Naan, a century old staple that is popular in Southeast and Central Asia. This irregular-shaped flatbread is typically cooked by being slapped onto the sides of a hot clay tandoor oven before being slathered in ghee (clarified butter) and herbs or being left plain.
I love naan. 😍 There’s no other way to say it. It’s soft, fluffy, well seasoned, carb-tastic goodness that can stand on its own or be complemented by other sides, dips or toppings. But making a traditional naan can be time consuming and requires special equipment, so over the years I’ve learned how to make my own version right at home in no time.
Modeled off the 2-ingredient naan recipe that requires only self rising white flour (not a clean ingredient) and yogurt, I’ve adapted my recipe to be a bit more complex but still simple and close to the traditional thing!
To make our flatbreads, we’re going to be using white whole wheat flour, milk, plain yogurt (I like using Chobani’s triple strained), light olive oil, baking powder, vital wheat gluten, salt and a splash of water.
Fun fact: the use of milk and/or yogurt is what differentiates a naan from a pita!
In one bowl we’re going to combine the dry ingredients, and in another, the wet ingredients.
Next, we’ll add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients…
…And mix them together until a dough begins to take shape.
From here we’ll turn our dough out onto a clean, floured surface and knead it for five minutes until a smooth ball forms. This step is crucial in allowing the vital wheat gluten to create the much needed gluten bonds that will allow the naans to be soft and flexible.
We’ll divide our dough into eight equal portions…
…And roll them out. The fun thing about naan is that they don’t have to be perfect. Irregularly shaped forms are expected and makes for a more rustic flatbread, each with its own unique character…in short, it’s easier since we don’t have to be specific or agonize over the shape 😂
Into a hot, ungreased pan/skillet goes our rolled out dough. We’ll lower the heat to medium and cook it for 30 seconds or until…
…Bubbles form on the top and a spatula can easily slide below it.
We’ll flip it and cook the other side. Once done, we’ll move our cooked naan to a plate lined with a towel, ensuring that the naan is sandwiched between the towel, while we cook the others. In the end you’ll have a lovely stack or warm, fluffy, soft flatbreads.
At this stage they’re done, they’re good, nothing can make them better. Except…
…Slathering it with a deliciously herbed garlic butter. To make this we’ll melt some butter (or ghee if you prefer) until it’s bubbling, add the garlic and chopped cilantro, and mix it together, allowing a minute for the heat of the butter to infuse the flavor of the garlic and herb into it.
Working from the bottom of our stack of naans, we’re going to spoon a bit of the garlic butter mixture onto the top, spread it around, and top with another naan. We’ll repeat the process, topping each layer with more of the buttery mixture.
The end result is a beautiful stack of fluffy, soft, buttery, seasoned naan. MMMMMMmmmm 🤤
Whether you eat it by itself or pair it with a curry, or better yet, some hearty, comforting, Clean and Simple Dhal, this is one recipe I know you’ll enjoy!
Quick and Easy No Rise Garlic Naan
For the Naan
For the Garlic Butter
- 2 tbsp salted butter (melted)
- 2 cloves finely diced garlic
- cilantro (finely chopped)
- In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, vital wheat gluten, salt and baking powder together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the milk, water, oil and yogurt together
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until it forms a dough that comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface sprinkled with flour and knead it for five minutes (to activate the gluten) until a smooth ball forms.
- Divide the dough into eight portions and roll it out into a flatbread (irregular) shape.
- Heat a skillet/cast iron pan/frying pan on high heat. Once hot, lower the heat to medium and place one of the rolled out dough rounds into the pan (do not grease the pan) and allow it to cook for about 30 seconds until bubbles appear on the top and a spatula easily slides under it. Flip it and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds. Your round should be fully cooked with brown/charred spots on it.
- Remove from the heat and place onto a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Cover the cooked naan with the towel (top and bottom) This helps keep it warm and soft.
For the Garlic Naan:
- Once all of the naans are cooked, melt the butter and add the finely diced garlic and at least a tbsp of cilantro to it. Using a teaspoon, and starting with the bottom naan, spoon a bit of the butter, garlic and cilantro onto the naan and spread it around with the back of the spoon. Place the next naan on top and spoon more of the butter mixture over the top of it. Continue working until the tops of all of the rounds are coated in the butter and garlic mixture.
- Serve immediately and store any leftovers wrapped in a damp paper kitchen towel in an airtight container or ziplock bag. To reheat you can use either a warm pan, a toaster oven, or a regular convection oven.
- Keep in mind that whole wheat flour absorbs more water than regular white flour so if your dough is too wet and you want to add more flour add it just a little at a time.
- This naan is great even without the garlic butter so feel free to omit it and enjoy these flatbreads plain.
- These naans are a great base for a host of toppings and creations including pizza; pesto-chicken-spinach-cheese, mushrooms-feta-greens, etc. Feel free to experiment with your favorites!