Gluten Free Vegan Naan / Indian Flatbread
Naan is an Indian flatbread that came into being 2500 years ago. It derived from an experiment after Indians brought yeast from Egypt (where yeast was used for brewing beer and made leavened bread since 187 BC.
Most Indian meals are incomplete without any sort of flatbread and Naan is usually the first choice. Once you have the hang of making the thin version of Indian flatbread, by which I mean, roti, chapati, or paratha then making Naan is just a matter of adding few more ingredients and Voila!
Traditionally, Naans are made in Tandoor however, not every household is equipped with it, so I have created a recipe that can be cooked on a griddle or baked in an oven. It’s a quick and easy recipe and you’ll be amazed how good it tastes. Yum!
YIELDS: 8 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 30 MINS
COOK TIME: 5-8 mins (griddle or oven)
Stays in the fridge: 2-3 days
Stays in the freezer: 1 month
- 2 ½ cups Breadables Gluten Free Roti flour (Wholemeal or Authentic – I have used both and they both came out amazing) OR any Gluten free flour blend would work. See notes below**
- 2 ¼ tsp Gluten free active yeast. See notes below***
- 1 ¼ tsp Xanthan gum
- 1 tsp sugar (regular or organic light brown)
- 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1/3 Cup Vegan Yogurt OR regular yogurt at room temperature. (I use Silk plain unsweetened coconut yogurt)
- 3 Tbsp Oil (Ghee, Canola or Olive oil – whatever works for)
- ½ cup warm water for kneading + ¼ cup warm water for yeast
- 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
For Serving (Optional)
- Olive oil or melted vegan butter
- Crushed garlic
- Fresh parsley, minced
In a small bowl or jar; add sugar, yeast and warm water and leave aside for 10 mins for the magic to happen.
In a medium mixing bowl; add flour, salt, Xanthan gum, baking powder and whisk well.
Next add oil, yogurt, yeast mixture and ½ cup warm water and mix well
Knead enough to make a rough dough and cover with wet towel, close the lid and leave in a dark warm place for 20 mins. This step is important as the dough needs time to rise and fluff up.
After 20 minutes, dust some gluten free flour on a clean surface & knead the dough for few minutes. Dust more flour if too wet or rub some oil if too dry.
Make 8 equal dough balls and cover them with wet towel so they don’t dry out while you are working on the first dough ball.Sprinkle some gluten free flour on the surface and start rolling to make a thin oval shape, about ¼ inch thick. You can even make them round if you like.
Brush or spray some oil on each Naan and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Press lightly to set the sesame seeds.
Heat the skillet (cast iron is best, or non-stick if you don’t have cast iron). Once the griddle is hot, drizzle some oil, then use your hands or a spatula to carefully transfer the naan to the pan.
Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the underside is golden brown. Bubbles may form while it’s cooking — that’s normal and is good sign. Flip carefully and cook for another 2-3 minutes (less if you prefer a more pillowy naan). Lower heat as needed to ensure it doesn’t burn. You’ll know it’s done when both sides are golden brown. For baking in the oven: Preheat oven at 450*F, spread naans on a greased baking tray (I use unbleached parchment paper and spray it with some oil so the naan doesn’t stick) leaving some space between each naan. Bake for 5-8 mins and keep an eye as they cook really fast. When you see them fluffing up, change the oven setting to broil and give it a minute or so until they have some brown spots. Do not over cook or they will turn hard and crispy.
Repeat this process until all naans are cooked (~8 medium or 10 small).
Prepare garnish by melting some butter or vegan butter, add chopped cilantro & minced garlic and brush on hot naans before serving. (optional).
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container or wrap them in paper towel and secure them in a zipper bag for up to 2-3 days. To freeze, place cooked, cooled naan in a freezer-safe container or bag adding parchment paper between each naan to prevent sticking) and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, either heat from frozen in a toaster oven, thaw overnight and then heat in a skillet, or microwave from frozen until warm. Fresh is best though.
Binding agent: If you are using a flour blend that does not contain any kind of binding agent; then you can add 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white only. Eggs are traditionally used in Naan but I prefer to use xanthan gum instead. For my Vegan friends: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free gg replacer (read instructions on the bag) OR you can also use Flax meal egg: mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp water and set aside for 5 mins to thicken). I have used this in many of my recipes and it works.
Gluten Free active dry yeast: You can omit this if you like but I use it to have an authentic smell and taste.
This naan goes perfect with any Indian-inspired dish. I love having them with Chana Masala, Tikka Masala, Vegan Palak “Paneer,” and more!