Make restaurant-style naans at home without any fancy equipment.

Whenever we go out to eat at an Indian restaurant, naans are always on the menu. Not only is this because naans are one of my favourite methods to deposit carbs into my body, but also because naans are one of those few things that that taste better when bought from outside than when made at home.

That’s because naans are made using a traditional coal-fired oven called the tandoor and you would be hard-pressed to find a modern home that has one of those! The super soft but slightly stretchy top and the puffed up, crispy base of naans are achieved only when it is cooked this way.

I have tried so many different recipes of naan over the years and none of them have even come close to that perfection. While they were all tasty flatbreads, they couldn’t be classified as naans. That’s because without the tandoor, a naan bears no distinction to any other yogurt and yeast-based roti or flatbread.

So it’s pretty clear that the method of cooking is what matters most. But how do you recreate a tandoor-like cooking process without actually having one?

What do we use to make restaurant-style naans at home?

The humble stovetop! Every home has one, the bear minimum required to qualify a kitchen as one. So rest assured that you do not need any special equipment to make these naans. However, electric stovetops will not work with this recipe as it’s crucial that the naans go over an open flame.

Another thing that is crucial to the success of this recipe is a tawa. A tawa is typically a cast-iron pan that is flat and is used in the preparation of all kinds of rotis and dosas.

Please note that non-stick pans will not work! An important step to this recipe is to make the naans stick to the pan so we can flip them over and cook it over the flame. This wouldn’t be possible with a nonstick pan, because, as is the nature of nonstick pans, they will not stick.

However, there is one work around to get away with using a nonstick pan. If you have an old nonstick pan that is scratched up and ready to be thrown away, that could work as a substitute. This is actually what I use because they aren’t as heavy as cast-iron tawas and are easier to handle. Save your ready-for-the-bin nonstick pans to cook naans!

What do you need to make Restaurant-Style Tawa Naans at Home?

Here’s the full list of ingredients you will need to make the best homemade naans.

  • 3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour/maida,
  • 1 tbsp instant or active dry yeast,
  • 1 tbsp sugar,
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 2 tbsp curd or yogurt,
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk,
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water,
  • 8 medium-sized cloves of garlic,
  • Water, as needed,
  • Butter, for brushing.
How to make Tawa naans at home?

Here are the steps involved in this recipe.

  1. Make the dough for the naans. Make sure to knead it really well because that will ensure you get soft naans.
  2. Let it rise until it doubles. This may take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on the climate.
  3. Separate the dough into 8 balls and roll them out. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking. If you roll about 3-4 naans at once, the first one would have had adequate resting time by the time you roll the last one.
  4. If you are making garlic naans, you will spread minced garlic on one side.
  5. Apply water on one side (the side without garlic), and place the naan, wet side down, on a preheated tawa.
  6. Cook for a minute on high heat. Large bubbles will appear.
  7. Flip the entire tawa over and cook the top part of the naans over the open flame.
  8. Remove from the pan and brush with butter.

We all know how naans can get tough and dry once they cool down, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that these naans were just as good the next morning. In fact, the ones pictured here were from then. I just heated them back up on the pan and brushed a little bit more butter on them; they were as perfect as when they were freshly cooked!

Watch me make tawa naans in the video below:

So, let’s get on with the recipe. Here’s the step-by-step instructions for how you can make restaurant-style butter naans or restaurant-style garlic naans at home in a tawa.

Restaurant-Style Naans

Recipe adapted from werecipes.com

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Makes: 8 naans

Step 1: Make the dough.

  • 3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour/maida,
  • 1 tbsp instant or active dry yeast,
  • 1 tbsp sugar,
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 2 tbsp curd or yogurt,
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk,
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water,
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and knead until a soft, smooth dough forms (about 5-10 minutes).
    *Note: if using active dry yeast, combine with the water and sugar and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding into the flour.
  2. Cover and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Step 2: Roll and cook the naans.

  • 8 medium cloves of garlic, grated (optional),
  • Water, as needed,
  • Butter for brushing,
  1. Press the dough down to release the air and divide it into 8 balls. Keep them covered while you work.
  2. Roll each dough ball into circles of medium thickness (thicker than rotis but not too thick). Spread garlic over the top if you are making garlic naans and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a tawa over high heat.
  4. Flip the rolled-out naan and apply water on the bottom. Place it on the tawa, the wet side facing down.
    *Note: I apply water while holding the naan over my palm to make it easier to transfer onto the pan.
  5. Cook for a minute on high heat. Lots of bubbles will appear.
  6. Flip the entire tawa over so the top part of the naan is facing the open flame. Cook for another minute, moving the naan over the open flame.
  7. Remove from pan, brush generously with butter. Garnish with chopped coriander and sesame seeds if desired. Serve while warm with curry of choice.

Notes

– Do not use nonstick pans, unless they are old and scratched up and not really “non” stick anymore.
– Recipe can be halved, doubled, or tripled, as needed.

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Have you made this recipe? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! I would also love to hear your thoughts, questions, or doubts.

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