If you love Indian food, naan bread is no stranger. This flatbread is soft, fluffy, and highly versatile to eat with chicken tikka masala, curries, lentil dhal, saag paneer, or basically just any Indian dish.
Suppose you have leftovers from last night’s dinner, you must be wondering: Can you reheat naan bread?
Oh, absolutely yes! After all, why would we eat something cold if reheating is surprisingly easy?
Keep reading to learn the correct way to heat up leftover naan and preserve its crispy outside and soft interior.
What Is Naan Bread?
Considered a staple in the Indian subcontinent and many Middle Eastern countries, naan bread (or simply naan) is a type of flatbread.
The dough is traditionally prepared from flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast. In addition, plain yogurt or milk is often added to make it softer and fluffier.
The dough is then shaped into a small ball, flattened, and baked in either a tandoor (clay oven), skillet, or in the oven.
This flatbread is also widely available in supermarkets and Asian grocers in America and other countries, aside from being a primary item in Indian restaurants.
Whether you have some leftovers from an Indian takeout or you baked them at home, luckily, reheating this Indian-style flatbread is not complicated at all.
No matter how much time and appliances you have, fortunately, you have a handful of options to reheat naan bread. You can do it in either an oven, stovetop, or microwave.
Method 1: Heating Up Naan in A Skillet
This approach is considered the best and perfect to warm up fresh, unfrozen pieces. The process is also extremely fast, so if you don’t have a lot of time to heat up bread, try this method. However, make sure to stay focused and keep a close eye to avoid burning the bread.
Here is how to reheat naan in a skillet.
1. Heat a skillet over medium to high heat.
2. Once the skillet is hot, place the flatbread with the top-side down. Spray with a bit of water to make it stay soft and doesn’t dry out. You can also add butter or ghee.
3. Heat for a few seconds (approximately 10 seconds). Keep a watchful eye, so you won’t overheat and burn the bread.
4. Flip quickly and reheat for another 10 to 20 seconds.
5. Remove from the pan immediately and done!
6. Optional: To enhance the flavor, you can lightly brush reheated naan with melted butter or ghee (clarified butter).
Method 2: Reheating Naan In An Oven
Oven reheating is a great option to warm up many pieces at a time.
Here is how to do it.
1. Preheat your oven to 400 °F.
2. Lightly brush a baking sheet with some oil.
3. Arrange the naans on the baking sheet
4. Sprinkle some water to moisturize the bread and prevent them from drying out.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the amount.
6. Once ready, remove immediately.
7. Optional: Brush with melted butter, ghee, or a mixture of butter, garlic, and cilantro leaves.
8. Serve with your favorite curries for a wholesome Indian meal.
Method 3: Warming Up Naan in A Microwave
As with other leftovers, reheating in the microwave is the fastest and straightforward method. For heating up leftover naan, it is indeed the quickest way. Unfortunately, however, it can go wrong pretty quickly too.
Reheating in the microwave should be done quickly, so it stays moist and soft. If reheated for too long, it becomes dry and tough.
Here is the right way to reheat naan bread in the microwave.
1. Place the bread in a suitable container. You can reheat 1 to 3 pieces at a time. Make sure the container can fit them well.
2. Cover with a damp paper towel.
3. Microwave over medium power for the following times.
- 1 piece: 20 to 30 seconds
- 2 pieces: 45 to 60 seconds
- 3 pieces: 80 to 90 seconds
4. After reheating time is complete, check if they’re already warmed up thoroughly. If not, reheat for another 5 to 10 seconds. But, avoid reheating for too long because the bread tends to get tough and rubbery.
Leftover naans can be kept in an airtight container on your countertop for about 5 to 7 days. Avoid refrigerating them as they tend to dry out much faster in the refrigerator. For long-term storage, freezing is considered a better option.
Yes. To freeze, simply wrap the pieces in plastic wrap or foil, pack them in a resealable freezer bag, seal tightly, and place them in the freezer. If the flatbread is appropriately frozen, it can last for up to 2 to 3 months.
You can tell by quickly examining the smell and look. For example, if the flatbread looks moldy or smells sour, don’t eat it. It’s time to toss it out.
Yes, if it is stored at room temperature. However, chilled and previously frozen ones are usually dry and crumbly. Reheating helps to gain back its soft and fluffy texture.
Plus, you can lightly brush reheated bread with ghee or melted butter to make it more flavorful.
In A Nutshell
You can easily freshen up cold, leftover naan on a skillet, oven, or microwave. Either way, it should only be reheated for a short time because the flatbread gets tough and elastic when reheated for too long.
Check and follow our detailed instructions on reheating naan bread, so it tastes fresh and crispy!
*image by eyeofpaul/depositphotos