Indian Food Made Easy
Vanessa Courtier

Everyone loves naan. It is the quintessential restaurant bread, made with plain rather than whole-wheat flour and is softer and more doughy than the other Indian flat breads. It is easy to make and the real thing is quite different from the supermarket version, which also tastes great but always seems to be a cross-breed between the original and good bread. Naan should be soft with a few crisp raised bits. Add a topping of your choice. I love nigella seeds the most, but even simple coriander and garlic make a great topping.


Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
110-130ml milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
nigella seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chopped garlic and fresh coriander or a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon butter, melted, for brushing


  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix together the milk and oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids.
  2. Slowly mix together the dough by working outwards from the centre and incorporating the flour from the edges of the well to make a smooth, soft dough. Knead well for 8–10 minutes, adding a little flour if the dough is too sticky.
  3. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave for at least 1 hour in a warm place to double in size. When risen, punch out and form into five balls.
  4. Preheat the grill to its highest setting and put a heavy baking sheet on the upper shelf.
  5. Meanwhile, start to roll out the dough into teardrop or oval shapes, then gently prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle over the seed topping and press into the dough. Place the naans on the hot baking sheet and grill for 1–2 minutes or until there are brown spots on the surface. Brush with butter and serve hot.

Peshwari naan:

  • To make this filled naan, pulse together 70g shelled pistachios, 35g raisins and 1 1/2 tsp caster sugar to make a coarse powder. Divide into five portions. Roll the naan into thick circles, fill each with one portion of the filling and pinch the dough around it to close. Roll out the naan again into teardrop or oval shapes. Sprinkle over 30g flaked almonds, then grill and serve as above.
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