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.

Naan is usually leavened with yeast; unleavened dough (similar to that used for roti) is also used. Naan is cooked in a tandoor, or clay oven. This distinguishes it from roti which is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tava. Modern recipes sometimes substitute baking powder for the yeast. Milk or yoghurt may also be used to give greater volume and thickness to the naan. Typically, the naan will be served hot and brushed with ghee or butter. It can be used to scoop other foods, or served stuffed with a filling.