Naan Recipe | No Yeast Naan Bread

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Make these Naan that are deliciously soft and slightly chewy made without yeast. Naan are flatbreads made with leavened dough and popular in India and some South Asian countries. My tried and tested recipe is for you if you find that using yeast is a daunting affair. So this Naan recipe fits in as it is incredibly easy to make. You can cook naan on a griddle (tawa) or a skillet on a stovetop. Alternatively grill them in a tandoor or oven. Here I show 2 ways of roasting them – on the stove-top with direct flame and on the skillet.

naan kept on top of each other in a cane basket. served with dal makhani in a white bowl and side of sliced onions garnished with coriander leaves in a small bowl.

What is Naan

Naan is a leavened flatbread made in some countries in Asia. These breads are baked in a tandoor (a cylindrical oven made of clay). It is also popular in India and is served in almost all the restaurants here.

Though naan is not made in Indian homes as a staple. It is roti or chapati (unleavened flatbread made from whole wheat flour) that is made on a regular basis.

For the leavening of naan dough, yeast is used or a mixture of curd+baking powder is used. This recipe includes baking powder and curd for the leavening.

Naan is such a delish bread that it makes you forget about all-purpose flour.  I do make whole wheat naan, but sometimes the family wants soft textured naan made with all-purpose flour, the way they are made in restaurants. So I combine both whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour to make naan – like in this recipe of Garlic Naan.

Whenever we go to a restaurant then most of the time we end up ordering naan with a curry or lentil-based dish. Knowing very well that it will be probably made with all-purpose flour and not good for health.

But what to do! These flat breads tastes so well with curries that you end up loosening your guard about eating healthy food. Once in a while we all like to relax our guard and relish fried food or other supposed to be unhealthy food.

What is Naan Bread?

Both naan and naan bread are the same. In Asia, we call these delicious bread as naan and in the United States, these are called as naan bread.

Preferably naan bread should be eaten hot for best taste and texture. As once it cools down then it becomes dense, hard and loses its taste. At least the restaurant ones become like that. Not this recipe. The naan bread remains soft and slightly chewy even when they become warm or cool.

Naan Recipe Variations

There are many ways a basic naan recipe can be modified to suit your tastes.

1. Whole wheat flour – in this recipe post, I have used all-purpose flour to make them. You can even use whole wheat flour or a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Sometimes I make this naan bread with a 2:1 proportion of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour, but you can use 1:1 or even 3:1 of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour respectively.

If you are very conscious about eating whole wheat flour naan only, then you can check this Butter Naan recipe made with whole wheat flour.

2. Herbs and spices – to make the naan more flavorful, you can add one to two herbs or a mix of herbs in the dough. Herbs like mint, cilantro, parsley, basil etc add some color as well as flavor. Some spices or ground spice powders like red chili powder, black pepper powder or chaat masala powder will also make naan taste more better. E.g. Garlic flavored naan is also popular.

3. Cheese naan – stuff some grated cheese in the rolled dough. Seal, roll and roast the naan. Addition of cheese makes them rich and filling. Sometimes the cheese naan is also flavored with garlic.

4. Butter naan – add some butter in the dough instead of oil. After roasting the naan, brush with some softened or melted butter.

5. With yeast – naan is also made with yeast and I also make these on occasions. To make these yeasted naan both instant yeast or dry active yeast work well. But not everyone is comfortable and successful working with yeast.

naan bread dipped in dal makhani in a white bowl
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Naan Recipe

Making Naan Dough

1. In a mixing bowl take ¼ cup fresh curd or yogurt. For a vegan naan, use almond or cashew yogurt.

Ensure to use fresh curd and not overly sour or tangy curd (yogurt).

fresh curd in a pan

2. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 pinch baking soda. If you do not have baking soda, then skip it.

sugar and baking soda added to curd.

3. With a spoon mix all the ingredients very well till the sugar dissolves.

mix the ingredients with spoon

4. Now add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt or add as required in the bowl. You can also use a mix of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour.

add all purpose flour to mixture

5. Mix again with a spoon so that the salt is evenly distributed in the flour.

mix flour with the mixture

6. Make a well in the center and add 2 tablespoons oil. Note that you can even add butter instead of oil. Use any neutral-flavored oil.

add oil to flour mixture

7. Add ¼ to ⅓ cup water or add as required.

add water to flour

8. First mix and then begin to knead.

begin to knead the dough

9. Knead to a smooth and soft dough. If the curd is thick, then you may need to add more water. In case the dough looks dry, then add some more water and knead.

If it becomes sticky, then sprinkle some flour and knead again. You should get a soft stretchy dough. You can even use a stand mixer to knead the dough.

kneaded naan dough

10. Flatten the dough. You can even spread some oil all over the dough if you want. Place in the same bowl.

flatten the naan dough

11. Place a moist kitchen towel or napkin completely covering on the dough. Cover the bowl with a lid and let the dough leaven for 2 hours.

keep the naan dough covered with moist cloth

12. In the below photo, the dough has leavened after two hours.

leavened dough after 2 hours

Assembling and Rolling

13. Make medium-sized balls from the dough.

make dough balls from the kneaded dough

14. Flatten slightly and sprinkle some flour on the dough as well as on the rolling board.

dough ball dusted with flour on a rolling board

15. Sprinkle some nigella seeds (kalonji) or sesame seeds (black or white) or melon seeds (magaz) on the rolled dough. I have added nigella seeds as they give a good flavor.

If you do not have these seeds, then simply skip them.

add nigella seeds to dough ball

16. Roll to a 6 or 7 inches elongated circle.

rolling naan

17. Roll the top side to get a tapering edge. You can even gently pull the dough with your hands to get this pointed edge. The naan will have a tear-shaped form.

rolled naan on a rolling board

Roasting Naan on Stove-Top

18. Heat a heavy griddle or tawa or skillet and keep on medium-high to high heat. Place the naan bread ready on the hot tawa or skillet or griddle.

place rolled naan on hot griddle

19. Keep the flame to medium-high or high and begin to cook the naan bread.

begin to cook naan on griddle

20. Let one side get partly cooked. You will see a few air pockets on the naan.

air pockets coming on naan

21. When you start seeing the air-pockets, then flip using tongs or spatula.

flipping naan

22. Now cook the second side on medium-high to high flame.

cooking second side of naan

23. Again you will see air-pockets appearing on the second side. Flip when you see many air-pockets on the naan. (this photo is for reference only).

You will see that the second side has cooked more than the first side. The second side has to be cooked more than the first side.

cooked second side of naan

24. You have to flip it using tongs and place it directly on the stovetop flame.

place naan on flame

25. Grill the first side on the flame till you see some charred spots and blisters.

cooking naan on direct flame using tongs

26. Roast the edges too.

roasting naan edges on direct flame using tongs

27. Turn over and roast the second side too till you see some charred spots. Avoid fire roasting too much as then the naan becomes crispy.

cooking naan bread on direct flame using tongs

28. Place it on a plate or tray. Spread or brush with some softened butter or melted butter. You can even use ghee (clarified butter).

For a vegan version use neutral flavored oil. You can even skip using butter or oil entirely.

applying butter on cooked naan bread

Making Naan on a Tawa or Skillet

29. Heat a heavy griddle or skillet on a high flame. Place the naan on the hot tawa.

place rolled naan bread on skillet

30. You will see some air pockets on the naan.

air pockets coming on naan

31. Flip the naan bread.

flip the naan

32. Cook the second side more than the first side. Please note that on a high flame it will get cooked faster.

cook the second side of naan bread

33. Press the edges with a spatula so that they are also roasted and cooked properly.

naan bread edges by pressing with spatula

34. Flip again.

flip naan bread

35. You can flip again and press the edges for even cooking. Remove and spread some butter or oil. Serve them hot.

This way prepare naan in batches with either of these two methods. You can even stack cooked naans in a casserole box or roti basket and serve later.

cooking naan bread

36. Serve the naan bread hot or warm with your favorite curry dish like – malai kofta or palak paneer or matar paneer or lentils dishes like dal tadka or dal makhani or dal bukhara.

It also pairs nicely with curries like rajma masala, chana masala or paneer butter masala.

What to eat with Naan Bread?

In Indian cuisine, naan bread is often served with a curry or a dal (lentils). The curry can be of paneer (cottage cheese) or a mix of vegetables. The dal that pairs exceptionally well with naan is dal makhani. Apart from dal makhani, even dal fry or dal tadka can be served with it. I have mentioned some more Indian curries and lentils that can be served with it.

1. Curries – usually a creamy and smooth curries or spicy curries accompany naan bread very well. Some of the curries that come in this category are paneer butter masala, malai kofta, palak paneer, matar paneer, methi matar malai and kadai paneer.

2. Lentils  – some gem of dal recipes make a nice match with naan like – dal makhani, dal tadka, chana masala, rajma recipe and chana dal. Dal makhani or dal bukhara with naan is a match made in heaven.

3. Vegetable gravies – both dry vegetables dishes, as well as curries, can be served with naan – bhindi masala gravy, veg kadai, veg Kolhapuri, veg handi, aloo gobi, dum aloo, baingan bharta and matar mushroom.

naan bread served on a tray with dal makhani

Can you freeze Naan?

This naan dough can be frozen for up to four to five weeks. Since curd is added in the dough, I recommend not freezing it for more than four to five weeks. Place the dough in an airtight box and keep in the freezer. Before making the naan, thaw the dough completely at room temperature. Then begin with rolling and roasting.

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naan recipe

Naan Recipe (No Yeast)

4.83 from 70 votes
Easy naan bread recipe without yeast on tawa or stovetop – soft, chewy and delicious naan bread made on stove-top and on a griddle.
Prep Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins

Cuisine Indian
Course: Main Course
Diet: Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 9 naan
Units

Ingredients

Wet ingredients

  • ¼ cup Curd or yogurt – can use cashew or almond yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or organic unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch baking soda

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
  • 2 tablespoons oil – butter can also be added
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup water or add as required

Additional ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon onion seeds (kalonji) or melon seeds or sesame seeds
  • Butter or ghee or oil – as required for spreading on naan (optional)

Instructions

Making dough

  • In a mixing bowl take ¼ cup fresh curd or yogurt. For a vegan naan, use almond or cashew yogurt.
  • Add 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 pinch baking soda.
  • Mix all the ingredients very well till the sugar dissolves.
  • Now add 2 cups all-purpose flour (maida), 1 teaspoon salt or add as required.
  • Mix again with a spoon so that the salt is evenly distributed in the flour.
  • Make a well in the center and add 2 tablespoons oil. Note that you can even add butter instead of oil.
  • Add ¼ to ⅓ cup water or add as required.
  • First mix and then begin to knead.
  • Knead to a smooth and soft dough. If the curd is thick, then you may need to add some more water. In case the dough looks dry, then add some more water and knead. If it becomes sticky, then sprinkle some flour and knead again. You should get a soft stretchy dough.
  • Flatten the dough and spread some oil all over the dough. Place in the same bowl.
  • Place a moist kitchen towel or napkin completely covering on the dough. Cover the bowl with a lid and let the dough leaven for 2 hours.

Rolling naan bread

  • Make medium-sized balls from the dough.
  • Flatten slightly and sprinkle some flour on the dough as well as on the rolling board.
  • Sprinkle some onion seeds or sesame seeds (black or white) or melon seeds on the rolled dough.
  • Roll into a 6 to 7 inches elongated circle.
  • Roll the top side to get a tapering edge. You can even gently pull the dough with your hands to get this pointed edge. The naan will have a tear-shaped form.

Making naan on stove-top

  • Heat a skillet or tawa or griddle and keep it on medium-high to high flame. Place the naan bread ready on the hot tawa or skillet or griddle.
  • Keep the flame to medium-high or high and begin to cook the naan bread.
  • Let one side get partly cooked. You will see some air pockets on the naan.
  • When you start seeing the air-pockets, then flip.
  • Now cook the second side on medium-high to high flame.
  • Again you will see air-pockets appearing on the second side.
  • Flip when you see many air-pockets on the naan and place naan directly on the stovetop flame.
  • Grill the first side on the flame till you see some charred spots and blisters.
  • Also, roast the edges.
  • Turn over and roast the second side too till you see some charred spots.
  • Place it on a plate or tray. Spread or brush with some softened butter or melted butter. You can even use ghee (clarified butter or oil for a vegan version. You can even skip using butter or oil entirely.

Making naan on a griddle (tawa) or skillet

  • Heat the griddle or skillet on a high flame. Place the naan on the hot griddle or tawa.
  • You will see some air pockets on the naan.
  • Flip the naan bread.
  • Cook the second side more than the first side. Please note that on a high flame they will get cooked faster.
  • Press the edges with a spatula so that they are also roasted and cooked properly.
  • Flip again.
  • You can flip again and press the edges for even cooking. Remove and spread some butter or oil. Serve hot. This way make naan with any of the methods. You can even stack cooked naans in a casserole box or roti basket and serve later.
  • Serve the naan bread hot or warm with your favorite curry dish – malai kofta or palak paneer or matar paneer or lentils like dal tadka or dal makhani or chole masala or rajma masala or dal bukhara.

Video

Notes

  1. Make sure to knead the dough very well. It should be soft, smooth and flexible. Add water as needed while kneading the dough.
  2. For the yogurt, use the one that is fresh and not very sour or tangy. You can also use 3 tablespoons greek yogurt in place of regular yogurt. With greek yogurt, you will need a bit more water if needed to make a soft and pliable dough.
  3. The number of pieces will vary depending on the size and thickness of the naan. Approximately 8 to 9 medium sized naan can be made.
  4. Alternatively, You can also cook the naan bread in a tandoor or bake them. Place the naan bread for baking on a greased hot tray or stone and bake in a preheated oven at your oven’s highest temperature.
  5. For a vegan naan, use plant based yogurt and a neutral oil for kneading dough as well as for roasting. For spreading on the naan bread, use vegan butter or a neutral oil.
  6. This basic recipe of a no yeast naan can be flavored and spiced with some herbs and ground spices of your choice. You can add these ground spices or herbs in the dough. Or choose to mix them with the oil and melted butter. Then spread this herbs and spices infused butter or oil on the cooked naan. 
  7. The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  8. The dough can be frozen. In the freezer the naan dough stays good for 4 to 5 weeks. In the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Naan Recipe (No Yeast)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 135 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 293mg13%
Potassium 85mg2%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 7IU0%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Naan recipe post from the blog archives (first published in July 2013) has been updated and republished on 30 June 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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142 Comments

  1. Hi Dassana,

    I have tried your naan recipe for first time. They are very tasty and easy to prepare with easily available ingredients. Thank you very much.5 stars

    1. Hi Navitha, thanks for the feedback and good to know. Yes the recipe is easy to make. Most welcome and happy cooking.

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