Home-made naan is so easy to make, and is far superior to the pre-packaged breads you can buy in supermarkets, which tend to be a bit dry and crumbly. My naan is soft and pillowy, with just the right degree of chewiness. If you love the naan you have in Indian restaurants, you'll adore this!
Some people advocate leaving out the yoghurt when making naan but I really don't recommend doing that, especially if you're not using any spices or herbs to flavour it because what you'll be left with is a largely dull and flavourless flatbread. Vegan yoghurt is really easy to make, and is readily available in most supermarkets these days, so there's no reason to not use it.
Also, the yoghurt makes the bread nice and soft.
Even though this is not cooked in a tandoor (and really, who has one of those in their homes? Shush, my Indian friends!), there really is little to distinguish my naan from those cooked the more traditional way. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that this is the best naan I've had outside India.
(Or from Indian restaurants in Britain.)
Incidentally, you don't have to say "naan bread" - naan actually means 'bread' (it's a Persian loan word, adopted throughout many central and southern Asian nations), so if you say naan bread, you're actually saying bread bread!
(I didn't know this until I lived in India!)
- slightly chewy
- a little tangy
- easy to make
- high in protein
Enjoy your taste of India!
What do you like to eat your vegan naan with?
How To Make Vegan Naan
- 1½ teaspoon dried yeast
- 4 tablespoon warm water
- ½ teaspoon sugar note 1
- 300 g plain (all-purpose) flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed optional
- 2 teaspoon nigella seeds optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaf cilantro (optional)
- 2½ tablespoon coconut oil melted
- 6 tablespoon plain plant yoghurt e.g. soy
- coconut oil
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water, and set aside for 10 minutes to activate. It will become frothy, and have that distinctive yeasty smell.
- In the meantime, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda, plus the seeds and coriander (if using) together in a large mixing bowl, then once it's ready, add the yeast mix, plus the yoghurt and oil.
- Using your fingers, mix everything together until it forms a soft dough.
- Knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, until it's smooth and elastic.
- Form into a ball, and remove it from the bowl while you brush a little oil over the bottom and sides. Return the dough to the bowl, and brush a little oil over the top.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, and leave to prove (rise) in a warm place for 2-4 hours. (How long depends on the temperature of your home.) (note 2)
- Once the dough has risen to double its size, tip it out of the bowl, and knock it back (punch it!) to remove the air.
- Knead it again for another five minutes, then divide into four equal balls.
- Set aside on a lightly-floured surface for another 30-40 minutes to rise again.
- Dust each piece of dough with a little flour, flatten between your palms, then roll into a circle or teardrop shape about 1.5cm (½ ") thick.
- Heat a heavy skillet over a high heat until it starts to smoke.
- Lightly brush one side of a naan with water, and place – moistened side down - onto the hot skillet. (note 3)
- Cover with a lid, and cook for around a minute. There should be bubbles on the surface of the naan, and it should come away easily from the pan.
- Flip the naan over, and cook, uncovered, for another 30-90 seconds, until it develops charred spots on the underside.
- Remove from the skillet, and if you want, brush with a little coconut oil or vegan butter. Wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest of the naan.
- Serve with your favourite wet curries.
- Individually wrapped in tin foil, and kept in the ‘fridge, the cooked naan will keep for two to three days. Reheat, wrapped in foil, for a few minutes in a warm oven before serving.
- If you don't want to use sugar, use 1½ teaspoon warmed maple syrup (as I do for my bagels).
- During cold weather, I sometimes find that my dough doesn’t rise very well, even with the heating on, so I heat the oven on its lowest setting for half an hour, switch it off, then put the covered bowl inside to prove. This kick-starts the rising process.
- Brushing one side of the naan with water gives it a slightly crispy surface but there’s no need to brush the other because the steam from cooking it with a lid will be sufficient.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tablespoon = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
Made this today with whole wheat flour and cashew yogurt. Light as can be, but not as chewy as I would like. I was afraid to iveknead, with the heavier flour, but I’ll knead a little longer next time. Love this recipe! Oh, and I also didn’t use a lid, and it was still perfect. I used garam masala to season the dough a bit.
The addition of the masala sounds lovely, and it's good to know about the lid - thank you! xx
I made this last week. The in-laws loved it and requested it again for Christmas Day dinner. I used a cast iron pan, but no lid. Not as crispy and bubbly as I would have liked. Next time I'll use a bigger pan with a lid. Over all, these were good! I am always searching for vegan options, as my husband is vegan.
Thank you so much for letting me know, Monica - I'm so happy that your family loved my naan! xx
Can you make it with a gluten free flour?
I honestly don't know, Pam - I'm not gluten-free, so have never tried to make it thusly so. If you do though, please come back and let me know how you get on! xx
This was the best naan recipe I've ever tried. Super easy to make too. I modified it slightly and used whole wheat flour, I also used cashew yogurt as my yogurt substitute. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! Will definitely keep it somewhere close.
Sounds lovely, Hope - thanks so much for the feedback - I'm really glad you enjoyed it! xx
Wow! I followed this recipe to the T and my dough was a crumbly mess 🙁 I added some more of the wet ingredients. We'll see how it turns out.
Thank you for your feedback but if you had followed the recipe exactly, your naan would have been perfect, as in the images. Not only have I made this recipe - exactly as it's presented here - countless times over the past couple of years, many of my readers and friends have made it too, without any issues whatsoever. Maybe you used more flour than the recipe called for, or a different type. Maybe you used less liquid. Whatever you did wrong, I really hope the next time you make it, you'll get perfect naan! xx
Does naan freeze well?
To be completely honest, I've never frozen it. I make naan as and when I need them, and enough for a couple of days, so I've never had cause to freeze any. If you do, please come back and let me know how they were! xx
Naan is normally vegan. Unless you add butter on top of it which is totally optional. But they were good.
Actually, in my experience, both from living in India and overseas, is that most naan is made with dairy yoghurt. You're right about the ghee though. Glad you enjoyed these, Jay! xx
Has anyone tried using spelt flour instead of white flour?
I personally wouldn't use it as I feel it would result in a heavier naan. xx
This was awesome. My husband thought they were great too.Will be making again tonight. I definitely think the yoghurt is key. I have made naan previously without yoghurt and they are a bit doughy. These were soft and lovely!
I'm so happy you both loved them, Kate - thank you for taking the time to let me know, I really appreciate it. And you're right, the yoghurt is everything! xx
Hi, this will be the first time I attempt to make naan, and I have very little experience with breads in general. Can I double this recipe when I make it to make 8 naan?
Yes, absolutely, Lorena. This is a pretty foolproof recipe but I warn you... once you've made your own naan, you won't want shop-bought ones again. Enjoy!xx
Can I make it without sugar ?
Hi Linda, yes you can - use 1½ tsp warm maple syrup to ½ tsp yeast. I use this method for my traditional Jewish bagels. Enjoy! xx
I just made this and it went down really well- my fiancee and mum are not vegans and they ate more of it than I did! Really chuffed as I've missed naan since I went vegan. Plus your fact about naan bread meaning 'bread bread' gave me a chuckle 🙂
That's brilliant news, Vikki - I am so happy that you all loved it. Yep, the 'bread bread' thing makes me chuckle too. Same with Sahara, which is Arabic for desert, so when people say, 'Sahara desert', they're saying 'desert desert'! 😉 xx
I agree about the use of yoghurt in naan! I will avoid recipes that don't use it (and vegan yoghurt does just as good a job)
Ha! A woman after my own heart! I don't really see the point of doing a half-a***d job; if I've fallen in love with something and want to recreate it, why would I want to not make it properly, or as close to the original as I can get? Naan without yoghurt is just sad floppy bread, IMO! xx
Oh my gosh! Love it! I made it today and I can't believe how wonderful this is! I put slightly grilled zucchini slices, some hummus to keep it in place, a little kale, a little tomato, a little onion-what a wrap! Had it for lunch want it as pizza for supper! Can't wait! Thanks for sharing!
Wow, that sounds amazing, Mary - I'll have to make your version... my tummy is rumbling, just thinking about it! Why has it never occurred to me to use it as a wrap? Thank you so much for the inspiration! xx
Steve @ HomeGymStuff
The only thing this naan is missing is some peanut butter and jelly 🙂
LOLOL! I'd give it a go! 😉