Homemade Garlic Naan

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I made naan for the first time a couple weeks ago. And much to my amazement, it actually wasn’t that bad. (This shocked me because I was totally convinced that I’d screwed it up.) It all started when I decided to make my parents vegetable korma for dinner. And because I was going to wuss out and use a jarred korma sauce, I figured I should redeem myself by making naan from scratch. I have been ogling Nicole’s naan recipe for the better part of a month now. And while I, as a first-time naan maker, was a little intimidated by her notes that the dough can be a bit tricky to master, it probably wouldn’t have stopped me. What did stop me, however, was discovering that the only yogurt in the house was flavored. As I researched other recipes, I found that many of them called for yogurt and talked of a sticky dough. Eventually, I decided to just google “garlic naan recipe” (because if my naan couldn’t be made of yogurt, it would at least be made of delicious garlic), and clicked on the first thing that came up.

The naan in the picture looked a little fatter than I am used to but utilized ingredients that I actually had on hand, so I decided to give it a go. Everything seemed just fine until I accidentally added too much flour (whether it was through mis-measuring or hastiness, I’ll never know), and wound up with a dough that was definitely not sticky. And mild panic set in. I mean, one of the main reasons I was spending January with my parents was so I could dazzle them with my culinary prowess while my mom recovered from surgery, and the first thing I was going to serve them during my stay was korma from a jar and some tough chewy dough discs that would perhaps resemble naan on a visual level only. But I chilled out, added a little bit more water, and kept going. And as I flipped the naan on the pizza stone in the oven, I thought, “hmm, well at least they look like naan!” And when I removed them from the oven, I was surprised to find that they actually seemed light enough to be naan. And when they were finally all finished, I tore one in half and bravely offered a piece to my dad without tasting it first. And wouldn’t you know it, it was not bad, you guys. Not bad at all.

I will definitely be trying Nicole’s recipe the next chance I get. But if you want to try a naan recipe that’s proven to be foolproof, give this one a try. Baking this on a pizza stone was super easy, but I realize not everyone has one of these at their disposal. If you don’t, a cast iron pan is the way to go, as you want something that can get super hot and distribute heat evenly. Although I haven’t tested this and therefore can’t say for sure, it might be worth it to pop your cast iron pan in a 475° oven for about 10 minutes or so, just to get it super hot, the way a pizza stone would be. You could then remove it and keep it heated on the stove top over medium-high heat while you cook the naan. And of course, garlic needn’t be the only thing you mix into the dough. Feel free to add herbs, cheese, or other tasty bits you happen to think of. It’s a forgiving and versatile recipe.

Garlic Naan

(adapted from allrecipes)

yield: 14 servings (I halved this since I was only making it for three people, and it still made a ton)

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • 3 tbsp garlic, minced (the original recipe calls for only 2 tsp, but I LOVE garlic — adjust according to your own tastes)
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter or ghee

Combine yeast and warm water in a large bowl and let sit for 5–10 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in milk, sugar, and egg. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time, until you’ve added just enough to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead for 6–8 minutes, adding small amounts of flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise for around 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

Punch down dough, then turn out on a clean surface and knead in garlic. Tear off small handfuls of dough (about the size of a golf ball), then roll into balls and place on a tray. Cover tray with a damp tea towel and let rise for around 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

While dough is rising, preheat your pizza stone in a 475° oven. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can follow my theoretical method of preheating your oven to 475°, then placing a cast iron skillet in the oven 10 minutes before you are ready to start working with the dough. Once your dough is ready, remove the cast iron pan and place on the stove top over medium-high heat. OR, if you aren’t sure about my theoretical method, simply heat your cast iron skillet over medium-heat heat for 5 minutes.)

Roll three balls of dough out into thin circles (or just one ball at a time if you’re using a cast iron pan). Brush both sides with butter/ghee, then carefully place on the pizza stone. Let cook for 2–3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Flip and let other side cook for another 2–3 minutes. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.

Serve immediately. If you have any naan leftover, use them to make little personal flatbreads!



  1. says

    I think these naans came out lovely….I lovvee ‘Garlic Naan’. It is good with almost any spicy side-dish. Your idea of naan with vegetable korma is making me crave some right now! Love your blog!

    • says

      Thank you, Archana! I definitely love having some sort of bread with anything spicy, and I’m so glad I discovered how easy it was to make naan. :)

    • says

      Ooo, thanks for the link, Eileen! Now that I’m feeling a bit more confident with my naan skills, I’d definitely love to try some other, versatile recipes. :)

  2. says

    Yow know, the first time I made naan I was also thinking that I will totally screw it up, but it came out pretty good :) It was a happy day for me.

  3. says

    Wow, that naan looks like it came out really well, despite being an AllRecipes recipe and all ;) Seriously though, I’ve always wanted to make my own naan (so I could do things like add gratuitous amounts of garlic as well) but always thought it was better left to the experts. This information is empowering, Carey, seriously. Because homemade Indian food is wonderful, but I always bemoan the fact that there’s no naan to eat alongside it. Thanks for sharing Nicole’s recipe too! Both recipes have been bookmarked. :)

    • says

      Hehe, right?? After it turned out great and I actually got some decent pictures of it, I was like, hmmmm, do I really admit to clicking on the first result from the google search? :)

      Making this was definitely kind of empowering! Especially since I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it quite right, and it was still yummy. So it stands to reason that the next attempts will be even better!

  4. Samantha Wilms says

    when you’re cooking the naan on the pizza stone or the iron pan, are you cooking it in the oven or on the stove? I’m a bit confused

    • says

      The pizza stone remains in the oventhe entire time. The cast iron pan can be preheated in the oven, but the cooking is done on the stove top. Hope that helps! :)

  5. says

    Oh man, I dread that moment of panic when I realize I accidentally slipped up with a recipe. It’s usually for no reason though, like you said, most things can be repaired, and your naan looks very naan-y! (Once I put cumin in some peach jam instead of cinnamon and realized it as soon as I put it in due to the smell, luckily I was able to scoop the vast majority of it out and it tasted just fine thank God!) I have never tried making naan myself before, but I am a HUGE garlic naan fan (trader joe’s sells some frozen ones that you toss in the oven for 2 minutes and they are just delightful!) so I really should try making some myself sometime. I will have to try this foolproof recipe :) And I’m sure your parents appreciated the effort more than anything, regardless of whether or not they’re fans of Indian food. Relieving daily food preparation from the to-do list is a huge help for them I’m sure!

    • says

      Oh man, cumin in jam! I do things like that more often than I care to admit. (Keeping most of my dry goods in unlabeled mason jars probably doesn’t help.)

      Would you believe I have never been to a Trader Joe’s?? The prospect of being able to buy frozen naan and just toss it in the oven for a few minutes would be SO tempting. I was surprised by how easy this was though! It gave me the courage to try some other, slightly trickier recipes, so I can really hone my naan skills. :)


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