It was time to learn how to make vegan naan. We eat a lot of Indian food at home, both takeout and made by us. This recipe has been in the works for some time and is finally ready to release!
Naan was first mentioned by an Indo-Persian writer in 1300 AD. Around 1526, it was popularized by the Mughal royals in India. Naan was only served to royalty because it contained yeast, which was expensive.
What a difference a few years can make! Naan became popular in India and around the world once yeast was more widely available.
How to Make Vegan Naan
This recipe requires only seven basic ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now. The method is simpler than baking a loaf. It’s easy to make; you need to mix, let it rise, roll it, and cook the bread on the stovetop.
This recipe is not gluten-free, but it’s plant-based. I tried many gluten-free recipes but could not get them right. If you try this recipe with gluten-free products, please let me know what happens in the comments.
- Warm water, 3/4 cup
- 1 tsp of active yeast (if you are using fast-acting, reduce the rise time by half).
- Cane sugar organic 1 tsp
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (substitute up to half with spelled, or refer to notes* for a whole-grain mixture)
- 1 tsp of fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp of baking powder
- Three cloves of minced garlic ( optional
- 3 Tbsp plain yogurt without dairy (I like COYO or So Delicious best)
- 2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
FOR SERVING optional
- 2 Tbsp coconut or vegan butter (melted).
- Sea salt
- Three cloves of minced garlic
- Fresh cilantro
- Add yeast and sugar to warm water (110° F or 43 C for proper activation of yeast). Stir and leave for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the vegan yogurt to the foaming yeast mixture and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients with a fork, then add to the foaming yeast mixture.
- Add just enough flour for a soft kneading. Form into a loose, round ball. Rub a little more oil into the mixing bowl, and then turn it to coat. Cover with damp towels or plastic wrap, and place in a warm area for 2 to 4 hours. I like to place it in a sunny spot in the kitchen or laundry room.
- Remove dough from the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Knead dough for 30 seconds, adding additional flour if it is sticky. Divide the dough into six equal pieces using a knife or your hands.
- Each ball should be lightly kneaded until it becomes a loose ball (15 seconds) and then placed on a clean, dry surface. Repeat this process until all the dough has been formed into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
- Prepare any toppings (e.g., melted vegan butter or coconut oil, sea salt, minced garlic, or cilantro). Prepare any garnishes for topping (i.e., melted vegan butter, coconut oil, sea salt, minced garlic, or cilantro).
- After the dough has rested for a few minutes, heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. Lay a small piece of dough on a floured work surface. Roll out the dough into an oval shape or circle with a rolling pin. Flip the dough over carefully and use a little water to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Press the cilantro and garlic onto one side to make it stick. Place the wet side down on the pan.
- Cook for one minute or until the edges look dry and the dough is beginning to bubble. Flip the dough over with a spatula, and continue to cook until it is dark brown. You can cook the second side of the naan on a gas stove by placing it directly over the flame. Be careful, though, because the heat is fast, and the naan will burn more easily.
- Repeat until all naan is cooked. Brush with vegan butter or coconut oils and sprinkle with garlic, cilantro, and sea salt if desired. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a month or at room temperature. Reheat leftovers in the oven or microwave until warm.