Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Garlic Naan – Now, 100% Tandoor-Free

Naan bread, especially this easy to make garlic naan, is the real reason Indian restaurants give you so much extra sauce when you order a curry. I mean, sure, the basmati rice helps, but good luck getting all that goodness off your plate using a fork.

Besides being near lots of great curries, the other advantage the restaurant naan enjoys is being cooked in the intense heat of the tandoor oven. However, we can pull off a pretty good version at home by using a smoking hot cast iron skillet. By the way, it shouldn’t literally be smoking, since we cook these without any oil in the skillet, but the key to this whole operation is waiting for the pan to get up to the proper temperature.

In fact, done correctly, the blistered bubbles will be charred to a lovely golden-black, so be brave. I’m working on the creamy cashew chicken curry seen herein, and hope to post that next, but in the meantime, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 Garlic Naan:
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1/4 cup plain yogurt
about 2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp fine salt)
1 tablespoon garlic butter
- Cook in a very hot, dry cast iron skillet for 2 to 3 minutes per side

For the Garlic Butter:
1/2 cup melted butter
4 cloves finely minced garlic


Annie said...


I have heaps of bread flour to make this.. I get my yeast in a tin so I think it's 15 g per sachet.


Can i substitute the butter with ghee?

Ivy Rose said...

Hello Chef John! Just wondering is there a different plan I could use besides a cast iron skillet for this naan recipe?

Ivy Rose said...

Hello Chef John! Just wondering is there a different plan I could use besides a cast iron skillet for this naan recipe?

Joanne Rake said...

Going to try this on my electric griddle set at highest heat. BTW, I'm one of the approx. one in eight people whose taste buds are genetically set to taste fresh cilantro as having the same taste effect as having a bar of Ivory Soap grated over our meal. Could you describe what spice you think cilantro is similar to from your taste buds perspective? I like your suggestion of pressing on a bit of herb for flavoring, but for me and others, we recoil from the suggestion of cilantro.

Unknown said...

Hello chef john
One thing my mom does to make things requiring a tandoor is to stick the naan on the tava ( indian flat skillet thing) and then turn it almost upside down and hold it over the flame so that the effect of tandoor is mimicked better. You can try that, works well.

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John
Great recipe. I know it states 1 package of active yeast however how much exactly for this recipe?
Love your show best on you tube.
Manchester England

Blair said...

would it mess things up if i doubled the recipe?

Leo said...

How would these fair on a pizza stone in a conventional oven?

Unknown said...

Chef John. I believe the recipe is missing Salt.

Unknown said...

Hey John. I was wondering wether one could do these one day in advance and maybe reheat them in the oven the next day?

Sadeep said...

only 37.5% hydration?
are the ratios right?
I tried and the dough was very dry so I added milk

Sadeep said...

are the ratios right?

tried it and the dough was very dry so I added milk

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recipe, but how many grams is 1 package dry active yeast? I live in Sweden so I don't know the volume of one package in America.

C. S. Lewis Society of Frederick said...

Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

James Rook said...

Going to try this very soon since I want to try my hand at some flatbreads and I love naan. I think I'll substitute ghee for the butter though.

KBO said...

G'day Chef John, Brilliant trick there using the super hot cast iron!
My favourite Naan is the one with minced lamb and herbs inside.
I would love to know how to do that.
Do you put the lamb filling inbetween two Naan and roll so they stick together?
I don't know.
Please give us a quick video on this type of naan, I think it's also known as aloo kultcha (?) or something like that.
Kind regards,
Bill Halliwell

Unknown said...

Recently my mom has been making these naans where she cooks the bottom on the dry skillet and then moves it to the oven on broil. Would that work in this instance.

Reserve4Todd said...

I've always been able to detect fantastic flatbread recipes. I think my wife agrees-- she calls my ability 'naan-sense'.

Barry Craig said...

If I wanted to make these as freshly add possible to eat with the curry could I get to the dough ball stage and just wrap and refrigerate then roll out and 'fry' later?

flinz said...

Okay, I've tried a few naan recipes, but this one hands down won. I guess it must be that garlic butter in the dough. Came out fantastic.

cartaufalous said...

How hot should the pan be? 600°? 900°?

Stevie Gee said...

What can I substitute for yogurt?

Unknown said...

For those that dislike cilantro, try fresh rosemary or basil or parsley leaves.

Art P said...

I have a infrared thermometer for judging how hot my pans are. Can you recommend a temperature? Example, if I sear ahi tuna, I shoot for a pan surface temp of 500* before adding the fish.

Been a fan of your site for years -- thanks!!

Art P said...

I have a infrared thermometer for judging pan surface temp and am also curious how hot to get the cast iron before adding dough.

Unknown said...

Just made it today with some Butter Chicken. It was great. I made four with the given amount, and we annihilated them.

Melanee Mortensen said...

I was looking at this lovely recipe, and bumped into the Kouign-Amann video on youtube. The link doesn't work back to here nor can I find it on allrecipes. Can someone help me hunt that down. I am totally in bread mode now with the naan and looking for that recipe.


Laochef said...

Hi All !
For all of us, not living in the UD -1 packet of dry yeast contains 7 grams.
Cheers, Chris

Unknown said...

I made this and it was great! Another recipe that turned out "just like the picture!" Thanks, Chef John!

Michael Grier said...

I think the liquid measurements are off! My shaggy dough was dry as a bone! I ended up adding a lot of extra water to it to make it kneadable. I didn't keep track, honestly it was my first time making my own yeast based bread so I was and am more than a little worried. (It's rising right now.) I think I ended up adding at least six ounces additional water!

I used King Arthur bread flour. My yeast foamed up nicely. Oh and I used Greek 5% yogurt for the plain yogurt. But I would think that might need a tweak to the hydration, not a massive doubling. Oh well, the die is cast.

starblueloser said...

Thanks for another great recipe. You explain everything beautifully! Mine came out great and really impressed the family!

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John,
Hands down the best and easiest recipe I've ever used with true authentic results. A real winner.
Proving the dough is essential and I found the super hot iron skillet perfectly replicated the charring we love from the Tandoor oven.