Naan is a round flatbread made of white flour. It is a staple accompaniment to hot meals in Central and South Asia, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, northern India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the surrounding region. It bears a resemblance to pita, but is softer in texture.
The word originated in Central Asia within the Persian speaking nations of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. The word naan literally means ‘bread.’ The word and bread later spread to South Asia, into Pakistan, India and the surrounding regions. More recently it has spread to the UK, owing to the popularity of Pakistani and Indian cuisines.
The first recorded history of naan can be found in the notes of Amir Khusrau (1300 CE) as naanetunuk (light bread) and naanetanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven) at the imperial Muslim court in Delhi. In Muslim Mughal times, naan, accompanied by qeema or kabab, was a popular breakfast food of the royals.