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Butter Naan
Butter Naan is one of the most popular flatbreads in the South Asian cuisine. Some believe that naan was created as a result of an experiment when yeast was brought to India from Egypt, whereas others believe that naan was invented by Mughals and Persians. Due to the use of yeast and kneading technique, only elite chefs knew the recipe to make naans, and therefore, naan remained a royal delicacy and was limited to the rich section of the society for many years. In the early years of the 20th century, naan made its way to restaurants' menus. Since then, many restaurant chefs and food enthusiasts have created their own recipes for naan, and it gradually became one of the most popular flatbreads in the Indian subcontinent as well as all over the world.

To make naans, all-purpose flour, yogurt, cooking oil, salt, sugar, baking powder, and active dry yeast are combined to form dough. Active dry yeast is used to ferment and rise the dough, and baking powder in a small quantity helps the yeast in fermenting the dough. The fermented dough is divided into golf-sized balls, which are then rolled and cooked in a tandoor oven (a clay oven in which heat is generated from wood or charcoal fire at the base of the oven), convection oven, or on a griddle.

Naan goes well with all kinds of curry-based meat, legume, and vegetable dishes. Naan also serves as a blank canvas for you to add your own toppings, such as different kinds of sauces, butter or cheese, roasted meat or veggies, and herbs.

In this recipe, the naan is cooked on a griddle and topped with some butter.

Happy Cooking!
Serves 8 to 10
All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 cups (8 oz cup) plus 1/2 cup for rolling
2 tablespoons
Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon
1 small cube or according to taste
3/4 cup (8 oz cup)
Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon
Olive Oil
3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons
Step 1
Please note that, in addition to the ingredients listed above, you'll need a rolling pin, a rolling board, and a cast-iron flat griddle (also called tawa) for making the naans. A non-stick griddle is not recommended for making naans as they require high heat for cooking.

In a deep bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 3/4 cups of lukewarm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius - the active dry yeast becomes ineffective at higher temperatures). Let the solution sit for about 10 minutes until it froths.

Note - Save the remaining sugar for making the dough.
Step 2
While the yeast solution is getting ready, start making dough for the naan. In a large and deep bowl, add the all-purpose flour and mix with salt, baking powder, and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
Step 3
Mix the yogurt and 2 tablespoons olive oil (or another cooking oil of your choice) in a separate bowl; then, add this mixture to the yeast solution once it's frothy. Mix the ingredients well.

Note - Keep the remaining olive oil for cooking the naans.
Step 4
Pour the yogurt-olive oil-yeast mixture into the bowl containing the all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients for the dough. Combine the ingredients together with a big spoon. Once the dry ingredients are combined with the yogurt-olive oil-yeast mixture, use your hands to mix the dough a little more to make it soft and uniform.

Note - You'll find that the naan dough is sticky and a little elastic, which indicates that the dough is good.
Step 5
Cover the dough with an aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or damp kitchen towel, and let it sit in a warm place until the dough rises. It takes about 2 to 4 hours for the dough to rise.

When the dough is ready:
  • Divide the dough into 10 eqaul parts. You will be able to make 10 medium-sized naans with the given quantity of ingredients.

  • Take about 4 tablespoons of dry all-purpose flour in a flat plate for rolling the naans.

  • Apply some all-purpose flour on your palms.

  • Take each portion of the dough, coat it with some all-purpose flour, and roll it between your palms to make round dough balls.
Step 6
Now, start rolling the dough balls into oval shaped naans. To roll a naan:
  • Take a round dough ball and coat it with dry all-purpose flour.

  • Place the coated dough ball on a rolling board, and then with the help of a rolling pin roll it into an oval 2 inches diameter disc.

  • Then coat the little dough disc again with dry flour and roll it bigger into a 5 to 6 inches oval disc.

  • Coat it again with dry flour and finally roll it into about 9 inches disc.
Step 7
Set the griddle/tawa on high heat. The griddle needs to be hot for making naans. To check if the griddle is ready, hold your hand at about 3 inches above the griddle. If you can feel the heat on your hand, your griddle is ready to cook.
Step 8
To cook the naans:
  • Gently place the rolled naan on the hot griddle. In about 30 seconds to 1 minute, you will see bubbles on the surface of the naan.

  • Flip it over and spread a few drops of olive oil (or another cooking oil of your choice) evenly on the surface, and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes.

  • Flip it over again and spread a few more drops of olive oil teaspoon oil on the other side. Bring the heat down to medium-high and cook for another 30 to 40 seconds by pressing the naan with a spatula to cook it evenly.

  • Quickly flip the naan a few more time and cook by pressing with spatula. When you see golden brown spots/patches on both sides, your naan is ready.

  • Set the heat again to high before putting your next naan on griddle.

  • Note - Repeat steps 7 and 9 to roll and cook all naans.
    Step 9
    Take the naan out of the griddle, and spread some butter on one side. Serve it hot with any meat, legume, or vegetable curried dish.

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