Naan is a leavened, oven-baked (usually using a tandoor) or tawa-fried flatbread. It is characterized by its light and slightly fluffy texture and golden-brown spots from the baking process. Naan is found in the cuisines mainly of Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Caribbean.

Primarily composed of white or wheat flour combined with a leavening agent, typically yeast, naan dough develops air pockets that contribute to its fluffy and soft texture. Additional ingredients for crafting naan include warm water, salt, ghee (clarified butter), and yogurt, with optional additions like milk, egg, or honey. Sometimes, baking powder or baking soda is used instead of yeast to reduce the preparation time for the bread.

In the traditional baking process inside a tandoor, naan dough is rolled into balls, flattened, and then pressed against the tandoor's inner walls, which can reach temperatures up to 480 °C (900 °F). This method allows the bread to be baked within minutes, achieving a spotty browning due to the intense heat. Alternatively, naan can be prepared on a stovetop using a flat pan known as a tawa. The pan may be flipped upside down over the flame to achieve the characteristic browning of the bread's surface.

Once baked naan is typically coated with ghee or butter and served warm. This soft and pliable bread frequently accompanies meals, replacing utensils for scooping up dahls, sauces, stews, and curries, or is enjoyed with dryer dishes like tandoori chicken.


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