We all know the best flatbread to serve with Indian food. It’s naan, of course. But there’s another Indian flatbread that people often confuse with naan: tandoori roti. You might think, “But aren’t they the same?”
Well, the fact is they aren’t! If you are too confused between the tandoori roti and naan, you might want to read this article. Even though their ingredients are almost the same, there are still plenty of differences between them.
When you look from the outset, tandoori roti and naan might look alike. But naan is a leavened flatbread. It is also heavy and has fillings inside it. On the other hand, tandoori roti is unleavened flat bread. It is thin and doesn’t contain any stuff in it.
These are one of the many differences between naan and tandoori roti. If you are intrigued to know more about both these flatbreads, keep reading!
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Difference Table
|Basis Of Difference||Tandoori Roti||Naan|
|Origin||Indian/Pakistan cuisines||Indian/Pakistan cuisines|
|Ingredients Used||Wheat flour, salt, water||Wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast.|
|Shape||Can be elongated or round||Round|
|Texture||Dry and coarse||Soft|
|Consistency||Crisp on the edges and soft in the middle.||Soft|
|Fillings||Don’t use any fillings||Use different types of fillings.|
|Cooking Style||Tandoor/Clay Pot||Pan/Thawa|
|Nutritional Profile||Rich in fiber, protein, and minerals and low in calories.||Rich in fiber, protein, and minerals and comparatively high in calorie|
What Is Tandoori Roti?
Tandoori roti is flat bread traditionally cooked in a tandoor or clay pot. It is usually made with whole wheat flour. Tandoori roti is much thicker than regular rotis. It has very crunchy crisp edges and a soft inner side.
This roti is popular in South Asian cuisines, especially Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Tandoori rotis are mainly made in the tandoor; hence it is often hard to cook at home. Nevertheless, locally there are many ways to cook this roti at home.
The ways this tandoori roti is served may differ from place to place. In some areas, they are served as they are. While in some places, they are served with a gallop of ghee or butter on top of it.
What Is Naan?
Naan is a kind of flatbread that is popular in Indian and Pakistani cuisines. They are widely used as everyday food in Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Since it is widely used in so many countries, it has different names and pronunciations in different places.
A naan is a leavened flatbread, which means it is usually leavened using yeast. It is thin and soft and often has a round shape to it. Once it is cooked, it is often brushed with ghee or butter to make it tastier.
Naan has a long history. The first mention of naan’s existence dates back to almost 1300 AD. over the years of use; naan has so many uses. In some places, it is used as a main dish, whereas in some places, it comes as a side dish.
Naan is an umbrella term and includes different varieties of naan. Given below are some of the most common types of naan.
- Plain Naan – This kind of naan doesn’t use any kind of special ingredients. Plain naan is one of the common staples of many countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.
- Butter Naan – This is one of the most loved versions of naan. This naan is made regularly and is served with a lot of butter. The butter in the naan makes it extremely soft and is a great dish to have with gravy dishes.
- Laccha Naan – “Laccha” means layers. Therefore, laccha naan refers to the naan, which has a lot of layers to them.
- Garlic Naan – Garlic naan is not everybody. But if you thoroughly enjoy the taste of garlic in your food, you cannot resist this naan. For making this naan, along with using the regular ingredients of naan, garlic is also added, lending a garlicky taste to it.
- Paneer Naan – This one version of naan has stuffing inside it. Paneer naan, as you can imagine, has paneer (Indian cottage cheese) as a stuffing inside it. The naan is thick yet soft.
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Similarities Between The Two
If you are not someone who is a regular user of these two dishes, stating them apart could be a little difficult for you. This is because they have many similarities among themselves. Thus, in this section, we are going to see some of the similarities between the two.
Both Use Wheat As Their Main Ingredient
When compared between both, it is clear that both have a similar kind of ingredient list. Both use whole wheat flour, salt, and water as their primary ingredients. Depending on the variety of naan made, there could be some extra addition to the ingredient list.
Both Are Kind Of Flatbreads
Both tandoori roti and naan are nothing but two regular flatbreads widely used in Indian and Pakistani restaurants. Thus if you just went and ordered flatbread in a restaurant, you could get either of the two.
Both Have Similar Culinary Uses
Both tandoori roti and naan, as we have said, are part of the main cuisines of India and Pakistan. Thus the way this bread is used in these countries is almost similar. Both are widely used as a side dish and the main course.
They are often served with a curry with gravy and are eaten along with ghee and yogurt. Both are used as a wrap for other ingredients and can be served with both vegetarian and meat dishes.
Can Be Used As Each Other Substitute
Since both tandoori roti and naan have similar culinary uses, they go very well as each other’s substitute. Both tandoori roti and plain naan work well with all curries and are quite filling. Both of them can also be used as wraps.
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Differences Between The Two
Now that we have seen some similarities between the two, let’s jump into some of their vivid differences. Tandoori roti and naan are called different names for a reason. Thus in this section, let’s look into some of its differences.
1. Ingredients Used
At the outset, naan and tandoori roti may look a little similar. Both flatbreads use wheat flour as one of their main ingredients. However, naan is a leavened flatbread, whereas tandoori is an unleavened flatbread.
This means tandoori roti doesn’t use any yeast in its making process. On the other hand, roti uses yeast as one of the main ingredients.
At first glance, they may look similar to us. But tandoori roti and naan have different appearances to them. Tandoori roti has an elongated round shape to them. They are considerably thin with crispy edges.
On the other hand, naan has a considerably round shape to it. The shape of the naan will depend upon the expertise of who makes them. They have a much thicker appearance as most of them will have some fillings in them.
Not just do these flatbreads differ in appearance and ingredients, but they have a huge texture difference between them. Tandoori roti has a drier coarse texture to them. Since they are on the drier side, we need to chew them profoundly to eat them.
Naan, on the other hand, has a soft texture to them. This is mainly because the dough used to make the flatbread is leavened using yeast. Other than that, it also has different kinds of fillings in them, making it much thicker and soft.
If you love naan, you get to explore different varieties of naan. Naan, as we said, is an umbrella term used to refer to different types of flatbreads made similarly. They include garlic naan, paneer naan, laccha naan, etc.
Tandoori roti has no varieties and refers to one type of flatbread. However, roti has many varieties like phulka, chapati, rumali roti, etc.
5. Cooking Style
Both the naan and tandoori roti are cooked in different styles. Naan is extremely easy to cook and is often cooked over an open fire or on a pan. Thus, the ease of making them makes them a regular food in many Indian and Pakistani households.
Tandoori roti, just as its name suggests, is made in a tandoor or a clay oven. The roti is cooked over very high heat. These tandoors are heated with burning wood or charcoal, which gives the roti a distinctive taste and appearance.
These clay ovens are not common in households. Thus, many prefer buying it from the shop rather than making it at home.
6. Preparation Time
The ingredients used to make the two are not very distinct. However, how they are made makes the cooking time different. Tandoori roti is easy to make. Since it has only a limited ingredient list, it only requires little or no time.
On the other hand, making naan may take some time. The first thing is that the dough takes some time to leaven. Then we have to make the fillings differently if we have to fill it. Thus we could say that naan takes much longer than that tandoori roti.
7. Nutritional Value
Tandoori roti has high nutritional value than that naan. Since tandoori roti is purely made of whole wheat, it has a very less amount of trans fat in it. On the other hand, naan has a higher caloric value to it.
Other than that, since both tandoori and naan use wheat flour, they are rich in fiber, protein, iron, minerals, and potassium.
Top Dishes To That Go Well With Tandoori Roti And Naan
If you are new to trying these flatbreads, you can taste them on their own or with some amazing curries. If you are wondering what to have with them, here are some of our recommendations.
1. Butter Chicken
Whatever the main cuisine, if we accompany it with butter chicken, it becomes the center of attraction. Butter chicken is a South Asian curry dish made using butter, garlic, tomatoes, spices, and chicken.
They are thick and creamy with a lightly sweet taste and go very well with both tandoori roti and naan. These flatbreads let us use the whole gravy without missing even a bit.
2. Palak Paneer
Palak paneer is another curry you can have with naan and tandoori roti. They are made with spinach and paneer as their main ingredient.
They are thick and flavorful, and extremely nutritious. If you don’t have paneer, you can always make this recipe using some tofu!
3. Tandoori Chicken
If we ever have to do a competition on classic Indian dishes, tandoori chicken is going to win without much competition. It is the perfect dish to accompany all flatbread. It brings the flavor of chicken along with the taste of chicken.
If you think the tandoori roti and naan are only for gravy dishes, tandoori chicken is here to change your mind. They are traditionally made in a tandoor, but if that’s too much for you, go for an air fryer!
4. Pork Carnitas
Pork carnitas is an exclusive Indian Mexican fusion dish. It uses pork as its main ingredient. This is a slow cooker dish, and it can take hours to make. However, this dish is too yummy and is worth the wait.
You can either have it as a side dish to tandoori roti and naan, or you can wrap it in flatbread and make it as a pork wrap!
If you are not in the mood for extensive cooking, then this Maghreb dish perfectly accompanies your naan and tandoori roti.
They are nothing but some poached eggs in tomato gravy and are extremely easy to cook. If you have some tandoori roti or naan at home, have them along with some shakshuka!
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Which Is Healthier?
When compared between the two, we can say that tandoori roti is much healthier than naan. The nutritional profile of both naan and tandoori roti are almost similar. However, tandoori roti has much less sugar and calorie value than naan.
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Which Is Tastier?
Both tandoori roti and naan are extremely flavorful dishes. However, when compared between the two naans, it is tastier than tandoori roti. It is soft and comes with a lot of flavors. Tandoori roti is also great but is a little chewy when compared to naan.
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Which Is More Versatile?
Tandoori roti is just another form of roti. However, naan is an umbrella term that refers to different kinds of naan, which include paneer naan, butter naan, chicken naan, etc. Thus we can say that tandoori naan is much more versatile than regular naan.
Tandoori Roti Vs. Naan | Which Is Better?
Without any doubt, we can say that naan is better than tandoori roti. Naan comes in different flavors and is extremely soft. Above all, it is extremely easy to cook and can be cooked by anyone!
Speaking of naan, we cannot avoid the exquisite taste of tandoori roti. But they are hard to make and don’t have many flavors.
Now that we have discussed both tandoori roti and naan, it’s time to conclude. We cannot doubt that naan is better than tandoori roti. However, if you are concerned about your health, go for tandoori roti instead of naan.
Both go well with many different curries and work well as wraps for your vegetables or meat fillings. If you are yet to try these flatbreads, try them soon and let us know how much you like them!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is tandoori roti better than naan?
Yes. When it comes to health, tandoori roti is better than naan.
Is tandoori and naan the same?
Naan is a kind of leavened flat bread, whereas tandoori roti is a unleavened bread.
Why tandoori roti is good for health?
Tandoori roti is often baked in a clay pot called tandoor and uses only very less oil in its cookings.
Is Tandoori Roti same as chapati?
No. Tandoori roti and chapati are two different types of flat breads.
Does Tandoori Roti contain egg?
No. Tandoori roti doesn’t contain any eggs and is a complete vegetarian food.