Gorgeous flatbread with herbs and spices.

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe

This is the very best Indian flatbread recipe I’ve put together so over 10 years of cooking Indian meals. It’s fluffy, doughy, tasty and fantastic!

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Introduction

At its simplest, in my eyes, an Indian meal is a curry of some description and some rice. You might have gotten that impression from my chicken korma or my Goan lamb curry. I see curries in quite a straightforward manner. I now know there’s a lot more to it, but there’s still a little part of me that thinks that’s how it works.

It might be because we didn’t have sides so much when I was young. At least not very often. Other families bought a whole range of different dishes and tucked in together, sharing and trying new things. That wasn’t what we did. We bought our meal and we held it very close and we gobbled the whole thing. That’s how it worked.

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Naan Bread

It is probably fairly natural, then, that the first thing I ever tried from elsewhere on an Indian takeaway menu was a single naan bread. A regular naan bread, with no minced meat or dried fruit or hand picked saffron inside. Just a regular piece of bread, as simple as they come, leavened with yeast and and cooked on a flattop.

With a little bit of spice and just enough salt, it was a really beautiful thing. Some people have a naan bread instead of rice. I prefer to use the naan to shovel up my rice as if my life depends on it. And with each shovelful of beautifully flavoured food came a comforting bite of naan bread. Soft as a duvet, but far more satisfyingly chewy.

Still to this day, that is my experience of naan. I find that most lack the simple softness and perfectness of the ones I had from that very first Indian takeaway. Yet for all that I have bought from shops, I have made a great many more, and it has taken me a very long time to reach the point at which I feel genuinely pleased with what should be the simplest recipe in the world, but never quite seemed to be. Even now, I still say it isn’t as simple as it should be.

About this recipe

Before I begin, I just want to state for the record that I don’t know the technical differences between naans, chapatis, parathas and any of the other assorted types of Indian flatbread. For now, I’ll simply describe it as “the best Indian flatbread recipe”, for fear of being corrected by those far more knowledgeable than I.

It’s a very simple recipe really. It’s a basic bread dough recipe, but with the addition of dairy. Leavened with yeast to give it that authentic floppy wonderfulness that makes naans and parathas so lovely. I’ve garnished it with onion seeds because they’re absolutely delicious in bread, but I’m sure you could play around and include any number of different herbs or spices.

Gorgeous flatbread with herbs and spices.


Subscribe Now

Subscribe to my newsletter now for a free guide to cooking curries! AND I’ll send you weekly tricks, tips and updates that will help you elevate your cooking to the next level!


Gorgeous flatbread with herbs and spices.

Best Indian Flatbread Recipe

This is the very best Indian flatbread recipe I’ve put together so far in over 10 years of cooking Indian meals. It’s fluffy, doughy, tasty and fantastic!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 300 g Plain Flour
  • 300 ml Milk or water, if preferred
  • 7 g Yeast
  • Onion Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Dessert Spoon Sugar
  • Oil

Instructions
 

  • Sift the flour into a bowl, then add the yeast, sugar, salt and, optionally, a few onion seeds.
  • Stir in a little milk, one bit at a time, mixing until you get a soft dough. The right consistency is quite tricky to work with initially, but will get easier as it all comes together.
  • Knead the dough until it starts to go smooth and firm. Roll the mixture in a little flour if it helps you to control the dough. This should take 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough back into the bowl and allow it to prove in a warm place for as long as it takes to double in size. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
  • Once it’s ready, flatten out the dough a little and divide into quarters.
  • Roll each one out to the desired size and thickness. Bear in mind they will thicken a little as they cook.
  • Scatter onion seeds onto the surface and lay the flatbread over the top, then with very little pressure, roll them into the surface.
  • Very, very lightly brush each side with oil.
  • You barely even want a thorough covering all over. Just a light skimming of oil over the surface.
  • Place the flatbreads into a medium pan, allowing them to cook through slowly. I find turning regularly helps to cook them evenly. If necessary, right at the end you can turn up the heat and deepen the colour on the surfaces.
Keyword chapati, flatbread, naan, paratha

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