9 balls and set them on a large sheet pan or baking sheet. Leave the dough balls to rest for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 450 F with the baking stone or cast iron grill/griddle or empty baking sheets set in the lower and middle racks of the oven to heat as the oven heats up.

8. Lightly oil your hands and spread a dough ball with the heel or fingers of your hands until it is 1/4 inch thick and 6 inches wide and about 11 inches long onto a lightly greased, cold baking sheet or tray. Alternatively, you could use parchment paper as the base to help spread the dough. If the size of your heated baking stone/iron grill or baking sheet allows, repeat this procedure with another ball of dough.

9. Using a pastry or silicone brush dipped in water, moisten the surface of the flattened dough slightly and spread the dry, hot chili, or cheese topping(s) of your choice.

10. If you want garlic or onion as your topping, brush melted ghee/butter onto the Naan before adding the onion or garlic topping.

11. Using your fingertips, gently press the topping(s) onto the Naan surface to ensure they stick.

12. Lift the Naan on all sides to ensure it is not sticking to the cookie sheet or parchment paper in preparation before baking it in the oven. This is an important step.

13. If using a baking stone, use an oven mitt to slide the tray with the baking stone on it out slightly (about 4 inches). Flip the uncooked Naan from the cold cookie sheet or tray facedown onto your dominant hand and forearm and quickly flip it faceup onto the heated stone face up. If you have enough space, repeat this procedure with the other uncooked Naan. If you own Silicone oven mitts put one of them on your dominant hand before placing the Naan on your hand and forearm as it will protect you when you place the Naan on the baking stone. I do this without the oven mitt, but I am careful.

14. Use an oven mitt to slide the tray back in place and close the oven door.

15. If you are using a heated cast-iron griddle or heated cookie sheets, remove them from the oven and set them on a heat-proof kitchen surface and flip the Naan facedown over your dominant hand and place the Naan faceup onto the griddle or cookie sheet. Place the griddle or cookie sheets back in the lower part of the oven.

16. Once the Naan is in the oven, turn on the oven light and let the Naan cook for 4-5 minutes until it is golden brown on top.

17. Meanwhile, flatten out and prepare the other piece(s) of dough for baking by repeating Steps 8-12.

18. Lightly brush melted ghee/butter on the edges of the cooked Naan as it comes out of the oven.

19. Set cooked Naan in a large dish towel-lined pot with a lid to keep warm until you finish baking the rest.

Written by Anju Kapur of Anju’s Table. All content and images on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without my permission. Should you wish to share this recipe on your site, please add a link to this post as the source.

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