Homemade Garlic Naan Bread (Indian Flatbread)

5 from 18 votes
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How to make delicious, traditional garlic naan at home with just 10 ingredients and a super simple process. This Indian flatbread is simple, flavorful, and perfect for serving alongside curries and stews. Plus, this recipe is easily veganized too!

A few naan breads on a flat surface

Whether you want Homemade New York-Style Bagels, homemade traditional pita bread, or any other bread products, I’m officially bread obsessed this year. This means it’s the perfect time to share this garlic naan recipe with you! 

This Indian flatbread is simple to make and perfect for serving alongside curries, stews, and any number of dishes where you can use it to mop up all the juices (instead of a spoon, if you want to use it the traditional way!). Plus, homemade naan bread is surprisingly simple to make using a traditional naan recipe and optional garlic butter topping with a bit of a twist. 

Naan bread in a hand

While the ingredients themselves follow a fairly traditional naan recipe, it’s the cooking method where things differ slightly. Rather than using a tandoor oven (because I don’t have one of those – and likely many of you don’t either), I’ve turned to using just a hot skillet and – you know what?! They taste amazing! 

This naan bread is light and fluffy but also flavorful and lightly chewy – my favorite combination. Learning how to make naan has never been so simple.

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Naan Vs. Pita

When I first shared this garlic naan recipe on my Instagram (if you want to catch all of my DIYs there, often before the blog posts come out, then check out @Alphafoodie), I got a few people asking me if the garlic naan bread was a pita and the difference between the two. 

While both naan bread and pita bread are yeast-leavened flatbreads, there are a few distinctive differences between the two (not just their origins). First, naan bread is actually an enriched dough, with the addition of yogurt, for a denser yet more tender crumb, which results in a thicker flatbread with small aerated pockets and (when cooked in a tandoor oven) a smoky flavor. In comparison, pita has one overall main difference: the entire center of the bread is a large air pocket that you can open up and stuff with various toppings. 

The differences don’t stop there, though, as the cooking process is also extremely different. Whereas the pita relies on very high heats to form the pocket and is baked on a hot surface within an oven (within minutes), homemade naan bread can be made in a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. It will become blistered in appearance with small air bubbles. 

The Ingredients

This traditional naan recipe is made up of the ‘basics,’ including flour, water, yeast, and sugar. Then it’s enriched with the use of yogurt and oil – for a soft, pillowy delicious texture. The bread itself is a plain naan, which I’ve then brushed with a rich garlic butter topping. However, for even more garlic flavor, you can fold garlic right into the dough! Check out my recipe notes for more ways on how to adjust the recipe to your liking!

For the naan bread

Check the recipe card for ingredient quantities.

Ingredients for Garlic Naan
  • Flour – I use white bread flour. You could also use wholewheat, though I’d suggest a 50/50 combination of all-purpose and whole wheat, so the naan isn’t too dense/chewy. 
  • Water
  • Yogurt – I used plain, unsweetened natural yogurt. For vegan naan, you can use any plain dairy-free yogurt – like soy yogurt or coconut yogurt
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • For the yeast: yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water

For the garlic butter topping

Ingredients for Garlic Sauce
  • Butter – I use homemade butter. You could also use ghee or even oil. 
  • Garlic – minced
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • Salt

Optionally: you could sprinkle over some nigella seeds or fold some into the dough. 

How To Make Naan (Indian Flatbread)

Step 1: Prepare the yeast

Combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the yeast and then set aside to activate for 10 minutes.

Steps for activating yeast

Step 2: Prepare the naan dough

In a large bowl (or directly in a stand mixer), combine the flour, water, yogurt, olive oil, salt, and yeast mixture and mix well, kneading, until a dough is formed The dough should become smooth and elastic.

Steps for making naan dough

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large oiled bowl, brushing the top with a little oil and covering with a kitchen towel. Set it aside in a warm location to rise for an hour until it doubles in size.

Step 3: Prepare the garlic butter topping

As the dough rises, prepare the topping by melting the butter in the microwave (or stovetop) and combining it with the remainder of the topping ingredients.

Garlic sauce in a small bowl

Step 4: Chop and shape the dough

Risen dough in a bowl

Deflate the risen dough slightly and chop it into 6-8 pieces, depending on how large you want the garlic naan to be.

To shape them, I just used my fingers and lightly pressed into the dough to deflate and shape it into my desired size/shape no thicker than about 1/4-inch.

Steps for shaping naan

Step 5: Cook the naan bread

Preheat a large skillet with a little oil over medium-high heat (I used 7 on my induction hob). Once hot, add one naan at a time and cook for 2-3 minutes until lots of bubbles form on top, then flip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining naan.

Steps for cooking garlic naan

Make sure to keep any cooked naan under a kitchen towel to keep them warm/fresh before serving.

Step 6: Top the garlic naan

Brush each of the cooked naans with a little of the garlic butter mixture and then serve immediately.

To Make Ahead & Store

To make ahead: Any leftover prepared naan bread dough can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days, and can be baked fresh daily.

You can also freeze the prepared (and risen) naan dough. To do this, divide the dough into your individual naan bread pieces and press into the naan shape. Separate the different naan flatbreads with parchment paper layers and store them in an airtight container/bag to freeze. Freeze for one month.

You can then pan-fry the naan from frozen or thaw first before cooking.

Leftovers: Any leftover cooked naan bread shouldn’t be brushed with the garlic butter mixture and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days or freezer for 2 months. Reheat until warmed through in the microwave or oven, then brush with the garlic topping when serving.

Naan bread cooking in a pan

How to serve

Serve your homemade garlic naan with all kinds of soups, stews, and curries.

You can also use these homemade naan bread to make wraps (like this Homemade Easy Falafel wrap ) and delicious naan pizzas topped with some marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings.

A few naan breads in a bowl

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to add some minced garlic to the dough for more garlic flavor or even double brush the flatbread with the garlic butter mixture (once before cooking and again after)
  • To cook the naan in the oven: this isn’t something I often do, but if you want to try it, you can bake in the oven at 260ºC/500ºF until golden brown. Broil them for a further few minutes if you want some light charring.
  • If you have a gas burner, you can lightly hold the Indian flatbread over the flame at the end of the cooking process for that traditional charred effect that you get from restaurant/takeaway garlic naan.
  • You can, optionally, stuff the homemade naan bread with various stuffings: pesto, cheese, meat or a meat-sub, etc. To do so, just add the filling into a dough ball before rolling/shaping it into a naan.
  • For vegan naan: Use your favorite dairy-free yogurt; soy yogurt and coconut yogurt will work well. Use vegan butter too.

If you try this garlic naan recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

Homemade Garlic Naan (Indian Flatbread)

5 from 18 votes
By: Samira
How to make delicious, traditional garlic naan at home with just 10 ingredients and a super simple process. This Indian flatbread is simple, flavorful, and perfect for serving alongside curries and stews. Plus, this recipe is easily veganized too!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8 naan

Ingredients 
 

Naans

  • 4 cups white bread flour extra if dough is sticky
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup natural yogurt or dairy-free plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 grams active dry yeast or 14 grams fresh yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp sugar

Garlic Sauce

  • handful coriander or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp melted ghee or butter
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the yeast

  • Combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the yeast and then set aside to activate for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the naan dough

  • In a large bowl (or directly in a stand mixer), combine the flour, water, yogurt, olive oil, salt, and yeast mixture and mix well, kneading, until a dough is formed that is smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough ball in a large oiled bowl, brushing the top with a little oil and covering with a kitchen towel. Set it aside in a warm location to rise for an hour until it doubles in size.

Step 3: Prepare the garlic butter topping

  • As the dough rises, prepare the topping by melting the butter in the microwave (or stovetop) and combining it with the remainder of the topping ingredients.

Step 4: Chop and shape the dough

  • Deflate the risen dough slightly and chop it into 6-8 pieces, depending on how large you want the garlic naan to be.
  • To shape them I just used my fingers and lightly pressed into the dough to deflate and shape it into my desired size/shape no thicker than about 1/4-inch.

Step 5: Cook the naan bread

  • Preheat a large skillet with a little oil over medium-high heat (I used 7 on my induction hob). Once hot, add one naan at a time and cook for 2-3 minutes until lots of bubbles form on top then flip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining naan.
    Make sure to keep any cooked naan under a kitchen towel to keep them warm/fresh before serving.

Step 6: Top the garlic naan

  • Brush each of the cooked naans with a little of the garlic butter mixture and then serve immediately.

To Make Ahead & Store:

  • To make ahead: any leftover prepared naan bread dough can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days, and can be baked fresh daily.
    you can also freeze the prepared (and risen) naan dough. To do this, divide the dough into your individual naan bread pieces and press into the naan shape. Separate the different naan flatbreads with layers of parchment paper and store them in an airtight container/bag to freeze. Freeze for 1-2 months.
    You can then pan-fry the naan from frozen or thaw first before cooking.
    Leftovers: Any leftover cooked naan bread shouldn't be brushed with the garlic butter mixture and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days or freezer for 2 months. Reheat until warmed through in the microwave or oven then brush with the garlic topping when serving.

Video

Notes

  • Feel free to add some minced garlic to the dough for more garlic flavor or even double brush the flatbread with the garlic butter mixture (once before cooking and again after)
  • To cook the naan in the oven: this isn’t something I often do, but if you want to try it, you can bake in the oven at 500ºF/260ºC until golden brown. Broil them for a further few minutes if you want some light charring.
  • If you have a gas burner, you can lightly hold them over the flame at the end of the cooking process for that traditional charred effect that you get from restaurant/takeaway garlic naan.
  • You can, optionally, stuff the homemade naan bread with various stuffings; pesto, cheese, meat or a meat-sub, etc. To do so, just add the filling into a dough ball before rolling/shaping it into a naan.
  • For vegan naan: use your favorite dairy-free yogurt; soy yogurt and coconut yogurt will work well. Use vegan butter too.
Course: Appetizer, Side, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Freezer friendly: 2 Months
Shelf life: 2-3 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1naan, Calories: 346kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 617mg, Potassium: 95mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 103IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 18 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Samari Roman says:

    5 stars
    Delicious , my kids love it!!!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      So glad they liked it, Samari 🙂

  2. Irina says:

    5 stars
    Came out excellent! Doubled the recipe and froze shaped dough. Next time will try with gluten free flour. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Irina. Glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  3. Alex says:

    5 stars
    loved this-great recipe and easy especially if you have made bread before

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Alex. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Megan says:

    5 stars
    Best naan recipe I’ve tried! I melted one or two frozen grated garlic cubes into the butter instead of fresh minced and it came out great too.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Megan. Using frozen grated garlic is such a great hack!

  5. Selen Schurrer says:

    Hi! Love your recipes. I’ve got a question, how much water goes into the yeast mixture?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Selen,
      The yeast mixture calls for 1/4 cup lukewarm water.

  6. Jessica says:

    Hello! Can we try this with gluten free flour?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Jessica,
      Yes, you can try it with gluten-free flour.

  7. Felicia says:

    5 stars
    I made this today and it taste amazing!! Whole family loved it

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Felicia. Glad you and your family enjoyed this naan recipe.

  8. Marinara says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! So easy and foolproof! Made it several times already. Thank you!

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much Marinara, so glad you like this recipe! 🙂