How to Make Naan

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

You can learn how to make soft, fluffy naan at home. Here's what to do!

Making soft, restaurant-style naan at home is far easier than you think. It’s literally just four steps! You prepare the dough, let it proof, roll the naan and cook it. You don’t need any fancy equipment, either.

What Is Naan?

Naan is a leavened flatbread from India made using all-purpose flour, also known as maida. Traditionally, naan is cooked in a hot tandoor, a cylindrical clay and brick oven with a dome-shaped top. This oven has an open flame with temperatures more than 500°F. The dough is rolled and hurled onto the sides of the oven where it sticks. The naan is cooked in the tandoor until it puffs up a little and is slightly charred. Then, it’s removed from the tandoor with a stake. Naan is often served with traditional Indian recipes.

Learn more about different types of Indian bread.

How to Make Naan—Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or maida
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • Butter for basting
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Tools You’ll Need

  • Stand Mixer. This KitchenAid stand mixer earned top marks from our Test Kitchen. You’ll need the dough hook attachment to knead the dough, too.
  • Belan. To roll out the naan bread, invest in a small rolling pin, like this belan.
  • Basting Brush. Keep a silicone basting brush close by to brush the dough with butter.

See what other essential tools you need for Indian cooking.

Directions

Step 1: Knead the dough

how to make naan doughAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

In a stand mixer bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Then, gently mix the dry ingredients together. Add the oil and milk.

It’s time to knead the dough! If using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, this process will take about 6 minutes on low speed. If kneading with hands, knead for about 8 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth.

Step 2: Proof the dough

how to make naan proofAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

You can proof the dough in an oven or using the yogurt function of your Instant Pot. Here’s how:

  • Proofing the dough in an oven: Grease the bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep it on the middle rack with the oven light on for about 8 hours until the dough rises. Do not switch on the oven. The heat from the light is enough to cultivate yeast growth.
  • Proofing the dough in an electric pressure cooker: I prefer using my Instant Pot to proof the dough, as the yogurt function creates a perfectly warm environment to cultivate rapid yeast growth. Grease the pot and place the dough in the pot. Cover the dough with a wet cloth to prevent the dough from drying out or forming a skin. Place a lid on the pot. Set the Instant Pot to Yogurt mode on Normal Heat for an hour. When your dough has doubled in size, removed the dough and punch the dough slightly to release the air.

Step 3: Roll the dough

how to make naan rolling it outAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them into balls. (It’s helpful to have a kitchen scale for this step.) Take a dough ball and roll it evenly into an oval shape that is 10 inches long and 6 inches wide. The idea is to streeeeetch the dough!

Using a basting brush, apply butter on the top surface of the rolled dough. Sprinkle cilantro and nigella seeds or black sesame seeds and lightly roll to press them in.

Step 4: Cook the naan

how to make naan cookingAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

Heat a pan; once the pan is hot, place the rolled dough on the pan with the cilantro and seeds facing up. Cook on medium heat for a minute or two until you start seeing air bubbles. Flip the bread and cook for another minute until you start seeing bubbles again.

Brush the cooked naan with butter and set aside. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve warm with a curry.

How to Make Garlic Naan

how to make naan finish product beside soup bowlAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

This recipe can be easily adapted to make garlic naan. Take 2 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic and sprinkle some on each naan along with the cilantro and nigella seeds. Roll to press the garlic into the dough and cook as described above.

What to Do with Naan Bread

Naan bread is very versatile. Pair it with Indian curries like dals, chicken tikka masala, cauliflower tikka masala or even dips. Naan bread can also be used as a sandwich bread or a pizza base. You can simply enjoy it with butter, too. You will not be disappointed either way!

Popular Videos

Anvita Bhatnagar Mistry
Anvita is a co-founder, author, photographer and cook for the food blog TheBellyRulesTheMind.net. Her food philosophy is, you are what you eat, so eat healthy to whatever extent possible. Having lived in India, Australia, the United States and now Germany, Anvita has had the opportunity to appreciate food from different continents and build a diverse palate. She loves to travel and is currently exploring the food scene in Europe with her husband and son. For Anvita, comfort food is Indian food, as it takes her back to her roots.