This low-fat, oil-free Naan is a healthy take on traditional Naan. This particular recipe is flavored with garlic and cilantro, but you can choose your own flavor by switching out your seasonings. This is an Indian-inspired bread, but it is versatile to accompany any meal.
Typically, Naan, an Indian bread, is made with yogurt or eggs. Vegan versions of naan contain oils and sometimes butter. My version is oil-free, dairy-free, and egg-free with added garlic and cilantro favors, two of my favorite flavors.
My husband and I eat naan a lot. We like to dip it in soups, and often, I serve it with stews and other recipes with sauce. Low in calories and simple to make, naan allows you to indulge in bread without guilt. In fact, you can make it in advance and freeze it so that you can eat one or two at a time instead of a whole batch.
Although a lot of recipes contain sugar, I substitute maple syrup for the sweet component. It is only ½ teaspoon, so it isn't much, but it is better than using sugar. Also, water temperature is important when making any bread. You do not want your water hot or cold; it needs to be like bath water, tepid. If you want to test the temperature, it should be around 100 degrees.
Despite using a food processor, the dough can be kneaded by hand. Naan comes in all sizes; you can make it as big or as small as you want. I prefer smaller pieces, but feel free to make the shapes and sizes you prefer.
Although I chose cilantro and garlic Naan to go with the Indian Dish I prepared, you can use any herbs you wish and skip the last step if you are not interested in the spread on top of the bread. I included a fat-free version, as well as one that includes vegan butter to please all palates. Either topping bakes additional flavors into the bread and gives it an added crunch.
This way, you can cook your naan in advance, and then right before dinner, you can bake the bread, so it is all hot and ready for your meal.
I made 8 small naans for our dinner the other night, and not a single crumb remained.
Oil-Free Vegan Garlic Cilantro Naan
- 1 package Active Yeast equivalent to 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt
- ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
- ¼ cup semolina flour
- ½ cup water
Making the Dough Step 1
- To a large bowl, add yeast, garlic, herbs, sea salt, maple syrup, all-purpose flour, and semolina flour, and stir together with a spoon.
- Using a food processor, add ¼ cup of the water, then the dry ingredients, and ¼ cup more water.
- Add more water, slowly, as needed until a dough type consistency forms; it will be ball-like.
- It will double in size.
Dough Step 2
- Transfer dough to a clean, well-floured surface and knead to make sure it is well mixed.
- Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Place dough in a silicone bowl and cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.
Dough Step 3
- Remove dough from the bowl once doubled in size.
- Cut into 6 pieces, or 8 pieces if making smaller ones.
- One at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a small circle that's fairly thin (between ¼ and ⅛ of an inch thick)
- In a non-stick skillet, heat a pan to medium.
- Place one at a time in the pan.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, but do not flip over until already cooked on one side. You can peak, but don't flip.
- Once brown, then flip and cook the other side.
- Cook all remaining naan.
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- Garlic/Cilantro SpreadPreheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a cup size blender combine ¼ cup cilantro, 3 cloves of garlic, and 4 Tablespoons of vegetable broth( or vegan butter if you are not concerned about oil/fat).
- Blend on high.
- Using a butter knife, spread mixture on each piece of Naan.
- Place in a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes.
- Smokey paprika and lime
- Dill and lemon
- Chili powder and lime
- Rosemary and back pepper
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
The amount of semolina flour appears to be missing from the recipe, along with the quantity of water. Can you add that information? Thanks!
Hi Barb, I'm sorry. I recently switched to a new format, which altered some of the ingredients and format of the recipe card. Thank you for letting me know. I fixed it. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Kathy E Perkins
Have you tried adding fresh minced garlic, herbs etc in the dough before cooking? Do you think this will work? Thanks
Hi Kathy, yes, you can add herbs and spices into the dough. Let me know what creative combination you come up with. I'd love to try it.
Can I use all whole wheat pastry flour?
Alocasia, yes, you can use whole wheat pastry flour for the oil-free Naan. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
So, is the naan cooked only on one side? I don't see that it is flipped and browned more.
Hi Martha! Sorry about that! Yes, you brown the other side. I just was trying to make sure you don't flip it more than once, since it changes the texture of the bread (kind of like when you flip a pancake too many times). I changed it on the recipe to clarify. And thank you for pointing that out. I hope you enjoy the Naan.
I didn't have Seminola flour so I substituted rice flour. I didn't have fresh cilantro which is okay because I am not a fan so I used dried. I couldn't stop eating it when it came out of the pan and when it came out of the oven. Thank you for your oil free recipe. It's the best!
Hi Katherine, I'm so glad you liked the oil-free Naan! Thank you for the feedback as well as the substitution suggestions. I appreciate it.
Made my first Naan bread! Came out great! Really great. I adapted it to WFPB, which really didn't take much beyond using whole grain flour. I did put a small amount of an organic all purpose flour in it, too. Also, I mixed the curry, garlic, and cilantro into the dough and let my bread machine do the rest of the dough process! Came out wonderfully! Takes a couple of pieces to get the knack for it. But it was arguably the best naan bread I've had. I hate buying plain naan in the store for a buck a piece, five pieces in the bag... and it's got lousy ingredients! Another victory! On to making more curries! Thanks for the support! - Jim B
Can this be made using all purpose flour only?
yes; any flour will work 🙂
Can you freeze this bread before putting on the topping? If so, how long would you cook it after you take it out of the freezer?
Yes; I freeze and put parchment paper between the pieces to make it easier to separate and use one at a time