Jump To Section
What’s the Difference Between Naan and Roti?
While both naan and roti are flatbreads, there are a few key differences:
- Flour. Roti is made from whole wheat flour while naan is made with all-purpose flour.
- Yeast. Naan is leavened, or made with yeast. Roti is unleavened, or made without yeast, which brings the consistency typically closer to a tortilla than a puffy bread like naan or pita.
- Yogurt. Due to the yogurt and salt content in naan dough, the final result is moist and flavor-packed, while roti serves as a healthier everyday blank canvas for the meal.
- Method. Naan is cooked in a tandoor oven or fried on a skillet, while roti is often cooked on a tawa (a type of flat skillet) or over a stove griddle.
Do You Need a Tandoor Oven to Make Naan?
You don’t need any special equipment like a bread machine or clay oven to make naan. While baking in a tandoor oven is the traditional method, these ovens are rarely seen in homes or restaurants. Any frying pan will allow the naan to puff up nicely, especially if it’s a cast iron skillet. A stand mixer will make the kneading go faster, but you can just as easily use your hands.
Easy Homemade Naan Bread RecipeEMAIL RECIPE
Naan is a soft dough with a quick cooking time. Give it ample time to rise and you’ll be rewarded with big, airy pockets.
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt, preferably full fat
- Vegetable oil or ghee for frying
- Melted butter or ghee for brushing
- ½ cup cilantro, rough chopped
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until yeast has dissolved completely.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and yogurt to the dry ingredients.
- Knead until dough starts to come together into a shaggy dough ball. If using the stand mixer, mix on medium speed for a few minutes.
- Lightly grease the bowl with oil or ghee, and return dough to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and remove from bowl. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal pieces, and cover again with towel.
- On a lightly floured surface, using your hands or a rolling pin, stretch pieces into ½ inch thick rounds or ovals.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet until hot. Toss in 1 tsp of ghee to grease the pan, then cook on one side until golden brown and large bubbles form in the dough. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
- Meanwhile, melt 3 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter in a microwave-safe bowl; add chopped cilantro.
- Remove, brush with melted ghee or butter on one side. Keep finished naan covered with a dish towel to keep warm while you work through the rest.
The 2 Most Common Variations on Naan
- Garlic naan. To make garlic naan, simply add minced garlic to your ghee or butter mixture. Brush generously and enjoy.
- Onion naan. To make onion naan, finely chop one small onion and add to dough. You can also caramelize onions, then chop and add to final ghee or butter topping.