The Difference Between Roti And Naan

Roti and naan are two of the most well-liked bread varieties in Indian cuisine. Although at first glance they might appear to be identical, there are actually a number of significant differences between the two. By being aware of these variations, you may select the ideal bread to go with your dinner.

Homemade Roti Chapati Flatbread on gray concrete background top view

The texture of roti and naan is one of their key distinctions. Unleavened roti is a thin bread with a texture akin to a tortilla.

As opposed to roti, which is thinner and harder than naan is a leavened bread. The ingredients required to produce each bread also vary.

While naan is often made using all-purpose flour and yogurt or milk, roti is typically made with whole wheat flour.

Origins of Roti and Naan

Everywhere in the world, people eat the popular Indian breads roti and naan.

Indian naan bread on wooden desk

Although each of these breads have Indian origins, their history, ingredients, and preparation methods are distinct.

Roti Origin

Unleavened flatbread called roti is created from whole wheat flour. In many regions of India and other South Asian nations, it is a staple dish.

Roti It's a Healthy fiber rich traditional Indian food

Since ancient times, roti has been a well-liked food item in India and has been around for thousands of years.

It is thought that roti came from the Indian subcontinent. It was typically prepared by combining water and whole wheat flour and kneading the mixture until it was supple and malleable.

A hot griddle or tawa was used to fry the dough after it had been rolled out into thin rings.

Naan Origin

The leavened flatbread known as naan is created from all-purpose flour. In Pakistan, India, and other regions of South Asia, it is a well-liked bread.

Garlic and coriander naan served in a plate

It is thought that naan first appeared in Persia, which is present-day Iran.

The Mughal Empire brought naan to India in the sixteenth century. The Mughals were renowned for their opulent lifestyle and passion for fine dining.

They introduced numerous novel ingredients and cooking methods to India, notably the practice of baking bread in a tandoor oven.

All-purpose flour, yeast, water, and occasionally milk or yogurt are combined to make naan. A tandoor oven is used to cook the dough after it has been kneaded and given time to rise.

The naan expands and softens as a result of the oven’s high heat.

Finally, it should be noted that both roti and naan have rich histories and are loved by people everywhere.

Roti is a straightforward, unleavened flatbread that has been a traditional dish in India for ages.

The Mughal Empire, on the other hand, brought the leavened flatbread known as naan to India in the 16th century.

Cooking Techniques

Cooking Roti

On a tawa, a flat griddle constructed of cast iron or other materials, roti is traditionally cooked.

Indian Cuisine Tandoori Roti Served in Basket Also Called Chapati, Flatbread

The roti is placed on a heated tawa that has been prepared to a medium-high temperature.

About 30 seconds are spent cooking the roti on one side before flipping it over and continuing to cook it for an additional 30 seconds. After that, the roti is taken off the tawa and put on a platter.

Some individuals favor cooking roti over an open flame. To accomplish this, place the roti on the flame for a brief period of time before flipping it over and repeating the process on the other side.

This process yields a flavor that is somewhat burnt and smokey.

Cooking Naan

Traditionally, naan is prepared in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven that is heated with wood or charcoal.

indian naan bread

The naan is pressed against the oven’s sides, where it sticks and bakes for two to three minutes. With tongs, the naan is then taken out of the oven and coated with butter or ghee.

Naan can still be prepared at home using a standard oven or a cooktop if you don’t have a tandoor oven. Place the naan on a baking pan and preheat the oven to 500°F to cook it in a standard oven.

Bake the naan for about 5-7 minutes, or until it puffs up and turns golden. On the stovetop, a cast iron pan should be heated to medium-high heat to make naan.

The naan should puff up and be gently browned after cooking for about 2-3 minutes on each side in the skillet.

It is significant to remember that naan is typically coated with butter or ghee once it has finished cooking.

It acquires a rich, buttery flavor as a result. You can eat the basic naan without any butter or ghee if you’d want a healthier choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Homemade Indian flat bread Chapati or Roti

What is the difference between roti and naan?

Roti and naan are both types of Indian flatbreads, but they have some differences. Roti is a simple, unleavened flatbread that is made with whole wheat flour, water, and salt. Naan, on the other hand, is a leavened bread that is made with all-purpose flour, yeast, water, salt, and sometimes yogurt or milk. Naan is typically thicker and fluffier than roti, and it has a chewy texture.

Is roti healthier than naan?

Roti is generally considered to be healthier than naan because it is made with whole wheat flour, which is higher in fiber and nutrients than all-purpose flour. Roti is also lower in calories and fat than naan. However, if you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, you should avoid both roti and naan, as they both contain gluten.

Can I use roti instead of naan?

While roti and naan are different, you can use roti as a substitute for naan in some dishes. Roti is thinner and denser than naan, so it may not work as well in dishes that require a thicker beard. However, roti is a good substitute for naan in dishes like curries or stews where you can use it to scoop up the sauce.

Can I make roti or naan at home?

Yes, you can make both roti and naan at home. Roti is relatively easy to make, as it requires only a few ingredients and no special equipment. Naan is a bit more complicated, as it requires yeast and a hot oven or tandoor to cook properly. However, there are many recipes available online that can help you make both roti and naan at home.

Which one is more popular in India?

Both roti and naan are popular in India, but their popularity varies by region. Roti is more popular in northern India, while naan is more popular in the south. Naan is also more commonly served in restaurants, while roti is often eaten at home. However, both roti and naan are widely enjoyed throughout India and are an important part of Indian cuisine.

Homemade Indian Naan Flatbread made with Whole Wheat


Finally, it should be noted that both roti and naan are delectable Indian flatbreads that go well with a variety of cuisines.

Despite having a similar appearance, there are several significant distinctions between the two.

Roti is a straightforward flatbread made from whole wheat flour that isn’t leavened. It has a little firmer texture and is often thinner and less fluffy than naan.

In Northern India, roti is frequently consumed with curries, dals, and other foods.

The leavened bread known as naan, on the other hand, is created from yeast and all-purpose flour. It usually has a softer texture and is thicker and fluffier than roti.

With tandoori meals, kebabs, and other grilled meats, naan is frequently offered.

Roti is typically seen as the healthier option when it comes to nutrients. Whole wheat flour, which has more fiber and nutrients than all-purpose flour, is used to make it.

In contrast, Naan is frequently cooked with butter or ghee, which increases the bread’s calorie and fat content.

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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.