Naan vs Tortilla

Naan and tortilla are likely both familiar to you if you enjoy bread. These two varieties of bread are common ingredients in many international cuisines, and they are frequently combined in similar ways. However, there are some significant distinctions between naan and tortilla that merit investigation.

Corn Tortillas

The bread known as naan, which originated in India, is primarily produced from wheat flour.

It frequently goes with curries and is renowned for its soft, fluffy texture.

On the other hand, a tortilla is a kind of flatbread that is frequently connected to Mexican food.

It’s often thinner and crispier than naan and is produced using corn or wheat flour.

Naan and tortillas are both adaptable, delicious breads that may be used in a number of cuisines, despite their differences.

What is Naan?

Naan is a sort of leavened bread of Indian origins that is frequently used in Middle Eastern, Pakistani, and Indian cuisine.

Homemade Roti Chapati Flatbread on a wooden board close-up

It is a flatbread produced from wheat flour that is typically oval in shape. Naan is customarily prepared in a tandoor oven, giving it a distinctive flavor and texture.

The texture and flavor of naan can be altered by using a number of ingredients, including milk, yogurt, and eggs.

Garlic naan, butter naan, and cheese naan are a few naan variants. Naan is frequently offered as a side dish or with curries and chutneys.

The fact that naan is leavened sets it apart from other breads, such tortillas, in a significant way.

It has a smooth and fluffy feel because it contains yeast or another substance that makes it rise.

Tortillas are normally thin and crispy, whereas naan is typically thicker.

Naan is healthier than tortillas in terms of nutrition, but it also has a larger content of saturated fat. Naan includes more manganese, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and vitamin E.

The nutritional value of naan might vary based on the preparation and components used, it is crucial to remember that.

What is Tortilla?

The flatbread known as a tortilla was invented in Mexico and is now consumed all over the world.

stack of homemade whole wheat flour tortillas on a wooden table

It can be used to make tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas and is made from either maize or wheat flour.

Masa harina is a sort of lime-treated corn flour that is used to make corn tortillas.

The maize is broken down and made more nutrient-rich by the lime treatment, commonly referred to as nixtamalization. After being formed into thin circles, the dough is baked on a griddle or comal.

The ingredients for making wheat tortillas are wheat flour, water, and occasionally lard or shortening.

Before being fried on a griddle or comal, the dough is kneaded and formed into thin rounds. Compared to maize tortillas, wheat tortillas are often softer and more malleable.

A common ingredient in many Mexican meals, tortillas are a cornerstone of the cuisine.

Then, they are frequently folded or wrapped into tacos or burritos after being loaded with meat, cheese, beans, or veggies.

Tortilla chips, which are frequently eaten with salsa or guacamole, can also be made by cutting tortillas into wedges and frying them.

The nutritional value of tortillas might be good. In general, corn tortillas have fewer calories and fat than wheat tortillas.

They include vital minerals like calcium and iron and are a good source of fiber.

It’s vital to read the label before buying tortillas from the shop because some of them can have extra preservatives and other additives.

Comparative Analysis

There are several things to take into account while choosing between naan and tortilla.

Homemade Amritsari Aloo Kulcha served with Alu Matar, top view

Each bread has a distinct flavor, feel, and nutritional value. Here is a comparison between naan and tortilla:

Nutritional Value

The nutritional values of naan and tortilla are different. While tortillas are higher in iron, folic acid, vitamin B1, and selenium, naan has more manganese, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and vitamin e.

Naan provides 49% more manganese per serving than tortillas do. Naan has 10 times more saturated fat than tortilla.

Taste and Texture

While tortillas are typically thinner and crispier, naan is frequently softer and more fluffy.

The method of cooking is another significant distinction between naan and tortilla.

Naan is often prepared in a tandoor oven, giving it a distinctive taste and texture.

Contrarily, tortillas are often prepared in a griddle or frying pan. As a result, the texture and flavor are altered.


The versatile breads naan and tortilla can both be used in a number of recipes.

While tortillas are frequently used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, naan is frequently used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

While tacos, burritos, and wraps are often made with tortillas, naan is typically eaten with curries.


Naan and tortilla prices can change depending on where you purchase them.

Naan is typically more expensive than tortilla. This is due to the fact that making naan takes longer and frequently requires more expensive materials, including ghee.

Contrarily, tortillas are more reasonably priced because they are produced with basic components like wheat, water, and salt.

Cultural Significance

Both the naan and the tortilla are highly revered in their respective cultures.

Homemade White Corn Tortillas in a Stack

In South and Central Asia, naan is a fundamental component of the cuisine.

It is frequently offered alongside curries, kebabs, and other foods. It is a common side dish with dal and veggies in the northern parts of India.

In Pakistan, naan is a popular street snack that is typically offered with a variety of fillings, such as chicken, beef, and veggies.

Additionally, it is a well-liked snack in Afghanistan, where it is frequently provided with tea.

Contrarily, tortillas are a crucial component of Mexican cuisine. They can be used to prepare many different foods, including tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.

In fact, tortillas are so crucial to Mexican cooking that UNESCO has recognized them as part of Mexico’s cultural heritage.

In Mexico, tortillas have a long history that dates back to the Aztecs. They were a staple of Aztec cuisine and were initially produced from corn.

Today, a variety of grains, including wheat and corn, are used to make tortillas.

While naan and tortilla have cultural importance of their own, they are also well-liked throughout the world.

Many nations, notably the United States, where it is frequently offered in Indian restaurants, have adopted naan as a popular bread.

On the other hand, tortillas have gained popularity as a cuisine in many regions of the world, including Europe and Asia.

Overall, both naan and tortilla have contributed significantly to the regional culinary traditions and have gained popularity all across the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Traditional Indian Naan bread with garlic on a wooden background

What is the difference between naan and tortilla?

Naan and tortilla are both types of flatbread, but they have some key differences. Naan is a leavened bread made from wheat flour, while tortillas are traditionally made with maize and are unleavened. Naan is often softer and more fluffy, while tortilla is usually thinner and crispier. Naan is usually cooked in a tandoor oven, which gives it a unique flavor and texture, while tortilla is usually cooked on a griddle or frying pan.

Which one is healthier, naan or tortilla?

It’s difficult to say which one is healthier, as it depends on your individual dietary needs and preferences. Naan has more Manganese, Magnesium, Fiber, Zinc, and Vitamin E, however, Tortilla is richer in Iron, Folate, Vitamin B1, and Selenium. Naan covers your daily Manganese needs 49% more than Tortilla. Tortilla has 10 times less Saturated Fat than Naan. If you’re looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake, tortillas may be a better option, as they typically have fewer carbohydrates than naan.

Can I use naan and tortilla interchangeably in recipes?

It depends on the recipe. Naan and tortilla have different flavors and textures, so they may not work well in all recipes. For example, naan is often used as a base for pizza, while tortillas are commonly used for tacos and quesadillas. However, you may be able to use them interchangeably in some recipes, such as wraps or sandwiches.

How should I store naan and tortilla?

Both naan and tortilla should be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag to prevent them from drying out. Naan can be stored at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Tortillas can also be stored at room temperature for a few days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze both naan and tortilla for longer storage.

Food made with nixtamalized corn, a staple food

Key Takeaways

  • Naan and tortilla are two types of bread that are widely used in different cuisines around the world.
  • Naan is a soft, fluffy bread that originated in India and is typically made with wheat flour, while tortilla is a thin, crispy flatbread that’s commonly associated with Mexican cuisine and is made with corn or wheat flour.
  • Both naan and tortilla are versatile and delicious breads that can be used in a variety of dishes.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.