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Chickpea Flour Naan {vegan, grain-free, easy}

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Chickpea flour naan is the vegan, grain-free, yeast-free & gluten-free flatbread you have been looking for! Make it in minutes on the stovetop and serve warm alongside any and all of your favorite dinners and lunches.

overhead shot of chickpea flour naan with a lace edged napkin alongside

Make Naan At Home, with Ease

Have you ever made naan?

I love to eat it, but only starting making it last year when it was hard to get out and shop. And guess what: it is soooo simple (no Tandoor oven required, just a hot skillet and a stovetop)! 

Here’s some more good news: I’ve come up with a quick and easy vegan, grain-free version of naan made with chickpea flour. It  is absolutely scrumptious (even more so if you and some garlic). You can make it in minutes, too, with nothing more than a bowl, a mixing spoon or spatula, and the aforementioned skillet. That’s (always) my kind of bread.

overhead shot of chickpea flour naan with a small bowl of chopped parsely leaves

Chickpea Flour Naan Benefits

This filling flatbread is nourishing, satisfying, and all of the following, too:

  • Vegan (no eggs, no dairy)
  • Yeast-free
  • High Fiber (7 grams per naan)
  • High protein (7 grams per naan)
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Nut-free
  • Added sugar-free

Ready to make a batch?

Ingredients for Chickpea Flour Naan

The ingredients for this hearty naan are minimal. I tried making the naan with even fewer ingredients (e.g., chickpea flour, water, baking powder or soda) but, oy vey: the results were crumbly, hard and decidedly not naan. Several rounds–and a select number of key additions– later, I landed on the right combination of components. 

Here is what you will need: 

ingredients for chickpea flour naan on a wood background

  • Nondairy milk. Use any (plain) variety you like or prefer. For testing purposes, I used hemp milk.
  • Lemon juice. This is added to the milk to create a nondairy buttermilk. An equal amount of vinegar (apple cider, white, or another neutral vinegar) can be used in its place.
  • Vegetable oil. A small amount is added to the dough to make the naan tender. Use any neutral-flavored oil that you prefer.
  • Chickpea flour. Also known as garbanzo bean flour, gram flour and besan, this is finely ground dried chickpeas. It is high in protein and fiber and gives this version of naan a rich, nutty flavor.
  • Whole psyllium husks. This is what holds the naan together (it acts in lieu of eggs and gluten). It allows the dough to be rolled out and gives the resulting flatbreads a bread-y texture. Be sure to use whole psyllium husks (see my notes if you only have psyllium powder; the quantities are very different). 
  • Baking powder & Baking soda. The leavening agents that add some subtle lift to the bread.
  • Salt. Salt brings out the flavor of the bread, plain and simple. It is always adjustable according to your needs and preferences.
  • Optional: 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder. I love garlic naan, so I usually add some garlic powder as I mix the dough. You are welcome to use minced fresh garlic (2 to 3 small cloves) in place of the powder. 

How to Make Chickpea Flour Naan

small glass bowl filled with nondairy milk and lemon juice

Step 1: Sour the Milk

Before mixing the dry ingredients, combine the nondairy milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to curdle. The result is a nondairy buttermilk, which adds to the flavor and naan.

I tried making this with water in place of the milk in earlier testing batches. The naan still “works,” but the milk version is significantly better in terms of tenderness and flavor.

Step 2: Mix the Dough

This is a yeast-free recipe; hence the dough comes together in a minute’s time!

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, whole psyllium husks, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. If you want to make this garlic naan, stir in the (optional) garlic powder as well.

Add the nondairy milk mixture and the oil to the dry ingredients. Mix, scraping the sides of the bowl, until a thick cohesive dough forms. Let it stand for a minute or two to allow the psyllium to absorb the liquid. The result is light, springy dough.

three photo collage showing the steps to make naan dough

Step 3: Shape the Dough

Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (you can use your kitchen scale, or just eyeball it). Using your hands, roll each portion into a ball and place on a well-floured (with chickpea flour) cutting board or other work surface. 

chickpea flour naan dough divided into three equal portions
Step 4: Roll the Dough

Place one dough ball in the center of the board and sprinkle with some of the chickpea flour. I like to press the dough out with my fingers to get started. Press the dough into an oval-ish shape. 

Before rolling, make sure that the board directly underneath the dough is coated in flour (to avoid sticking). Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a wide oval shape that is about 7- to 8-inches long, 4- to 5-inches wide. If you prefer, simply roll the dough into a 6- to 7-inch circle. 

Spritz the dough with nonstick cooking spray or very lightly brush with additional oil (to prevent sticking).

three photo collage showing of the steps to roll out naan dough
Step 5:  Cook the Naan

Heat a medium or large cast-iron skillet (or other heavy, non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat until it is hot.  Add a piece of the rolled-out dough, sprayed/oiled side down, to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, or until the top of the dough begins to bubble up slightly in a few places (it will not be a dramatic rise) and the bottom has deep golden-brown spots (when you lift and peek). 

Using a spatula, turn the dough onto the other side. Cook the second side for about 1 minute longer, or until the bottom it has deep golden spots, too.  Transfer the naan to a rack or plate.

two photo collage showing how to cook grain-free naan in a skillet

Lightly cover the naan with a clean dish towel so that it stays warm.  Repeat with remaining dough until the other two pieces of naan are cooked. Adjust the heat of the skillet, as needed, to prevent the skillet from becoming too hot (to avoid scorching the naan). 

The chickpea flour naan is best served warm, soon after making it.  If you like, sprinkle with some finely chopped cilantro or parsley, or a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Yum!

chickpea flour naan on a wire cooling rack
Note that chickpea flour naan is denser than traditional naan (the latter is fluffy and pliable). But this version is unique, delicious, and very filling, with a rich, nutty flavor. It is perfect with traditional Indian food, but also as an accompaniment to any soup, stew, salad, or any dish that could use some hearty bread alongside (that would be every dinner at my house).

FAQ

Can I Use a Different Grain-Free or Gluten-Free Flor?

No, not for this recipe. Chickpea flour is unlike any other flour; this recipe was developed specifically for chickpea flour. I have many other flatbreads and tortillas on the site using other flours.

Can I Use Something Other than Whole Psyllium Husks?

Yes.  The one alternative is psyllium powder. Please see the recipe notes for adjusting the proportions. The same weight of psyllium is used (husks to powder) but the dry measurement is different (i.e., 1 tablespoon of psyllium powder is 5 grams, 1 teaspoon of psyllium powder is 4 to 5 grams, depending on the brand).

Other gelling agents, such as flaxseed meal or chia seeds, will not work as substitutes for psyllium in this recipe.

Can Additional Flavors, Besides Garlic, Be Added to the Naan?

Yes! While not traditional, you can add whatever spices and herbs you like. Dry spices (e.g., cumin, turmeric, chili powder, smoked paprika), dried herbs (e.g., Italian herbs, basil, rosemary, oregano), onion powder, black pepper or finely chopped fresh herbs can be added in step 2.

Enjoy!

stack of chickpea flour naan sprinkled with finely chopped parsely

More Chickpea Flour Breads to Make & Love:

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overhead shot of chickpea flour naan with a lace edged napkin alongside

Chickpea Flour Naan {vegan, grain-free, easy}


  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 3
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 3 naan (flatbreads) 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Chickpea flour naan is the vegan, grain-free, yeast-free & gluten-free flatbread you’ve been looking for! Make it in minutes on the stovetop.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) nondairy milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (or use vinegar)
  • 1 cup (120 g) chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoons (15 g) whole psyllium husks (see note for psyllium powder)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional: 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (any variety)

Nonstick cooking spray or additional oil for brushing

Optional: finely chopped parsley or cilantro, flaky sea salt


Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or cup, combine the milk and lemon juice. Let stand 5 minutes to curdle.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, whole psyllium husks, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. If you want to make this garlic naan, stir in the (optional) garlic powder as well.
  3. Add the nondairy milk mixture and oil to the bowl. Mix, scraping sides of the bowl, until a cohesive dough forms. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes (this allows the psyllium to absorb the liquid, making the dough easier to handle).
  4. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (you can use your kitchen scale, or just eyeball it). Using your hands, roll each portion into a ball and place on a well-floured (with chickpea flour) cutting board or other work surface.
  5. Place one dough ball in the center of the well-floured board; sprinkle with some of the chickpea flour. With fingers, press dough into an oval-ish shape. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a wide oval shape that is about 7- to 8-inches long, 4- to 5-inches wide Spritz the dough with nonstick cooking spray or very lightly brush with additional oil.
  6. Heat a medium or large cast-iron skillet (or other heavy, non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat until it is hot.  Add a piece of the rolled-out dough, sprayed/oiled side down, to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, or until the top of the dough begins to bubble up slightly in a few places and the bottom has deep golden-brown spots (when you lift and peek).
  7. Using a spatula, turn the dough onto the other side. Cook the second side for about 1 minute longer, or until the bottom it has deep golden spots, too.  Transfer the naan to a rack or plate. Loosely cover with a clean dish cloth to keep warm.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough. If desire, sprinkle with parsley, cilantro, or flaky salt. Serve warm.

Notes

Chickpea flour tip: You can use any variety of chickpea flour (including varieties labeled besan, garbanzo bean flour and gram flour).

Vinegar tip: If using vinegar instead of lemon juice, opt for a relatively neutral-flavored option (e.g., cider vinegar or white vinegar).

Psyllium Powder Substitution: For best results, I recommend using whole psyllium husks. However, if you only have psyllium husk powder, use 1 tablespoon powder (15 grams) in place of the whole psyllium husks (note: I have not tested the recipe with psyllium husk powder).

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 large naan
  • Calories: 182
  • Sugar: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 543 mg
  • Fat: 7.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.5 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 7.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: nut-free, grain-free vegan naan, yeast-free, vegan gluten-free naan, vegan grain-free flatbread, chickpea flour bread, vegan flatbread, gluten-free, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, chickpea flour

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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