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overhead image of 12 baked naan buns with a golden color and garlic butter brushed over them


  • Author: Zoha
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 rolls


The softest, fluffiest naan bread rolls filled with a spicy smoky chicken filling and drenched in garlic butter!


Tandoori chicken filling:

  • 400g chicken tenders (about 4)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small tomato, pureed
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (reduce as needed)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp Shan chicken tikka masala powder
  • 2 tbsp oil, butter or ghee for cooking
  • Handful of wooden smoking chips
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

Naan buns:

  • 160g milk, warmed (2/3 cups)
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast (can be substituted with instant yeast)
  • 325g all purpose flour (2 1/2 cups)
  • 40g sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (preferably full fat)


  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Egg wash (1 yolk + 1 tbsp milk)
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
  • Chopped cilantro for garnishing


Marinate the chicken:

  • Mix all the ingredients except the oil, smoking chips and cilantro into a large bowl. Mix until combined, and set aside for at least 30 minutes

Prepare the naan dough:

  • Mix the warm milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Add all the remaining ingredients, and knead using the dough hook attachment on medium high speed for about 7-8 minutes. You will know the dough is done when it pulls away from the edges of the bowl, is smooth and stretchy
  • Transfer the dough into a clean bowl sprayed with oil, cover with cling wrap, and place in a warm place for 60-90 minutes until it doubles in size

Cook the tandoori chicken:

  • Heat oil in a large wok on high heat. Add the chicken with the marinade and cook for ~10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and most of the water has evaporated. Taste and adjust spices as needed
  • Use a fork and knife to shred the chicken into smaller pieces
  • Place the wooden smoking chips into a sheet of aluminum foil and fold it up so only a small opening remains on the top. Place onto a burner on medium heat until you see smoke escaping from the opening. Use a tong to transfer to the wok, open the foil more, cover with a lid and let smoke for 5-10 minutes. Be careful and keep the exhaust on during this step
  • Lastly, garnish with fresh cilantro / coriander. Let the filling cool down slightly

Assemble the rolls:

  • Once the dough has risen and the filling is not hot any more, start assembly. Prepare a 9x13" pan with parchment paper and a spray of oil
  • Punch down the dough to remove large air pockets. Divide into 12 equal pieces, and roll each into a bowl
  • Use a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to roll a ball into a 3-4" diameter circle. Place a scoop of filling (about 2 tbsp) in the center of the circle so the edges are uncovered. Add mozzarella cheese if using
  • Lift the edges and meet them in the middle to seal and turn into a ball. Pinch together the edges firmly, and lightly shape into a ball using your palms. Place the ball into the prepared baking sheet
  • Repeat until all 12 rolls are done. Keep an even spacing between them, they shouldn't be touching at this time
  • Leave the tray in a warm spot for 30 minutes for the second rise.
  • In the last 20 minutes, preheat your oven to 350F (conventional)

Bake the rolls:

  • After the second rise, brush the buns generously with egg wash using a pastry brush, and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Transfer to the pre-heated oven (350F), and bake for ~20-22 minutes or until the buns are golden in color
  • While the buns are baking, melt the butter in a pan or the microwave. Add the garlic powder or minced garlic to the hot butter and mix. Chop up cilantro for garnish
  • Remove the buns from the oven, and brush with the garlic butter. Sprinkle the cilantro, and serve!


  • If using instant yeast instead of active dry yeast, you cans skip the activation step and mix everything in the stand mixer bowl in one step
  • This recipe might make excess filling. Don't stuff the buns with too much filling, you can use the excess to make puff pastry parcels
  • You may serve with chutney of choice (e.g., mint and cilantro chutney)
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Pakistani

Keywords: Tandoori chicken naan buns