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Overhead shot of a stack of vegan naans in a silver plate with chutney, lemons, dal and a spicy Indian curry
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5 from 4 votes

Easy Grilled Vegan Naan

On your summer grill, a naan--the beloved, puffy Indian flatbread--takes on even more character and flavor than you'd have ever wished for. This grilled vegan naan is an easy recipe to make, and whatever your skill level, I have you covered with options for making it the traditional way with yeast, instantly with baking powder, or with sourdough discard. This is a soy-free, nut-free recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rise time for naan dough and resting time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Indian, Indian Punjabi, Indian restaurant food, nut-free, Soy-free, Vegan
Servings: 8 flatbreads
Calories: 247kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar, nondairy milk, and ½ cup water. Let the yeast stand at least five minutes until it starts to look frothy and "blooms"
  • Add the flour and salt to the bowl and begin to knead, slowly drizzling in additional water until your dough comes together in a ball that's just slightly sticky (traces of the dough will stick to your fingers when you touch it). Keep in mind that you may not need all of the water, so don't dump it all in at one go.
  • Drizzle the oil on top of the dough, turn it over once or twice to make sure the oil coats the dough, cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap or a lid or a kitchen towel, and set it aside to rise in a warm place for an hour to 90 minutes.
  • After the dough has risen, turn it out on your work surface. Knead it lightly, form into a disc and cut into eight even pieces, the way you would a pizza. Roll each piece into a ball, dust each ball lightly with flour, and set them aside, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • To shape the naan, either roll each ball into a teardrop shape or a round with a rolling pin. You can dust your work surface lightly with flour if needed. Or roll each ball into a small disc, then lift the disc by its edges and stretch it gently with your fingers, while letting the dough stretch and fall with the aid of gravity. Continue shaping by moving your fingers along the edges. If you're not used to doing this, it's possible your dough could tear, so be careful. If you do get a tear, patch it up by pressing the dough together and continue shaping with a rolling pin.
  • Make sure the grill is screaming hot. You can also use a grill pan on a stovetop, if you don't have a grill. Place the naan on the grill. You will immediately see it start to bubble up and turn opaque. Put down the grill cover or, if using a pan, cover with a lid. Let the naan grill for a minute, then, using tongs, carefully turn it by 90 degrees to get those lovely cross-hatch grill marks. Grill another minute, then flip and repeat for the other side. Altogether, you should need no more than 3 minutes on the grill for each naan, possibly less.
  • As soon as you take the naan off the griddle, brush it with melted vegan butter or olive oil. Keep your naans wrapped in a kitchen towel until ready to serve.
  • You can reheat any leftover naans on the griddle before serving.

Notes

Ways of leavening the naan dough:

Active dry yeast: To make the dough with yeast, use a packet of active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp). If you have a sourdough starter, add half a cup of the discard to the dough (you will need to cut down on other liquids). Naan made this way will need a 60-90 minute rise before you can shape and bake it.


Only sourdough and no added yeast: If you take this route, be prepared for amazing flavor but a longer rise time. Use a cup of sourdough discard (fed no longer than a week before making) and cut down the amount of flour to 3 cups (instead of 3 ½). Add water only as needed, since moisture is already present in the sourdough. Start your naan dough the night before and let it stand in the fridge or a cool spot overnight to proof, then on the counter for another couple of hours to reach room temperature before you attempt to shape the breads.


Baking powder and baking soda: Mix a teaspoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of baking soda to the dough along with half a cup of vegan yogurt (instead of nondairy milk). The acid in the yogurt combined with the baking soda will help the naan puff up. The dough will need to rest for just half an hour before you bake the naan. This version makes great naans, but they won't be as flavorful as the versions with yeast and sourdough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1naan | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 3mg