Chances are, when you hear naan, you think of plain white naan. But what if I told you, there's actually a superior naan saved for special occasions in Pakistan called "Roghni Naan"? Roghni Naan is softer, thicker, and richer than plain naan, has a beautiful golden shine on it, and is covered with sesame seeds which add more texture and flavor to it. It is truly incredible with all sorts of curries or, as I personally like it, on its own with a cup of chai! In fact, Roghni Naan fried and eaten for breakfast the next day is even better. Anyone who's grown up in Pakistan knows exactly what I'm talking about! And if you have never been introduced to Roghni Naan, I highly recommend giving it a try!
I've included an in-depth guide on making these naans at home in this post, and I highly recommend taking a thorough read through before attempting to recreate the recipe.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS RECIPE
Now, I wish I could tell you that these Roghni Naans are just as good, or better, than the fresh naan you get from the tandoor in Pakistan. But that simply will not be true. Because we all know nothing really ever comes close to naan made by professionals with years of experience using traditional clay ovens that have pure magic in them.
But, I can tell you that these naans come pretty close, and taste amazing. Homemade naan can never achieve the exact same texture as naan made in clay ovens, but these are incredible regardless. They are soft, fluffy, and have that classic Roghni Naan look and taste. So, I do believe they are absolutely worth trying, especially if you live in a country where you don't have access to Roghni Naan!
Here's what you will need for this recipe (exact quantities are in the recipe card at the end of this post):
- All purpose flour (or sub bread flour)
- Yeast - I use and recommend active dry yeast
- Baking soda - added in all Roghni naan recipes to give the extra rise
- Ghee or butter
- Warm milk - it should be warm, almost hot, to touch, but not scalding hot. Try to aim for ~100-110F in temperature
- Warm water
- Plain yogurt - this adds moisture to the naan and provides a reagent for the baking soda to react with
- Sesame seeds - you can use a mixture of white and black but I used white
- Egg yolk and milk for an egg wash
- More butter or ghee for serving
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE ROGHNI NAAN
Let's walk through the process to make these naans, shall we?
First, check out this video:
1. Prepare the dough
This part is easy. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer, and knead using the dough hook attachment for about 7-8 minutes on medium high speed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and stretchy.
You can also knead this dough by hand. First use a wooden spatula to bring the dough together, then knock it out onto a clean surface lightly dusted with flour, and use your palms and a dough scraped to knead it for 10-15 minutes. This will be sticky at first, but will eventually come together. Avoid the temptation to add more flour!
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl sprayed with oil, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, humid place. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours - it should at least double in size.
2. Shape the naan
Once the dough has risen, divide it into 6 to 8 equal balls, depending on how large you want the naans to be. Roll into balls, and let rise for a second time for 20 minutes, covered with a wet tea towel.
Now, you have 2 options for baking / cooking these naans: you can either cook the naans on the stove in a cast iron skillet, or you can bake them in a pizza oven. I found the pizza oven naan the best and closest to an original Roghni naan, but I understand not everyone has pizza ovens. A normal oven did not work as well for me.
Option 1: Stovetop
Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove on medium-low heat.
Working one piece at a time, gently roll out the ball into a flat circle shape, about 7" in diameter. You can use a rolling pin or do this by hand on a lightly floured surface.
Transfer the naan to the cast iron skillet, and turn down the heat to low. Wet a Roghni Naan stamp and press it onto the naan while it is still uncooked. Make sure to press all the way so the dough is punctured through. Brush on egg wash, and sprinkle over sesame seeds. Cook the naan for 3-4 minutes until it is golden on the bottom, then flip it over and cooked for 3-4 minutes again on the other side.
Remove the naan from the stove and immediately brush on butter or ghee. Keep it covered or eat fresh!
Option 2: Pizza Oven
I loved the Roghni Naan made in my Ooni pizza oven the most! Make sure the oven is fully preheated first.
Roll out the naan a bit larger than option 1, as the process of transferring it from a peel into the oven will make it shrink in size. Place it onto a pizza peel with a generous amount of all purpose or semolina flour. Spread it again if needed. Then press on the naan stamp, brush on egg wash, and sprinkle sesame seeds.
Transfer the naan from the peel into the oven, and cook for 2-4 minutes depending on how hot the pizza oven is. You will have to do a test naan to figure out the ideal temperature and time, and will likely need to turn the naan once during baking so it browns evenly on both sides.
Brush the naan with butter or ghee and serve!
Note that in this method, the naan does fluff up a bit more than the stovetop, taking away from the quilted look. But, on the other hand, the naan turns out softer!
HOW TO MAKE THE CLASSIC ROGHNI NAAN LOOK
Roghni Naan is known for its classic quilted look in which the naan can be torn into small squares. There are 2 ways to achieve this classic look:
Use a Roghni Naan Stamp
Ideally, you should use a Roghni Naan Stamp which is also used by Tandoor Shops in Pakistan. My mom found one for me from a market in Pakistan. I also found this option on Amazon which looks quite similar, although I haven't tried it myself.
Here are my tips to use the naan stamp effectively:
- Wet the stamp. This will help ensure the naan dough does not get stuck to the stamp, making it easier to release it. You can also brush with oil.
- Stamp hard! You want to puncture the dough all the way through. This will help ensure the naan does not form large air pockets inside, and help achieve the classic look of the Roghni Naan
- Stamp after placing the naan on the skillet, if using the stovetop method. This will ensure the shape of the naan is not ruined during the transfer
Use a knife
Alternately, you can try to create the Roghni Naan shape using a knife. After placing the naan onto the cast iron skillet, use the back of the knife to make deep indentations around the border of the naan, about half an inch inside the naan. Then use the knife blade to score lines such that tiny diamonds form on the naan. You want the lines to be deep enough that the naan can easily be pulled apart, but without cutting the naan all the way.
Watch this video for a good demonstration!
HOW TO STORE ROGHNI NAAN
Roghni Naan are best eaten fresh. Keep them covered in a tea towel in an airtight container or hotpot to preserve their freshness, otherwise they will start to dry out.
You can also freeze the naan for later. Wrap tightly in cling wrap in freeze. When you need to eat the naan, take it out of the freezer, run under tap water to lightly soak it, and then heat on the stovetop on both sides until the naan is reheated and crispy. You can also add some oil for a delicious fried naan!
If you like this recipe, also check out the following Pakistani recipes on my blog!
- My Ultra Popular Tandoori Chicken Naan Buns
- Delicious, Smokey and Spicy Chicken Tikka Sliders
- Pakistani Style Chicken and Veggie Kachoris
- Pakistani Lemonade
- Easy Homemade Gulab Jamun