Garlic Naan
Garlic Naan
5 from 8 votes
Discover the delectable comfort of homemade garlic naan. A classic staple of Indian cuisine, this recipe is easier to make than you'd think, perfect for beginners or seasoned cooks looking for a tasty challenge.
Garlic Naan

Imagine being wrapped in the warm, comforting embrace of the evening. Your nostrils are titillated by the tempting aroma wafting from your kitchen, hinting at a culinary adventure about to unfold.  

You are about to bake your very own Garlic Naan, a delightful journey that’s set to paint a culinary masterpiece on the canvas of your taste buds. 

Garlic Naan, the soul food of India, has been a quintessential part of its rich gastronomic heritage for centuries. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this flavourful bread has become a global favourite, winning hearts with its fluffy texture and garlicky goodness.  

Typically enjoyed with curries or used to scoop up lentils and other saucy dishes, it’s the perfect accompaniment that amplifies the overall dining experience. 

Interestingly, ‘Naan’ is a Persian word that translates to ‘bread’. Garlic Naan, therefore, is bread enriched with the robust flavour of garlic, a simple yet magical twist that sets it apart.  

This soft, chewy, and slightly charred bread is the epitome of all things comfort food stands for, promising a soul-satisfying experience with every bite. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Can I, a humble home cook, possibly recreate this exotic bread with the same authentic flavour and fluffy texture?” And my answer is a resounding “Yes!”  

Despite its somewhat exotic origins, Garlic Naan is surprisingly easy to make, turning the fear of culinary exploration into an exciting adventure. 

To be frank, the difficulty level of this recipe is akin to a friendly game of tic-tac-toe – it requires a bit of attention and effort, but the result is incredibly satisfying.  

By following this recipe, you’ll embark on a culinary journey that’s as gratifying as it is delicious. The ingredients are straightforward – no hard-to-find spices or unfamiliar elements – and the steps, equally simple and clear. 

When it comes to making Garlic Naan, patience is key. Like waiting for a beautiful sunrise, allowing the dough to rest results in an airy and soft texture that’s worth every second of the wait. The kneading, the rolling, the grilling – each step is a testament to the love and care that goes into crafting each piece. 

I cannot help but feel a tinge of excitement for you, for you’re about to create your very own homemade Garlic Naan – a dish steeped in rich history, cultural significance, and a whole lot of deliciousness. So, don your apron, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive headfirst into the delicious world of Indian cooking! 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

The kitchen is my canvas, and as I venture on the journey to recreate the culinary magic of garlic naan, I’m armed with my arsenal of diverse ingredients. Each component, significant in its own way, collaborates to give life to the flavoursome flatbread that we all love and crave. 

Plain Flour: Flour is the backbone of any bread, including our beloved garlic naan. Plain flour provides the base, offering structure and substance. The flour’s starch and protein content helps to create a tender yet sturdy dough.  

If plain flour is not at hand, one could also opt for bread flour or whole wheat flour, but be aware that this will lead to a denser, slightly less fluffy naan. 

Baking Powder: Baking powder lends a lightness to the naan. It’s a leavening agent that reacts with other ingredients to produce gas, helping the dough rise and yield the airy, fluffy texture we associate with a well-made naan.  

In its absence, a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda could serve as a substitute. 

Salt: Though not tasted distinct, salt is crucial in accentuating the overall flavour of the naan. It enhances the other ingredients’ profiles and provides a balance to the sweetness of the dough. Himalayan pink salt or sea salt can be viable alternatives to regular table salt. 

Sugar: Just a hint of sugar is required to feed the yeast, helping it to activate and work its magic. Moreover, it contributes to the mild sweetness and browning of the naan. If not sugar, honey or maple syrup can serve the same purpose. 

Active Dry Yeast: The yeast plays a key role in leavening the dough, leading to a light, fluffy naan. It ferments the sugars, releasing carbon dioxide and ethanol, thereby causing the dough to rise. Instant yeast could be used in place of active dry yeast if needed. 

Warm Milk: The addition of warm milk to the dough imparts a richness and slight sweetness to the naan. It also aids in achieving a softer texture. If you prefer a dairy-free option, almond milk or oat milk can be used. 

Olive Oil: The role of olive oil goes beyond merely lubricating the dough. It enriches the texture, adds a subtle, unique flavour, and helps in achieving the perfect golden crust when the naan is cooked. Canola oil or melted butter can be viable alternatives. 

Garlic: Garlic, with its sharp and robust flavour, is the distinguishing ingredient of garlic naan. It infuses the bread with a deep, aromatic flavour that is simply irresistible. If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can experiment with other herbs like rosemary or thyme. 

Coriander: Fresh coriander lends a refreshing contrast to the potent garlic. It provides a burst of freshness and an enticing aroma to the naan. If coriander isn’t your herb of choice, fresh parsley can serve as a good alternative. 

Melted Butter: Brushing the naan with melted butter right at the end adds a layer of richness, enhances its flavour, and gives it an appealing glossy finish. For a vegan alternative, you can opt for good quality plant-based butter. 

As I wrap up my thoughts on these ingredients, I appreciate the symphony they create together. Each one, with its unique contribution, works harmoniously to make the garlic naan not just a bread, but a memorable experience in every bite. 

Making Garlic Naan without Yeast 

I’ve found that yeast can sometimes be a tricky ingredient to handle. Or perhaps you have dietary restrictions that prevent you from consuming it. Whatever the case may be, rest assured that making garlic naan without yeast is entirely possible. 

Normally, yeast is used in the dough to help it rise, giving the naan its characteristic fluffy texture. However, if yeast is not available or suitable for you, baking powder and baking soda can serve as practical alternatives.  

These ingredients also produce gas, which helps the dough rise and yield a similar fluffy texture. 

A simple yeast-free garlic naan recipe might involve adjusting the initial recipe slightly. For instance, I might replace the teaspoon of yeast with a half teaspoon of baking powder and a half teaspoon of baking soda.  

After adding these to the flour, I proceed with the recipe as usual, mixing the dry ingredients, adding warm milk and olive oil, and kneading the dough until it’s soft and smooth. 

Remember that yeast-free naan may not rise as much as yeast-based naan, but the end result will still be delicious. After all, the true stars of the dish, garlic, and coriander, will still be there to tantalize your taste buds. 

While yeast plays a crucial role in traditional naan recipes, yeast-free alternatives can be just as tasty. Baking powder and baking soda can be used to create a light, fluffy texture in the absence of yeast.  

Even though it may require a bit of tweaking and perhaps some extra kneading, the result is a delicious, homemade garlic naan that doesn’t skimp on flavour. 

Milk Substitutes in Garlic Naan Recipe 

There are times when a recipe calls for an ingredient that you may not have on hand, or maybe you have dietary restrictions. Such is the case with milk in a garlic naan recipe. As a seasoned home cook, I’ve run into this scenario more than once, and I’ve discovered some reliable substitutes. 

One alternative to milk that I frequently turn to is unsweetened almond milk. It has a neutral flavour, making it an excellent choice for most baking recipes. Like regular milk, almond milk adds moisture and tenderness to the naan.  

Its consistency allows it to combine well with the other ingredients without drastically changing the dough’s texture. 

Another alternative is soy milk. Soy milk is creamy and has a slightly sweeter flavour than almond milk, but it does not overpower the flavours of garlic and coriander. As a bonus, soy milk has a higher protein content than almond milk, which may contribute to a softer, fluffier naan. 

A more unconventional substitute is water. Although it won’t provide the same creamy texture as milk, water can still produce a decent garlic naan when combined with good-quality olive oil. The key here is to handle the dough gently during kneading to maintain its tender texture. 

While milk is a traditional ingredient in garlic naan, there are several alternatives available if you need or prefer not to use it.  

Whether you opt for almond milk, soy milk, or water, each can work well and ensure your garlic naan still tastes delicious. Remember, the best part of cooking is experimenting and making a recipe work for you! 

Tips for Making Soft and Fluffy Garlic Naan  

As an avid baker, one of the things I strive for when making garlic naan is that soft, fluffy texture that just melts in your mouth. Here are a few tricks that I’ve learned over the years to achieve this. 

Firstly, it all starts with the kneading process. Kneading the dough properly is critical to developing the gluten in the flour, which gives the naan its structure and chewiness. I usually knead for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Secondly, the resting period is equally important. Once the dough is kneaded, I cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. This resting period allows the gluten to relax, which makes the dough easier to roll out and gives the finished naan a softer texture. 

Thirdly, the cooking method plays a significant role in achieving a fluffy texture. The high heat of the grill quickly cooks the naan, allowing it to puff up and create a light, airy texture. I always preheat my grill to a high temperature before cooking the naan to ensure it cooks quickly and evenly. 

Lastly, using high-quality ingredients can make a big difference in the texture of your naan. Fresh yeast, quality flour, and freshly minced garlic can enhance both the texture and flavour of your naan. 

In conclusion, achieving soft and fluffy garlic naan involves careful attention to the kneading, resting, and cooking processes. By following these tips, you can create delicious, restaurant-quality naan right in your own kitchen. 

Making Garlic Naan with Whole Wheat Flour  

Being a health-conscious cook, I often experiment with recipes to make them healthier. One such experiment involved substituting whole wheat flour for plain flour in my garlic naan recipe. 

Whole wheat flour is more nutritious than plain flour because it contains more fibre, protein, and vitamins. However, it also has a stronger, nuttier flavour and a denser texture, which can affect the end product. 

In my experience, using 100% whole wheat flour can make the naan slightly denser and less fluffy than when using plain flour.  

To mitigate this, I’ve found that a 50/50 mix of whole wheat flour and plain flour provides the best balance. This blend retains the health benefits of whole wheat flour while maintaining the soft, fluffy texture of the naan. 

Adjusting the amount of liquid may also be necessary when using whole wheat flour as it tends to absorb more liquid than plain flour. I usually start by adding the same amount of milk as in the original recipe and then add more if the dough seems too dry. 

Toasting the whole wheat flour in a dry pan for a few minutes before using it can also help enhance the flavour of the naan, giving it a slightly nutty taste that complements the garlic and coriander nicely. 

Making garlic naan with whole wheat flour is a worthwhile experiment if you’re looking to make a healthier version of the dish. With a few adjustments to the recipe, you can create a nutritious, delicious naan that still retains its characteristic soft, fluffy texture. 

The Art of Kneading Dough for Garlic Naan 

Throughout my culinary journey, I’ve learned that kneading is a crucial step when making any type of bread, including garlic naan. It may seem like a simple task, but the time and technique can significantly influence the final product. 

Kneading is vital because it helps develop the gluten in the flour. Gluten is a type of protein that gives the dough its elasticity, allowing it to stretch without breaking. This elasticity is what gives naan its classic soft and chewy texture. 

In my experience, the perfect kneading time for garlic naan dough is around 10-15 minutes. It might seem long, but it’s well worth the effort. I usually set a timer to ensure that I don’t over-knead or under-knead the dough, both of which could impact the texture of the naan. 

As for the kneading technique, I start by pushing the dough away from me with the heel of my hand. Then, I fold it back onto itself and rotate it a quarter turn. I repeat these steps throughout the entire kneading process. 

One key sign that the dough has been adequately kneaded is its smooth and elastic appearance. If you gently press your finger into the dough, it should spring back quickly. If it doesn’t, it might need more kneading. 

Kneading the dough for garlic naan is a delicate process that involves careful timing and technique. By investing the necessary time and energy into this step, you can significantly improve the texture of your naan, turning a good dish into an exceptional one. 

Freezing and Storing Garlic Naan Dough for Later Use 

As someone who loves cooking, I often find myself making large batches of my favourite recipes. Garlic naan is one such favourite, and I’ve found that freezing the dough is an excellent way to have a quick, homemade meal ready on busy days. 

The first step is to prepare the dough as per the recipe, including the kneading and the initial resting period. After the dough has rested and risen, divide it into the desired number of naans.  

Each piece of dough should then be lightly dusted with flour and individually wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent them from sticking together. 

Once wrapped, the dough pieces can be placed in a freezer-safe bag or container. Be sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing as this can prevent freezer burn and help the dough maintain its quality for longer.  

Label the container with the date so you can keep track of how long it’s been stored. Properly stored, the dough can be frozen for up to three months. 

When you’re ready to cook the naan, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once it’s completely thawed, allow it to come to room temperature before rolling it out and cooking as per the recipe instructions. 

Freezing garlic naan dough is a convenient way to enjoy homemade naan anytime. By preparing and storing the dough properly, you can have fresh, delicious naan ready in minutes – perfect for those nights when you’re craving homemade bread but short on time. 

The Best Way to Reheat Leftover Garlic Naan 

One of the delights of cooking at home is enjoying the fruits of your labour – not just immediately after cooking, but also as leftovers. And when it comes to garlic naan, I can assure you that the leftovers can be just as delightful as when they’re freshly made, provided you know how to reheat them properly. 

My favourite method for reheating garlic naan is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Wrap the naan in aluminium foil to prevent it from drying out, then place it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s heated through. The foil helps to trap the moisture, keeping the naan soft and fresh. 

For a quicker method, you could also use a microwave. However, it’s worth noting that microwaving can sometimes make the naan a bit chewy.  

If you opt for this method, wrap the naan in a damp paper towel and heat it on high for about 30 seconds. The damp paper towel will create a steamy environment, helping to keep the naan soft. 

If you’re after that fresh-off-the-grill flavour, reheating naan in a pan on the stovetop can work wonders. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, add the naan, cover with a lid, and heat each side for about a minute. The pan method can help to revive the naan’s crispy exterior while keeping the inside soft. 

Reheating leftover garlic naan can be quick and straightforward. Whether you choose the oven, microwave, or stovetop, each method can help to restore your naan to its former deliciousness. 

Using Margarine in Place of Butter for Garlic Naan 

Over the years, I’ve encountered many instances where a recipe called for a specific ingredient that I didn’t have on hand, forcing me to think on my feet and make quick substitutions. One of these moments included substituting margarine for butter in my garlic naan recipe. 

Margarine, being mainly composed of vegetable oils, is a viable alternative to butter, especially for those on a dairy-free diet. But how does it affect the texture and flavour of the garlic naan? 

The good news is that margarine and butter share similar fat content, so the dough’s texture remains relatively unchanged. The naan still comes out soft and pliable, as it would with butter.  

It’s worth noting, though, that margarine has a higher water content than butter, which can cause the dough to become slightly stickier than usual. To combat this, I sometimes find myself adding a bit more flour to the dough. 

In terms of flavour, margarine tends to have a less pronounced taste than butter. However, given the robust flavours of garlic and coriander in the naan, this difference is barely noticeable. 

When it comes to brushing the naan before grilling, margarine works just as well. It gives the naan a beautiful golden-brown colour, just like butter. 

Margarine is a worthy substitute for butter in a garlic naan recipe. It delivers similar results in terms of texture and colour, while the difference in flavour is minimal. So whether you’re out of butter or simply prefer to use margarine, you can rest assured that your garlic naan will turn out deliciously satisfying. 

Ideal Dish Pairings with Garlic Naan 

I firmly believe that the joy of a meal comes not just from individual dishes but how they harmonize when paired together. Garlic naan, with its aromatic flavours and soft texture, is versatile enough to pair well with a variety of dishes. 

My all-time favourite pairing for garlic naan is with a creamy, rich curry. The naan serves as a wonderful scoop for the curry, and the strong flavours of the garlic and coriander complement the spices in the curry perfectly.  

Whether it’s a butter chicken curry, a spicy lamb curry, or a vegetarian chickpea curry, the combinations are endless and always satisfying. 

Another dish I love to serve with garlic naan is tandoori chicken. The smoky flavour of the grilled chicken pairs wonderfully with the warm, garlicky naan. It’s like having your very own Indian barbecue right at home! 

If you’re on the vegetarian side, a dal makhani or palak paneer makes an excellent pairing. The earthy lentils or the creamy spinach cheese curry contrast beautifully with the naan, creating a balanced and fulfilling meal. 

I also find that a simple side salad of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions dressed in lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala offers a refreshing counterpoint to the rich naan. 

Garlic naan is a versatile bread that can be paired with a wide variety of dishes, from rich curries to grilled meats and fresh salads. Each combination offers a unique dining experience, making each meal an adventure for your taste buds. 

Incorporating Dairy-Free Alternatives in Garlic Naan 

Over my many years of cooking, I’ve come across several dietary requirements and preferences that have led me to experiment with dairy-free alternatives in my recipes. With garlic naan, there’s plenty of room for modification to cater to a dairy-free diet without sacrificing flavour or texture. 

The first thing I had to tackle was replacing the milk in the dough. After testing a few options, I found that almond milk and soy milk worked best. They provide similar levels of hydration to the dough as regular milk, ensuring that it remains soft and pliable.  

However, it’s essential to use unsweetened versions to avoid altering the taste of the naan. 

Next came the butter, which is used both in the dough and brushed on the naan before grilling. Here, margarine was a simple swap. Most margarines are plant-based and thus dairy-free. I found that margarine provided similar results to butter in terms of giving the naan its golden-brown colour and soft texture. 

Another alternative I experimented with for brushing the naan was olive oil. Olive oil gives the naan a slightly crispier texture compared to butter, but the difference isn’t drastic, and it still tastes delightful.  

For an added flavour boost, I sometimes infuse the olive oil with additional minced garlic before brushing it on the naan. 

Making dairy-free garlic naan is a relatively straightforward process. With a few smart substitutions like almond or soy milk for regular milk, and margarine or olive oil for butter, you can easily cater to dietary preferences while still enjoying the delectable flavours of garlic naan. 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

I’m thrilled you loved my garlic naan! And now that you’ve mastered it, why not broaden your horizons and explore some more in the world of Indian bread and sides? 

In my repertoire, I’ve got this splendid No Yeast Naan Bread. This one comes with a twist. It’s a fuss-free, speedy alternative to the traditional naan, skipping the yeast but not skimping on the fluffiness or the flavour. Perfect to scoop up your curry or even to savour just with some butter. 

And speaking of tradition, let’s not forget the Chapati. This is a staple in every Indian household and has a special place in my heart. It’s a delightfully soft flatbread, healthy and made with just three simple ingredients. It’s lighter than naan but equally tasty. 

Now, if you’re open to trying something more adventurous, there’s the Garlic Paratha. This is a layered, flaky bread, slathered with garlic butter. Trust me, the aroma itself is heavenly, let alone the taste. 

If you’re in the mood for some potatoes, the Aloo Paratha is a must-try. It’s a wheat flatbread, stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes, pan-fried to golden perfection. It’s a hearty meal in itself and quite popular for breakfasts in North India. 

And finally, for something completely different, there’s the Puri. This is a deep-fried bread that puffs up into a golden ball. It’s so light and airy, you’d be amazed. It’s usually served with a spicy potato curry or a sweet dish like halwa

Do you see? There’s a whole world of Indian breads and sides just waiting to be discovered. And each of these recipes is a gem in its own right, worth trying. So go ahead, give them a whirl, and let me know what you think in the comments. 

Garlic Naan

Garlic Naan

by Nabeela Kauser
Discover the delectable comfort of homemade garlic naan. A classic staple of Indian cuisine, this recipe is easier to make than you'd think, perfect for beginners or seasoned cooks looking for a tasty challenge. 
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proof Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 367 kcal


  • 250 g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Yeast Active Dry
  • 120 ml Milk Warm
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Butter Melted


  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Whisk well to blend the dry ingredients.
  • Gradually add warm milk and vegetable oil to the bowl, stirring the mixture until a soft and elastic dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  • Heat your grill to high temperature.
  • In a small bowl, mix minced garlic, chopped coriander and melted butter.
  • Divide the dough into four equal portions and roll each portion out into a thin circle.
  • Brush one side of each naan with the garlic and coriander butter.
  • Place the naans buttered side up on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to puff up and turn golden brown.
  • Flip the naans over and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the other side is also golden brown.
  • Once done, remove the naans from the grill and serve hot.


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 693mgPotassium: 130mgFibre: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 239IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 0.3µgCalcium: 82mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Bread, Curry, Flatbread, Food, Garlic, Indian, Naan, Pakistani, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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