Ah, what a comforting dish — soft buttery naan with a crispy bottom is perfect with a chickpea curry dip for a delicious meal.
My first naan eating experience growing up was tandoori naan at Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I loved watching the chef roll out the dough, then pass between his palms before placing it on a round wrapped pillow. He then used this pillow to transfer the naan and stick it to the hot tandoor. Then, with the help of two super long metal stick-like equipment (one with a hook and one is a small flat spatula), the naan is quickly removed after it’s fully cooked through.
That was such a great experience to watch and eat with my family. Then, tear a piece of this fluffy naan and dip it with a delicious curry. I dipped mine in this easy chickpea potato curry.
Vegan Butter Naan Tips
- Yogurt – In many recipes, curd is used so I replaced it with plain yogurt made from oatmilk. The yogurt adds so much softness to the dough.
- Super soft and sticky dough – Although this recipe creates a sticky dough but it yields a soft naan later when cooked. It may be hard to knead into a dough at first, but as long as you are able to get a cohesive ball, then you are good. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead again until a smooth top forms before you proof it in an oven or warm area until double its original size.
- How to roll – In this video, I’m using a rolling pin to create the teardrop naan shape. I’ve also tried to pass the dough between my palms to thin it out. You may need to moist your palms due to the sticky dough. The goal is to get some almost see through areas (just before it starts to break) for a soft and fluffy naan later.
- Pan to use – The best pan is probably tawa, but I used an iron skillet. It was a little heavy when I flip the pan to cook the top of the dough but it’s doable. You can also cook the dough using a non-stick skillet and then flip the dough instead of the pan so both sides are fully cooked through until golden brown.
How to make vegan butter naan
Step 1: Prepare the dough
Place water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and use a rolling pin to stir until well-combined. Add the yogurt, oil, flour, and sprinkle salt on top.
Using a rolling pin, mix the salt with the flour, then bring all the ingredients together and stir until there are no dry spots of flour in the bowl.
Using your hands, knead into a cohesive and sticky dough. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, knead again for a few minutes until you get a somewhat smooth top. Please note that the dough is sticky. I like to pull the edge of the dough up and bring it to the middle when I ‘knead’ it.
Step 2: Proofing and dough stretching
Proof the dough until double its original size, covered. I placed mine in an oven with a cup of hot water since the weather is getting colder here to speed up the proofing process.
When the dough has doubled its original size, punch it down to release the air, and divide it into 6 equal portions.
There are 2 methods to stretch the dough: 1. you can either roll it out into an oval shape using a rolling pin, sprinkling some flour as you go if needed or 2. wet your palms with water then toss between your palms to thin it out. Then, let the tip of the dough drop down to your wrist so you’ll have a teardrop shape.
While waiting, melt vegan butter in a microwave, let it cool slightly before adding the chopped cilantro.
Step 3: Cooking
Heat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush a side of the dough with water. Place the moist side down on the hot skillet.
Cook until you see large bubble forms. Then, turn the skillet and cook this side until char. If using a non-stick skillet, you can use a spatula to flip the bread and pan-fry until fully cooked through.
Tip: Only roll the dough right before you cook it. Always cover the unrolled dough with a towel to prevent it from drying out.
Once the naan is fully cooked through, brush a layer of butter on top. Serve warm with a side of curry.
This vegan butter naan
- yields soft and fluffy texture with a crispy aromatic crust at the bottom
- easy to make
- tasty as-is or dip in curry
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Butter Naan
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon yeast
- 5.3 oz plain vegan yogurt used Oatly
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- First, combine water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl, then stir to combine. Add the yogurt, oil, then flour, and sprinkle salt on top. Using a rolling pin, combine the ingredients together until there are no dry spots of flour.
- Clean out the rolling pin and use your hand to knead it into a cohesive ball. The dough is sticky at this time. Cover the bowl with a lid and rest for 10 minutes. Then, knead again until you get a somewhat smooth top. Cover and place it in a warm place and proof until double its original, about 45 to 60 minutes. I placed mine in an oven with a cup of hot water.
- When ready, uncover and punch the dough to release the air. Then, transfer to a work surface and knead to remove additional air bubbles before you divide into 6 equal portions.
- Roll each piece into a ball. Wet your palms with water before handling if the dough is too sticky. Dab some water on top of each ball and cover with a towel to prevent it from drying out.
- Meanwhile, place butter in a bowl and microwave to melt it, about 30-45 seconds. Let it cool slightly and add the chopped cilantro, then stir to combine. Set it aside.
- Preheat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Now, take a dough ball and flatten it with your palm, then roll it into a teardrop shape, about 8in-9in long. Brush the top with water.
- Place the moist side down on the hot pan. Cook until you see bubbles at the top. Then, turn the skillet so the heat can cook the dough or flip the dough (if using non-stick pan) and cook this side until slightly charred.
- When ready, brush a layer of melted butter on top. Serve warm with a side of curry.
- 300g all-purpose flour is about 2.5 cups or 2 cups using Pyrex. Because everyone measures flour differently, I highly recommend weighing the ingredients instead for the best results. To measure flour using a cup, please use the spoon and level method. I changed the ingredients list to match what you see in the video.
- I served these with an easy chickpea potato curry.