Naan, the delicious and ubiquitous Indian flatbread, pairs perfectly with curries, lentils, and many other Indian dishes. Originating in South Asia, Naan is typically made in clay ovens called “tandoors”.
Traditionally, this flatbread is made with white flour, yeast, and dairy products; however, I recently set out to make a healthier naan to enjoy for our Indian family dinners. This recipe uses whole wheat, spelt flour, baking powder, and a bit of almond milk to make a dough that rises wonderfully. Naan’s can be garnished in a wide variety of creative ways using toppings such as cilantro, chili powder, garlic, and nigella seeds. These crisp and delicious naan breads are reminiscent of the tandoori naan I used to enjoy growing up in India.
Naan is best served piping hot with your favorite Indian dishes. Enjoy this naan as our family does!
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup almond milk (hot)
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking powder (Rumford brand recommended)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon avocado or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon degi mirch
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon avocado or grapeseed oil
Optional toppings: minced garlic and nigella seeds
Sieve the whole wheat and spelt flour together in a bowl. Add salt to it. Give it a mix.
Heat the almond milk in a pan until very hot. Add the baking powder to the hot milk.
Immediately add the flour and salt mixture to the hot milk.
Mix it well and knead to a dough with the warm water. The dough should not be very stiff or very loose. Drizzle with oil and and wrap it with cling wrap.
Keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough will rise and become fluffy.
To make the naan, heat up a non-stick / cast iron pan on high heat.
Make 6-8 balls out of the dough and keep it covered.
Roll out each ball one at a time to a oblong shape as shown in the picture.
Rub oil on the naan. Sprinkle with chili powder (degi mirch) and chopped cilantro.
Pat the cilantro so it sticks to the naan. Gently lift the naan up, and apply water on the back side of the naan.
Carefully, stick it to the hot pan. Once the bottom is cooked, flip it and cook on the other side.
If you prefer a crispy naan, take kitchen tongs and cook it a little on the gas stove as shown in the picture.
Add slight coating of vegan butter on top (optional). Serve immediately with channa masala or other Indian dish. The naan tastes best when served hot.