Mrs Balbir Singh's | Homemade Naan

Mrs Balbir Singh's Traditional Naan Recipe


Around the world, this is the most familiar of all the breads of India. Naan is a flatbread from Punjab traditionally baked on the inner wall of a clay tandoor oven. This recipe allows home cooks to make it with ease without the need for a tandoor. In addition to the stovetop and grill method below, it can also be made on an indoor or outdoor BBQ. 

The result is its trademark slightly charred exterior along with a soft and chewy interior. Perfect for breaking off a piece at a time to scoop up delicious curries and grilled tandoori dishes.


Leavened Baked Flatbread of Punjab

Category: Indian Breads

Recipe: 139


  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • 4 tbsp Plain Yoghurt 
  • 1 Whole Egg (optional)
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 30g (1oz) Ghee
  • 230g (8oz) Plain Flour 
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Dried Active Yeast
  • 30g (1oz) melted Ghee (or Vegetable Oil)
  • 1 tsp Poppy Seeds (optional) 
  • 1 tsp Nigella Seeds (Black Onion Seeds)

    Step 1: make the dough

    Heat the milk and yoghurt slightly and stir until they are mixed. In to this then mix in the whole egg, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the ghee. 

    In a separate bowl, sieve the flour together with the salt and sugar. Make a depression in the centre of the flour and pour in the above prepared wet mixture, a little at a time, until it is all used.

    Add the yeast and knead hard until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can sprinkle a little dry flour if the dough is sticky. Cover with cling film and leave for 1½ to 2 hours to rise to about double its size.

    Step 2: roll the naans

    Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and shape them into balls with the help of dry flour. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour and roll out each ball into a teardrop shape about 1/2cm or 1/4 inch thick. When the it is rolled out brush on a little of the melted ghee. Then sprinkle some poppy seeds and nigella seeds on one side and a little warm water on the other. 

    Step 3: bake the naans

    Stick the moistened surface of the naan a hot griddle pan (or tawa) for a short time. As soon as the lower surface is baked invert the griddle pan along with the naan over the direct heat if using a gas hob and allow the upper surface to cook. Alternatively, you can at this stage move the naan onto a baking tray (baked side down) and place it under a hot grill for 2-5 minutes. They will be ready to serve once they have puffed up.

    To Serve: 

    Brush with melted ghee or butter.


    Use 2 thinly chopped garlic cloves added into the dough to make Garlic Naan. You can also add 1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves mixed into the dough or sprinkled onto the naan along with this if you would like to make Garlic and Coriander Naan



    Mrs Balbir Singh 
    Award-winning godmother of Indian home cooking, and author of Mrs Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, as featured in "The Best Indian Cookbooks Ever, as Judged by the Experts" - The Telegraph (UK)