Fresh herb naan breads

Fresh herb naan breads

How to Cook Bread
Peter Cassidy

The inclusion of lots of herbs in these naan breads gives them a wonderful fresh flavour. If you freeze the naans at the end of step 4, they can be defrosted, risen and cooked whenever you need them.


Quantity Ingredient
150-200ml milk
20g butter or ghee
15g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
450g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon nigella or black onion seeds
150g plain yoghurt
few coriander, mint and flat-leaf parsley sprigs
oil, to grease


  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to scalding point over a medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the butter or ghee and allow to melt. Allow to cool until tepid, about 38°C.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with a spoonful or two of the tepid milk, then stir in the sugar. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and stir in the nigella seeds. Add the yeast mixture, yoghurt and three quarters of the milk and melted butter mix. Mix thoroughly, adding enough of the remaining milk to make a soft dough.
  3. Tip out onto the work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Roughly chop a mixture of the herbs, so you have about 3 tbsp in total, and knead them into the dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a large oval, about 3mm thick. Make sure the dough is not thicker than this, or it will not have a chance to cook through in the pan before the outside becomes too dark. You may need to rest the dough from time to time while rolling as it may become quite elastic and difficult to roll.
  5. Lay the rolled breads on a lightly oiled tray or work surface and cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes, or until they are visibly rising again and about 5mm thick. Heat the oven to 120°C.
  6. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and brush it with oil. Working in batches according to the size of the pan, brush the top of each naan with water and fry for 3 minutes before turning it and brushing the other side with water. Fry the second side for 3 minutes, or until well browned.
  7. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining breads. Serve warm with curries, or cut into slices and served with Indian spiced dips.
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