Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Garlic & Coriander Naan Bread

A curry feast with sambals and homemade garlic and coriander naan. (Photo: Louis Pieterse)

You can cook a decent pot of rice and a few sambals to go with that curry you love to make. But naan bread: must be challenging, right? Not really. Just follow some simple steps and Balvindra’s your uncle.


1.5 cups warm water (not hot)

1 Tbs sugar

6g wet yeast or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups stone ground white bread flour

Garlic butter

Fresh coriander leaves


Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl and leave for five minutes until it foams.

Add flour and salt, mix and turn out onto a floured surface.

Knead well and form it into a ball.

Oil a bowl lightly, put the dough in and cover with a damp towel. Leave in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes.

Turn on to a floured surface, divide into small pieces (you’ll have to judge the amount that will make one naan, given that it is rolled thinly – a few tries will give you the hang of it).

Roll each clump – aiming to get a teardrop shape – to a thickness of about 0.3cm.

Make some garlic butter: melt butter, add finely chopped garlic, stir until the garlic is lightly browned and nutty. Finely chop some coriander leaves.

Now, if you have a tandoor you will of course slap it onto the inner wall of the hot Indian oven. Or you could grill them on a lightly oil oven pan in a hot oven. But let’s save you the trouble of that. Just use a heavy frying pan, lightly oiled, over the highest heat. They cook very quickly, a minute or two on each side. Watch as they cook for bubbles to form, then lift the edge to peek underneath. You’re looking for – on the cooked side – the craters formed by those bubbles. Flip and cook the second side. Remove and drench with the garlic butter, sprinkle chopped coriander on top, and Balvindra is indeed your uncle. DM

This recipe was first published in April 2019 with Tony Jackman’s GastroTurf column about the intricacies of making a curry. Read the full column here.

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