Naan Recipe (Indian Flatbread)

5 from 3 votes

The delectable, pull-apart texture of this Indian naan recipe is ideal for fresh wraps, creamy dips, delicious flatbread pizzas, and especially for scooping up curries and thick sauces. You won’t believe how easy it is to make soft, garlicky naan right on your own stovetop!

overhead: my garlic naan recipe with cilantro on tray

On my first trip to India I travelled to New Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Ranthambore. I think I had dal makhani and naan daily! I asked numerous times for the recipe to make each, and this one as well as my Dal Makhani recipe, is my delicious take on both!

The hardest part of making homemade bread is getting the dough exactly right… and I’ve done that for you! Follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfect pull-apart garlic naan in just a few hours. See the video in the recipe card below on how I make this!

While some refer to it as “naan bread,” that’s a bit redundant — naan is a Persian word that actually means bread! Whatever you call it and however you serve it, there’s no arguing that it tastes incredible. 

picking up garlic naan with cilantro on tray

This Indian flatbread is enjoyed throughout Asia and the Caribbean. It’s tender, fluffy, and appetizingly chewy. As part of my naan recipe, I brush it with a melted ghee (or butter), garlic, and chopped coriander that makes it so delicious you’ll be tempted to chow down on it all on its own.

But you should really try it with your favorite curry, creamy korma or dal makhani, or as the foundation of a tandoori pizza!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Lukewarm Water, Sugar, Active Dry Yeast – Use warm water, around 110°F, to activate the yeast. Make sure the water is cooler than 120°F or else the yeast will die off. The sugar feeds it and helps it bloom. 
  • All-purpose Flour All-purpose flour is perfectly fine for making a naan bread recipe — no special flour necessary! 
  • Salt – Just a pinch highlights and enhances the flavors in homemade bread. It also helps to keep the yeast in check, preventing it from reproducing too much in the dough. 
  • Baking Powder – This ingredient helps to leaven the bread and make it extra puffy and fluffy. 
  • Ghee – While you could use regular butter, this is a great use case for rich, fatty ghee. It has a slight nuttiness that will really take your bread to the next level. 
  • Garnishes – Finish off your warm, fresh Indian flatbread with melted ghee or butter, chopped cilantro, and minced garlic.

Preparing the Naan Dough

  1. Activate the Yeast. Whisk the sugar into the warm water until dissolved. Add the yeast and whisk until totally incorporated. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes while the yeast activates and foams. 
  2. Mix the Dough. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Pour the activated yeast mixture and melted ghee into the bowl. Stir until a shaggy dough forms. 
  3. Knead. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface. Oil your hands and knead the dough, oiling your hands more throughout the process. Keep kneading for 5 or 6 minutes until the dough turns from sticky to soft and pliable.
  4. Let Rise. Add more oil to a large bowl. Plop the dough ball into the bowl and roll it around until it’s coated on all sides. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place for 90 minutes until the dough ball doubles.
  5. Portion the Dough. Transfer the risen dough to the workspace and punch it to release the air. Knead into a smooth ball and cut into 6-8 equal portions (6 for thicker pieces and 8 for thinner). Roll each piece into a ball and transfer to a lined baking sheet, keeping them about an inch apart. Cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes to rise and proof.
overhead process shot: cut naan dough ball on marble

Tip From Kevin

Ghee or butter

Ghee, an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine, is essentially clarified butter. It’s butter that gets melted and separates its water and milk solids, leaving behind pure butter fat,. The result is a richer flavor profile compared to regular butter. You can either purchase it (I get mine at Costco), make it yourself. I find both butter and ghee enhance naan; butter adds richness, while ghee brings depth. It’s up to you.

How to Make This Naan Recipe

  1. Make the Garnishes. Just before cooking, add the ghee and garlic to a small bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to melt. Stir half of the cilantro into the mixture and set aside with a kitchen brush. 
  2. Prepare Your Workspace. Fill a small bowl with water and keep near your workspace. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  3. Preheat the Skillet. Heat the skillet on medium-high heat until nearly smoking. This takes at least 3 minutes and sometimes longer. 
  4. Shape & Wet the Dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out each dough ball into an 8” x 5” oval shape, keeping the untouched dough balls covered while you work. Brush a bit of water onto one side of the rolled-out dough.
  5. Cook. Carefully place the dough, wet side facing down, in the hot skillet. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds until the surface bubbles and the edges dry out. Then, turn the skillet upside down over the flame (or place it under a broiler) to cook the top. When the dough blisters and you see slight char marks, it’s done. 
  6. Garnish & Serve. Use a metal spatula to transfer the cooked naan bread to a tray. Brush with the melted ghee mixture and sprinkle with more fresh cilantro. Keep warm in the oven while preparing the rest of the bread. Serve while still warm.
  • Pastry Cutter – This is the easiest tool for quickly and cleanly slicing dough.
  • Cast Iron Skillet A traditional naan bread recipe is prepared in a tandoor or clay oven. The closest we’ll get in a modern kitchen is a cast iron skillet! 
  • Metal Spatula – Since we’re working with high heat, a metal, heat-proof implement is recommended.
overhead: garlic naan recipe with cilantro on tray

Storing and Reheating

Store the bread in an airtight container, such as a resealable Ziploc bag, to keep it from drying out. It can be kept on the counter for 5 days or so, or for even longer in the refrigerator. 

To reheat, place a piece between two damp paper towels and microwave for 20 seconds or so.

closeup: buttered naan bread with cilantro on tray

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does this naan recipe contain yogurt?

Some do, but this one does not! The fat in yogurt works to make soft, moist dough. Its acidity and “tang” also add flavor to the bread. 

In this naan recipe, I use ghee instead. It’s a clarified butter product that contains a higher concentration of fat than regular butter, so it’s very effective for preparing tender, pull-apart bread.

How is an Afghan naan recipe different from the Indian recipe?

Afghani flatbread is very different from the Indian naan recipe described here. It’s thicker, more fluffy and “pillowy”, and saltier. It’s also usually sprinkled with nigella seeds.

What is the difference between naan bread and pita?

The most obvious difference is that pita is much denser and drier. The only leavener in pita is yeast, and there is no fatty ingredient (as is always present in a naan bread recipe) to keep the dough moist.

As opposed to Afghani flatbread, pita is actually thinner than this Indian flatbread and has a plainer taste. That also makes it very versatile — it’s made for dipping into things or stuffing with other ingredients! 

But if you’re looking for soft, tender, and flavorful bread, you’re better off going with naan.

closeup: naan bread recipe with cilantro on tray
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close up of garlic naan with cilantro on tray

Naan Recipe (Indian Flatbread)

5 from 3 votes
My naan recipe makes tender, fluffy Indian flat bread that gets cooked and blistered then brushed with butter, garlic and fresh cilantro.
Servings: 8
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Dough Rise: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total: 2 hours 26 minutes



  • 3 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped



  • In a medium bowl, whisk the lukewarm water and sugar until dissolved. Add the yeast and whisk until well incorporated. Rest for 15 minutes to activate the yeast (foamy).
  • Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and melted ghee to the flour. Stir to combine with a spatula. When the dough is shaggy (loose but mixed), transfer it to a clean work surface.
  • Oil your hands and start kneading the dough, oil your hands several times. The dough will be sticky at first, but continue kneading, it will become soft, elastic, and pliable. Knead 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Oil a large bowl, add the dough ball and turn to coat on all sides. Cover the dough with a light towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place for 90 minutes until the dough doubles.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch the dough to release the air. Knead briefly with your hands into a ball until smooth.
  • Using a pastry cutter or knife, divide the dough into 6-8 equal portions (if you want thicker, roll 6, same dimensions). Use your hands to roll the dough into 8 balls. Transfer the balls to a lined tray about an inch apart to prevent sticking. Cover with a dish towel and rest for 10 minutes to rise again and proof.

Prep to Cook

  • Add the ghee to a small bowl and add the garlic. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir, then microwave for another 20 seconds. Stir in half the cilantro and set aside with brush. Put a small bowl of water next to your work space. Turn oven to 200°F.

Roll Out Naan, Cook

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet or flat grill pan over medium-high heat until it's nearly smoking, at least 3 minutes.
  • Roll out the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a oval shape, about 8 inches long long and 5 inches. Cover the remaining dough balls while you roll each naan.
  • With a brush, wet one side of the rolled out naan with a little water (this will help the naan stick to the pan).
  • Pick up the naan and carefully place it in the hot skillet, water side facing down. Once you see bubbles all over and the edges start to dry out (about 45 to 60 seconds), turn the skillet upside down over the flame to cook the top (or under broiler). Look for blistered dough and slight char marks.
  • Turn skillet back over and use a metal spatula to remove naan from pan. Transfer naan to a tray and brush with the melted ghee, garlic and cilantro. Sprinkle top with fresh cilantro and place tray in oven to keep warm while you make repeat process with remaining naan. Serve and eat while still warm.



Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: breads
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown):  how to make naan bread recipe + video


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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    1. It’s right above the area where you wrote this comment Carol? The recipe video is in the recipe card as well. Nonetheless, I will send via PDF to your email.

  1. 5 stars
    cant wait to make this soon for me can i use vegan butter am indian and i approved this perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work