This instant naan recipe can be made quickly for that last minute fresh naan craving!
If you want to make restaurant quality naans at home, this instant naan recipe will get you those results. Using self-raising flour is the trick and it’s how naans are prepared at most restaurants. I do have a lot of delicious naan and chapati recipes for you to try here on the blog but this is the quickest!
How is this instant naan recipe different?
No yeast is required to make this instant naan recipe and you can make your naans in about 30 minutes. At busy curry houses, it is nearly impossible to know just how many naans they might need every evening.
There is a lot of profit in naans so the chefs don’t want to run out of dough. There isn’t the time to prepare more authentic recipes using dry yeast and/or yoghurt so they make the dough just like this recipe.
Are these instant naans better than authentic?
As mentioned above, these are just like you get at most curry houses. So there is a good chance you will recognise the flavour and texture. These instant naans are really good and you might even prefer them to more authentic methods.
Although this instant naan recipe can be prepared from start to finish in about 30 minutes, you can and should work ahead if time allows.
By preparing the dough balls a day or so ahead of time, you will get even better results. Letting the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap will improve the flavour and also make it easier for you to work with the dough.
How to cook Instant naans
If you have a tandoor oven, use it. That’s how I usually cook this instant naan recipe. That said, they are also very good cooked in a frying pan!
I have featured photographs and instruction on how to do this below. I’m telling you, these instant naans are so much better than anything you can purchase.
How does this instant naan recipe work?
The idea behind this instant naan recipe is to prepare the dough using ‘bakers measures’. This means using equal amounts of dry and liquid ingredients. If using 250g of flour, you need to use 250ml of liquid. So this naan recipe can easily be upscaled or downscaled.
I demonstrate this instant naan recipe at all of my cooking classes and it is always a big hit. For the classes, we make this small version of the recipe but I also make a large batch which we cook in the tandoor.
How to you upscale the recipe?
To make the large batch, I use 1 kilo of flavour and a litre of liquid. Where I use only one egg in this small instant naan recipe to serve 4 to 6, for the large batch, I use three.
Stick to the rule of equal amounts of dry and wet ingredients – roughly speaking – and you can scale this recipe up and down easily.
That dough looks more like a batter than a dough!
That’s right. The dough is very wet, like full fat cream when you first make it. That is how it is stored and restaurants. If you keep it covered in the fridge for one or two days, it comes alive and the flavour gets even better.
This is an instant naan recipe, however that you can make on a whim and enjoy fresh naans immediately.
This instant naan recipe will get you restaurant quality results, every time!
Can the dough be frozen?
Yes! You can freeze it wet or roll it into balls with more flour. Then place in the freezer, covered tightly. This instant naan recipe can be frozen for up to 6 months.
How to make these instant naans
When you want a naan, just take some of the dough and slowly add flour until it is soft and slightly sticky to the touch dough ball. It should be sticky but not sticking to your hands and soft enough that you can form it into a flat naan without the need to use a rolling pin.
Place the flattened naan in a hot frying pan and wait until big bubbles form. If cooking over gas, you can turn the pan toward the flame to char the top some. If not, you could just flip it over but some of the bubbles will deflate.
Special instructions if cooking over gas…
Cooking over gas will get you the best results. That or an open flame on a barbecue. To do so, use a pan that is not non-stick.
Lightly wet the underside of your naan and then slap it into the pan. The naan will stick securely to the pan. Doing this will allow you to be able to turn the naan toward the flame to brown it.
Then just use a metal spatula to pry the naan off which should come off easily once cooked.
- If you are not in a rush, prepare the dough balls or just the dough a day or two ahead of cooking. The flavours will develop and your instant naans will be even better.
- You don’t really need to knead the dough but do work with it some. Each dough ball should be soft, easy to flatten and not so sticky that it is sticking to your hands.
- Use a pan that is not non-stick. This is most important if cooking over gas as you can turn the naans toward the flame to char them.
If you like this instant naan recipe, you might like to try some of these naan recipe too…
- 250g (2 cups) self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted plus extra as needed
- 125ml (1/2 cup) warm full-fat (whole) milk
- 110ml approx. (scant 1/2 cup) water
- 1 1/2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
- 35ml (1/8 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil
- Ghee or butter, for brushing
- Pour the milk and water into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, salt, sugar and nigella seeds and whisk well.
- Now start pouring in the flour, whisking as you do. Once you’ve added all the flour, it will still look very soupy and far too wet to work into dough balls.
- I recommend covering the dough at this time with a wet cloth and letting it sit for at least 3 hours or overnight for best results. That said, you could just jump right into finishing the recipe at this stage.
- When ready to cook your naans, slowly start adding more self-rising flour. The idea here is to add just enough flour so that the dough is workable. For reference, I ended up adding about 7 handfuls of flour.
- It should be very soft and slightly sticky but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands. If it does, dust with a little bit more flour until you can easily divide and form the dough into six spongy dough balls.
- Once your dough balls are formed, you could let them sit, covered for about 30 minutes but again, you could push forward and make your naans immediately.
- As the dough is so soft, you shouldn’t need a rolling pin. Dip you fingers in the oil and this start patting the first dough ball to flatten it. Continue slapping it until it is thin and flat. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
- Dust off any excess flour and then lightly brush the tops of the naans with oil.
- Heat a dry frying pan over a medium–high heat and slap the first naan into it, oil side up. As it cooks, bubbles will form on the top and it will begin to look like a
- If you have a blow torch, use it to brown and blacken the bubbles. If you are cooking on gas, and have a cast irong pan, you could also do as I did in the picture above and turn the naan toward the flame. Another option would be to just flip it over. This will pop a lot of the bubbles but the naan will still be delicious. Brush with a little melted ghee to serve.
- Keep warm and repeat with the remaining naans.