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Roti vs. Naan: Understanding the Differences and Similarities

When it comes to Indian cuisine, bread is an essential element. Two of the most popular types of bread are roti and naan. Though they may look similar, they have unique features that set them apart. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between roti and naan in terms of their ingredients, cooking method, cooking style, types, thickness, preparation time, calories, and nutrition.

Definition: Roti vs. Naan

Roti is a type of flatbread made with whole wheat flour. It is a favorite staple food in India and other parts of South Asia. Roti is typically served with curries, dals, and other dishes.

On the other hand, naan is a leavened bread made with all-purpose flour. It is a famous bread in Indian restaurants and is often served with kebabs, tandoori chicken, and other dishes.

Roti vs. Naan: What are the differences?


The primary ingredients for roti are whole wheat flour, salt, and water. On the other hand, naan is made from all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, sugar, yogurt, and milk. While roti is a healthier option as it is made from whole wheat flour, The flavor of naan is enhanced by incorporating milk and yogurt in its recipe, resulting in a richer taste.

Cooking Method

Roti is typically cooked on a flat skillet or tawa. It is placed on a hot surface, and once it starts to puff up, it is flipped over to cook the other side. On the other hand, naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven. The high heat of the tandoor gives naan its distinctive charred texture and flavor. However, most households don’t have a tandoor, so naan can be cooked in a regular oven or stove.

Cooking Style

Roti is cooked without oil or butter, while naan is brushed with butter or ghee. Adding butter or ghee gives naan a richer taste and texture than roti.


There are different types of roti, including plain roti, butter roti, and garlic roti. Naan has various types: plain naan, garlic naan, and cheese naan. Some restaurants offer flavored naan, such as chili naan and onion naan.


Roti is typically thinner than naan, which is thicker and fluffier. The thickness of naan also contributes to its texture and ability to hold up as a wrap or a scoop for dipping.

Preparation Time

Roti is a straightforward bread that can be prepared in less than an hour, while naan requires more preparation time due to the addition of yeast, which needs time to proof. Naan dough must also be rested for a few hours before it can be rolled out and cooked.


A typical roti contains around 70-100 calories. In comparison, a single naan can have up to 300 calories or more, depending on the size and the ingredients used.


Roti is a healthier option than naan, as it is made from whole wheat flour, high in fiber and essential nutrients. On the other hand, naan is made from all-purpose flour, low in fiber and essential nutrients. Naan also has a higher fat content due to adding butter or ghee.

Roti vs. Naan: Which one is healthier?

Roti is the better option for health due to its whole wheat flour content. It contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than naan. However, if consumed in moderation and accompanied by nutritious foods like vegetables, legumes, and lean protein, roti, and naan can be a healthy addition to one’s diet.


In conclusion, roti and naan are two delicious and versatile bread types popular in Indian cuisine. While they have their ingredients, cooking methods, and texture differences, they can be enjoyed in various ways. Roti is the better option for health due to its whole wheat flour content. However, deciding between roti and naan ultimately depends on one’s liking and the food it accompanies.

FAQ: Difference between Roti and Naan

What is the origin of roti and naan?

Roti, which is a common food item in many Indian homes, has its origins in the Indian subcontinent. Naan is a Persian bread brought to India by the Mughals in the 16th century.

Can roti and naan be frozen?

Yes, both roti and naan can be frozen. Allow them to cool completely, then wrap them in foil or plastic wrap before placing them in the freezer. To reheat, thaw and warm them in a microwave or skillet.

Can roti and naan be made gluten-free?

Yes, roti and naan can be made gluten-free using alternative flour such as rice flour, corn flour, or almond flour.

What are some common accompaniments to roti and naan?

Roti and naan are often eaten with curries, stews, or lentil dishes. They can also be served with chutneys, raita, or pickles.

Are roti and naan vegan-friendly?

Roti is typically vegan-friendly as it only contains whole wheat flour, salt, and water. On the other hand, naan may not be vegan-friendly as it has yogurt, butter, or ghee. However, vegan versions of naan can be made by substituting dairy products with plant-based alternatives.