Naan is an Indian soft flat-leavened bread which is cooked very quickly and served with delicious curries and dhals. Traditionally, they are baked by slapping them on an inside wall of a very hot clay oven or tandoor oven. For practical purpose, a hot grill/broiler is used for preparing the gluten-free naans.

These puffy naans with beautiful brown blisters are perfect for tearing off pieces and scooping up saucy dishes like my Chana Dhal (Slow-Cooked Lentil Curry)

Making your own gluten-free naan is not only easy but very rewarding to see them puffing up and catching colour under the grill. If you are willing to go the extra mile, throw the naans on a charcoal BBQ/grill on direct high heat for that extra smoked flavour.

Gluten-Free Naan Bread

Dry ingredients:

  • 350g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
  • 30g tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum or 1 teaspoon ground psyllium husk*

Wet ingredients:

  • 150-200ml warm milk
  • 140ml Greek or thick yoghurt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coconut, vegetable or olive oil

For the suggested toppings:

  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee, butter or olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds or black cumin seeds/kalonji
  • 1 red or green chilli, sliced thinly
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped coarsely
  • Coarse or flaked salt
  • Tapioca flour, for kneading and rolling out

Step by Step Instructions

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

2. Mix the wet ingredients together.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

4. Combine well with a wooden spoon.

5. Once all the ingredients have come together as a slightly sticky dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for one hour in a warm place.
6. In the bowl, using tapioca floured hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Press the dough against the bowl to catch all the excess dough and flour.
7. Transfer the dough to a tapioca flour-dusted surface and roll 6 balls to the size of a tennis ball.

8. Cover the dough balls with a tea towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

9. In the meantime, turn your grill/broiler on to 250C/480F.

10. Prepare your toppings by melting the ghee or butter in a small bowl.
11. Slice the garlic into thin slivers, coarsely chop the fresh coriander, finely slice the red or green chilli and measure out the nigella seeds or black cumin seeds and coarse or flaked salt.
12. Return to the dough balls and start rolling out one naan at a time. I wouldn’t recommend rolling out the dough any larger than 25cm by 12cm as it will be too thin and tear easily.

13. Place an oven tray on the highest rack and heat up the tray for 5 mins.

14. Brush the tray with oil and carefully place the naan on the tray and immediately brush the melted ghee, butter or olive oil over the entire surface of the naan, followed by all or some of the suggested toppings.

15. Return the tray back to the highest rack and allow to grill for 2-3 minutes, then carefully flip the naan over to grill for a final 1.5 minutes. The naan should bubble up in places and have some charred or brown bits. If necessary (as many ovens behave differently) grill slightly longer to achieve this appearance.

16. Transfer the cooked naan to a plate or tray and cover with foil to keep warm while rolling out and cooking the rest of the naans.

Psyllium husk* is a great substitute for xanthan gum as it works exactly the same by binding the gluten-free flours together and giving structure similar to gluten.