If you have a tandoor and want to make tandoori naans, this is how it’s done.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a tandoor! You will find plenty of naan recipes on my blog demonstrating other methods for cooking tandoori style naans. You might want to try Peshwari naans, karahi naans, instant naans, keema naans, plain stove top naans. Each of these recipes produce great quality tandoori naans but without a tandoor oven. This tandoori naan recipe demonstrates how to cook your naans in a tandoor oven.
How do you prepare the dough for these tandoori naans?
This time around, I used naan dough with yeast to make these tandoori naans and have included that recipe in the recipe card below.
If you would like to see step by step photos of that naan dough being prepared, go here.
Will you get better results with one of those naan doughs?
No. It’s really down to your personal preference. The instant naan dough is closer to what you would find at curry houses. It can be prepared in about 30 minutes and gets fantastic results. The dough with yeast will produce fluffier naans. You will get great results with either dough with the instant dough producing crispier, yet still fluffy naans.
You can work ahead using either naan dough recipe. The dough in both recipes is better if it has time to sit overnight. You might just want to get going and cook which you can do with the instant naan dough but even that dough will benefit from a longer resting time.
Heating your tandoor oven
Depending on the size of your tandoor oven, you will need to reach different temperatures before starting to cook. I personally have a large, gas fuelled tandoor inside and a smaller charcoal burning tandoor outside.
It is a good idea to get a laser thermometer so that you can check the heat of the tandoor walls before starting. When cooking in my large tandoor, those walls need to reach 315c and be no hotter than 330c to cook.
In a smaller tandoor, you only need to get the heat of the walls up to about 200c/400f.
Do you need any special equipment for cooking tandoori naans in a tandoor oven?
Yes. You need a naan pillow which usually comes with a tandoor when you purchase it. This makes it much easier for you to hold the naan and slap it to the side of the tandoor wall.
You will also need to purchase some long, heat proof gloves. This is very important as it’s very hot in the tandoor.
It is also essential that you have a naan poker and scraper. These, however usually come with your tandoor oven. If not, you can purchase them online.
Tandoori naans in step by step photographs
How do you put the naan in the tandoor?
You are going to need to read this carefully as it is important. When putting the naan in a tandoor oven, you need to put your arm right down inside with the naan facing upwards.
Then you need to quickly slap it to the side. I liken it to an L shape. No swinging to get a better slap! Just take the naan down, that’s the top of the L and then slap, the bottom of the L.
If you draw your hand back to get a better slap, you are more likely to lose the naan into the fire.
Please remember that it is extremely hot in the tandoor. You can quickly lose some fringe or an eyebrow if you get your face to close.
Just know that the walls of the tandoor are there. No need to look as you slap the naan into the oven. Look straight ahead, put your gloved are into the oven with the naan and slap.
Are heat proof gloves necessary?
Yes! Put your arm into the oven without a long, heat proof glove and you will lose all the hair on your arm. You might even burn yourself so please be safe and ensure you are well equipped before starting.
Special instructions for slapping the naan into the oven.
You know now not to put your head into the oven. You still need to ensure the naan is sticking and cooks correctly.
Once you slap the naan onto the wall, step back and look at it. If you see any bits of the naan that are not securely stuck to the side of the tandoor wall, go back in with your naan pillow and slap the hanging bits to the side.
If you don’t, the naan will not cook evenly.
How dark do you want your naans?
Do you want your tandoori naans medium or well done? That is totally up to you. In the photo above, the naan is ready and can come out. You could also let it cook a little darker.
The naans will come off the tandoor walls easily when they are ready.
- 300ml (1 1/4 cup) milk
- 7g (1 tsp) dried yeast
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml (1 1/4 cup) Greek yogurt
- 900g plain white flour plus more for kneading and dusting
- Scant 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter or ghee (optional)
- Heat the milk in a jug in the microwave until it is hand hot. Stir in the yeast and sugar and cover with a cloth. Place in a warm place for 30 to 60 minutes to awaken the yeast. It will become quite frothy.
- While the yeast is foaming up, whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yoghurt and whisk until smooth. Once the yeast has bubbled up, pour it all into the bowls with the eggs and yoghurt. Whisk again until smooth.
- Now mix the baking powder and salt with the flour and sift half of it over the liquid mixture. You can mix this all by hand in the bowl or pour it all into a stand mixer as I did in the photos which is easier. At this point, the dough will be very wet. Add the remaining flour and knead into a soft dough.
- The dough will be way to sticky to handle. Add just enough flour so that you can work it into a soft dough that is still quite sticky.
- Knead this hard for about 5 minutes and then form into a large dough ball. Place the dough ball in a mixing bowl and cover. Allow to rise for a few hours or overnight.
- Once the dough has risen, punch in down and knead for another few minutes. Then separate the stick dough into 8 to 10 smaller balls. The dough will still be quite sticky which is good. Now take each clump of dough and add just enough flour so that it is workable. It should be sticky but not sticking to your hands.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the dough balls until ready to cook. Let these dough balls rest for at least 30 minutes.
- TOO COOK THE TANDOORI NAANS
- Preheat your tandoor oven to 325c/620f for a large tandoor or about 200c/400f for a small outdoor tandoor. You may need to experiment as tandoors do vary on how well they project heat but this is a good place to start.
- Roll out a dough ball either with your hands, if you dough is soft enough or a rolling pin. If using your hands, apply a little oil to the top of the naan which will make it easier to flatten. Even if you are flattening with a rolling pin, you still want to apply a little oil to the surface which will help the naan cook and colour.
- Place you rolled naan on top of a naan pillow, with the oiled side facing down. Lightly moisten the other side with water. This will help the naan stick to the tandoor wall.
- With your naan facing upwards, lower your arm into the tandoor and then slap it to the side. Do not try to swing your arm to slap it on or you will lose your naan in the fire. Just go straight down and then quickly slap it hard to the tandoor wall. See above for safety instructions.
- Allow the naan to bubble and cook on the tandoor wall. You can decide how dark you want your naans to be. The naans will come off easily when cooked through. Get your naan poker and scraper ready.
- When you are happy with how the naan has cooked, poke the naan with the hook shaped poker about three quarters down the naan with the hook facing upwards. Then pry the naan off the side with the scraper. This should all be done wearing heat proof gloves!
- Take the naan out and garnish with ghee, garlic or whatever you like. As you get better at tandoor cooking, you can cook several at the same time. I recommend starting with one first and getting that right.
- To serve, stack the naans and keep them warm under a clean dish cloth.
You can reduce the preparation time substantially if you use my instant naan dough recipe.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 907mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g
I hope you enjoy these tandoori naans. If you have any questions, please get in touch. I’m happy to help.