jump to navigation

Sourdough Naan (Leavened Flat Bread of India) July 25, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Flat and Fried Breads, Sour dough.


Every time I hear the word, I smile. Of course, the recipe is from Punjab, India. Apart from that, there is yet another reason for that smile.

As I always mention, I am from a traditional and conservative town of Southern India. Though the town is technologically developed, changes to tradition are accepted very slowly. This applies to Food and Tastes too. One can find only South Indian Dishes in my town. Very few high end restaurants have North Indian dishes like Channa Masala in their menu.

One day, a cousin of our neighbor(my friend) came to our town for her summer holidays. She was from Mumbai. As we were of the same age, we quickly became friends. We talked about everything. She was explaining to us about a party at her school. The Talk turned towards the food they ordered for their party. She was talking about the baaji, subji and Naan.

The moment the cousin said the word “Naan”, both me and my friend were astonished. Most of the families in our neighborhood are vegetarians. Very few families eat meat, that too rarely. If they cooked meat at home, they say, “I cooked “Non” today!”. They don’t say what kind of meat they cooked. Anything from chicken to lamb meat is “Non”.

As the sound and pronunciation of “Naan” and “Non” are same, as we had never seen or heard about “Naan”, we took “Naan” for “Non”. And top of all, we were afraid of what will happen if elders in the family hear us talking about “Non” . We ended the topic there and it was secret between me and my friend that her cousin ate “Non”.

We maintained the secret very well. Both got married. My friend settled down in Bangalore and I came to US. My husband took me to a nearby Punjabi Restaurant. It was our first dining out in US. I asked him about the restaurant’s specialty. He said their “Naan” is the best. I screamed “You eat Non!!!!”. He said “Yes!!!!”. Both looked at each other and the look meant “Are you Crazy?!!!”

In the restaurant’s buffet table, I saw the “Naan”. Now, You know how I felt and the story behind the smile🙂.

Ok! Now it is time to talk about preparing the “Naan”.


1 cup Active sourdough starter
2 cups Unbleached All Purpose flour
1/4 cup Home made Yogurt
2 tablespoons Oil
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda

Method for Preparing the Dough:

1. Mix the starter,yogurt,sugar,1/2 teaspoon salt and flour. Knead to a smooth dough. Add water or flour as necessary.
2. Cover with a plastic wrap or damp towel and keep in a warm place. Allow to double in bulk.
3. Punch down and add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and the 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Knead well to incorporate the salt and soda.
4. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Roll or shape into circles or oblongs.

Method for cooking the Naan:

I used to cook the Naan like the method explained by Coffee of “The Spice Cafe”. After seeing my passion for cooking and the efforts it takes to cook a Naan, my Mother-in-law sent me a wonderful Gift, A “stove top Tandoor”. Though it is not made up of clay like traditional Tandoor, this stove top Tandoor does a wonderful job.


After shaping the Naan, I will sprinkle few drops of water on the Naan and stick it to the inside of the lid and close the Tandoor. As it is a hollow drum below, direct heat from the stove helps the Naan to cook evenly.

Naan on lid

It takes 3 minutes to cook 3 Naan simultaneously . To quicken the process I will place the Naan that are cooked on one side, upon the grill provided in the Drum. In the meanwhile, I will stick other 3 Naan to the lid.

Naan on Grill

When the Naan is done on both sides, I will brush the top with few drops of Butter or Ghee and cover with a Fresh Tea towel. This will help the Naan to soften a bit. The Naan will be Ready to serve.

Naan on Plate

This Stove top Tandoor is a thoughtful gift. I am exploring the possibilities with it. I Prepared a veggie Kebab and it turned out well.


This is my entry for Lakshmi’s RCI Event, hosted by Richa and to thank my mother-in-law for the wonderful gift. My In-Laws are visiting us soon. This blog is going to be a pleasant surprise for them. I can’t wait to see the smile in their faces.

Yes! The smile continues…………



1. Coffee - July 25, 2007

I am impressed!! I must look for this tandoor next time I go to India…. And I am amazed at the amount of sour dough info you have on your blog! How come I didn’t find you earlier!! 😀
Its bookmarked for sure! 🙂

2. Nupur - July 25, 2007

The naan looks amazing! The way it has puffed and blistered is just great. My mother has the same stove-top tandoor 🙂 She got it as a wedding gift from her classmates and although it looks quite battered after all these decades, the tandoor is still providing excellent service! She uses it to cook both “naan” and “non” 😀

3. Cinnamon - July 25, 2007

The naans look delicious!!! The stove top tandoor is indeed very lovely gift!! I wish I had that too 🙂

4. Saju - July 25, 2007

Wow, a stove top tandoor! I want one! The nan look delish.

5. Asha - July 25, 2007

I love that little Tandoor! It looks like tabletop mini BBQ we get here.Naan looks wonderful and love the story of ‘NON”!!;D

6. viji - July 25, 2007

They look great. Viji

7. Mishmash! - July 25, 2007

Thanks for introducing that stove top tandoor….this tops my shopping list! Naans look great !


8. bee - July 25, 2007

wow. that stovetop tandoor is a winner! great post. lol at the ‘non’.

9. Jyothi - July 25, 2007

Hi, very funny story, right? Non and naan! I think both you enjoyed in USA restaurant a lot. Even I decided to take this stove top tandoor. Naans looks great. Can you give some more details like cost, weight and where your mother-in-law purchase this? Pls share these details with all of us. Thanks in advance.

10. ramya - July 25, 2007

I had a smile on my face when i read ur write up.And ur MIL gifted u with that stove top tandoor it’s so sweet of her.I loved it.Ur naans r looking perfect.

11. Tee - July 25, 2007

Your ‘Non’ look perfect ! 😉 That stove top Tandoor is s neat….how thoughtful of your MIL.

12. Suganya - July 25, 2007

Stove-top tandoor? Thts doable. I had the same doubts about Naan (or Non ;)) when I was young.

13. Dee - July 25, 2007

the tandoor is such a great gift. Love your naans.

14. bhags - July 25, 2007

Seems like you are a sour dough fan, and thats a nice stove top tandoor you have got there, very thoughful of you MIL

15. Richa - July 26, 2007

LOL!! so the secret is out now 🙂
naan err non looks awesome, great entry!

16. vishy - August 11, 2007

I recently discovered that you can make wonderful naan by using a baking stone in your conventional oven (see e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vow-kxTPatc). What I do is to use cheap unglazed quarry tiles to line my oven and it seems to work very well. Coming from south India I can relate to your “non” vs “naan” confusion 😉

17. Mona - August 26, 2007

Hi Priya, Loved ur blog, and ur unique recipes! I love Naan, and i also make it at home some times, but i do not have a stove top tandoor. Loved tat too. Look forward to buy it soon. Will keep dropping by.

18. ksrao - September 27, 2007

Hi Priya – Are the stove top Tandoors available anywhere in the US?

19. Charlotte Yung - November 19, 2007

Hi Priya

I bought a stove top tandoor from Chennai a few years ago through a friend. ( Ojas brand ) It looks very much like yours. I have not used it and I have forgotten how to put it together.

There is a cup like piece with holes and a small dish. Where do these pieces go? Is the cup to be placed over the flame up-turned or down -turned? I can’t seem to fit the small dish anywhere. Is it a mini drip pan?

Thanks for sharing your naan recipe. I will try it out once I figure out my tandoor.

I hope that you can help me. Thanks a lot. Your blogg is a godsend

20. selvie - May 1, 2009


That was a lovely post.

Would appreciate if you can forward the brand and where exactly did you purchase the stove top tandoor in india. I am from malaysia thought of getting it on my next visit to india. Thanx a million

21. NickC - June 1, 2009

Hi, just to mention that you don’t use the oil in the method. I’ve assumed it goes with the general ingredients in the first mix stage. Is that correct?

Thanks for the recipe.

22. Sue Hammond - December 3, 2010

You mention 1 cup of starter, but nothing about the hydration. Starters can vary from a water-like consistency to that of a wet dough. This is vital information for getting the proportions of flour and water in the final dough correct.

Could you be more specific please?

live2cook - December 4, 2010

Hi Sue,

The starter I use is of ‘Pancake batter’ like consistency.

23. Vj Rathnavel - June 9, 2011

I’m planning to buy one and was looking for a review, Now I can buy it. For people who are wondering where to buy this I know once place in Chennai ….


24. Ragamuffin Diaries - February 22, 2012

looks wonderful! my boyfriend and I made naan for the first time a couple weeks ago and started wondering if it would work with our sourdough starter… thanks for your recipe here; it looks great!

25. Chicken Tagine | Stoneview - November 9, 2012

[…] the pot and shred the meat back into the pot, discarding the skin and bones. I really like to serve sourdough naan and basmati with this even though they are from entirely different […]

26. Di - August 20, 2016

Thank you for the recipe, but how did I miss where you add the oil?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: