Is Naan Bread Vegan? Are Naan Breads usually dairy-free?
Last updated on September 27th, 2023
Naan bread, a soft, fluffy and crispy accompaniment to many dishes, is a beloved staple of Indian and many South Asian cuisines. But for those following a vegan lifestyle, the question arises: Is naan bread vegan? In this post, we’ll dive into the world of naan and find out all we need to know.
What is Naan Bread?
Before we get into the vegan aspect, let’s quickly understand what naan bread is. Naan is a type of leavened flatbread that is said to have originated in India.
It’s typically made from a simple combination of flour, water, yeast, salt, and sometimes yoghurt. The dough is typically rolled out and baked in a hot tandoor oven, giving its distinctive fluffy texture and slightly crispy exterior.
So, is Naan Bread Vegan?
If I have to give you a straight answer I’d say have to say no, traditionally naan breads are not vegan as they contain dairy.
But as with almost everything I write about, there are vegan options available. Vegans don’t need to miss out!
To determine if naan bread is vegan or not, we need to scrutinize its ingredients. Here’s a breakdown of the usual suspects:
Flour: The primary ingredient in naan is flour, usually all-purpose or bread flour. Good news for vegans: flour is entirely plant-based.
Water: Water is vegan-friendly, of course.
Yeast: Yeast is a microorganism, so it’s safe to say it’s vegan.
Salt: Salt is also a vegan ingredient, derived from either sea salt or rock salt.
Yoghurt: Ah, here’s where the potential non-vegan ingredient enters the picture. Traditional naan recipes often call for yoghurt to add moisture and flavour to the dough. Yoghurt is made from milk, so if it’s used, the naan wouldn’t be vegan anymore.
Where to Find Vegan-Friendly Naan Bread:
Don’t worry my vegan friends, there are plenty of alternatives that can transform naan into a vegan-friendly treat. Here are a few options:
Yoghurt Substitutes: Swap dairy yoghurt for plant-based alternatives like almond yoghurt, soy yoghurt, or coconut yoghurt. These dairy-free options offer the same creaminess and moisture to your naan without any animal-derived ingredients.
No-Yoghurt Recipes: Many modern naan recipes omit yoghurt altogether, using alternatives like plant-based milk or even just water to achieve the desired dough consistency. These recipes are vegan-friendly.
Vegan Butter or Oil: Instead of ghee (clarified butter), which is commonly brushed on naan after baking, opt for vegan butter or a drizzle of olive oil for that rich, buttery flavour.
Common Vegan Naan Questions:
Can I find vegan naan in Indian restaurants?
Yes, many Indian restaurants now offer vegan naan on their menus or are willing to prepare it upon request. But remember a traditional Indian restaurant probably won’t offer a vegan naan as standard. So, you’ll either need to go to a restaurant that has a specific vegan menu or one where the chef is happy to make one upon request.
Are store-bought naan breads vegan?
It depends on the brand and recipe. Always check the ingredient list to see if they use plant-based yoghurt or dairy alternatives. But yes, it’s possible to find plant-based naan in your local store.
Where to buy vegan Naan Breads?
You can find plant-based naan breads in most large supermarkets in the UK, here are a few options to get you started:
- Clay Oven Bakery 2 Garlic & Coriander Naan Bread – Tesco
- Patak’s Flame Baked Plain Naan Breads – Tesco
- Riya’s Original Recipe Garlic & Coriander Naan Bread
Can I make vegan naan at home?
Absolutely! There are countless vegan naan recipes available online from really great vegan food creatives. Experiment and find the one that suits your taste. Here’s a simple but fantastic recipe from Ooh Lá Lá it’s Vegan – Easy Vegan Naan.
So, through my research to determine whether naan bread is vegan, I’ve learned, that the answer is: it can be.
Traditional naan recipes often include dairy yoghurt, which makes them non-vegan. However, with the rise of plant-based alternatives and creative recipes, it’s entirely possible to enjoy delicious vegan naan that retains all the classic flavours and textures you love. So, whether you’re dining out or whipping up your own Indian feast, you can enjoy delicious naan bread without compromising your vegan lifestyle. Happy eating!
Thanks for reading, if you’d like some more tips on living your best possible vegan life check out my Tips for Vegans page.
Meet the Author
Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living.
With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.
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