by Apr 25, 2017


Bread.  It makes everyone happier.  And flatbreads like naan and pita do all their rising in an hour–easier than getting to the bakery on some days!


I first made naan when I found an online recipe for Butter Chicken (thanks Tieghan!)  Her step-by-step photos of homemade naan encouraged me, and the delicious factor keeps me making them on a regular basis.  (Try with: palak paneer, dal, the Indian chicken, lentil curry)


Naan originates from Persia and India, pita from Greece and Spain, but you can serve either with whatever you choose — and both make great toast in the morning!  Naan’s richer texture comes from adding yogurt and milk to the dough, whereas pita keeps things dairy-free (and it has a pocket!)


Naan (Indian Flatbread)

Yield: 8 naan


  • 1/4 cup warm water (close to 105° F; not hotter or it will kill the yeast)
  • 3/4 teaspoon active, dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (whole or 2%)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • for brushing before baking: a few tablespoons melted butter or ghee
  • optional for serving: chopped cilantro or other fresh herbs


  1. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over water and set aside for 10 minutes to proof.
  2. Combine the yogurt, warm milk, and yeast mixture in a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a sticky ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough and dump out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into an 1/4"-thick oval, about 6-8" in diameter. One at a time, brush each with melted butter or ghee and flip into hot pan, buttered side down, and cover pan with lid. Let cook for a minute or so, open lid and check for bubbles and toasting on the down side. Brush top with butter/ghee and flip to cook the other side for a minute or two. Remove to bread basket lined with a clean towel to keep warm. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or other herbs if you like.

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