Cheesy Naan, A Bread With A New Avtar
Image Credit: Cheese naan/ Instagram- lacuisinedekaam

When it comes to relishing North Indian cuisine, the list is endless and so is the list of accompanying bread. Among the great variety of flat and leavened pieces of bread such as roti, paratha, tandoori roti, and puri, there is one in particular that remains an unbeatable choice - naan. A naan goes perfectly well with any Indian dish on the table, be it the humble daal tadka or rich spicy mutton curry. A perfect naan can be defined as a tear-drop-shaped flatbread baked in tandoor served after brushing a dollop of butter on the top. In modern cooking, a variation of naan stuffed with cheese is heavenly.  All thanks to the Egyptians for their invention of naan some 2000 years ago, this flatbread has become a major part of Indian delicacy. The origin of naan can as well be traced to South Asia, Iran, and other West Asian nations from where the word naan is said to have originated. Eventually, it was with the invasion of Mughals on the Indian land that this flatbread made in-roads into the country.  An essential part of the Mughal cuisine, the naan was devoured with an assortment of meats. Initially, during the Mughal rule at the Delhi Durbar naan was prepared in two forms: naan-e- tunuk (light bread) and naan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven). 

However, it was after Emperor Babar conquered Delhi Sultanate that a variation in the consumption of naan came into being. If the historical accounts are to be believed, Babar was not content with the light bread being prepared by the shahi khansamah (royal chefs). Babar then introduced flatbread to the royal kitchen from Persia sometime in the early 16th century. Unlike the light bread made from wheat flour, this leavened bread was made from maida and baked in the tandoor. Babar savoured the naan with kebab and keema. This combination of the naan along with spicy minced meat, over time, became a popular Mughal royal breakfast. Soon, the shahi khansamah started to experiment with the naan, rolling it into the sugar syrup and dry fruits.  And by the 1700s, naan made its way through the royal kitchens of the Mughals to that of the masses. 


1. 80g bread and cake flour 

2. 3g salt 

3. 15g sugar 

4. 2g dry yeast 

5. 100ml lukewarm water 

6. 10g olive oil 

7. 90g shredded cheese 

8. 10g melted butter 


1. In a bowl, mix bread flour, cake flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add lukewarm water, olive oil, and mix. Once it combines, sprinkle dry flour and knead till dough forms. Then cover and let it rise for 40 minutes. Transfer the dough to the slab releasing air bubbles. Roll into a ball. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes. 

2. Roll the dough using a rolling pin. Place shredded cheese in the centre. Seal by wrapping the edges over the cheese. Turn the dough and roll gently. 

3. In the pan, add butter and cook over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. 

With a history of over 100 years old, this royal bread apart from becoming an important part of the Indian cuisine has conquered the taste buds of the West. Over time, the butter naan has given form to variations just like the cheesy naan. Some are stuffed with vegetables while some with dry fruits.