Roti vs. Naan

Today’s question asks: What is the difference between roti and naan?

First the similarities: Both are flatbread featured in Indian cuisine. They are also cooked in a similar fashion, using a clay tandoor oven.

According to definitions submitted on, roti (also known as chapati) is “an unleavened whole wheat flatbread cooked dry on tawa or in tandoor”. The article goes on to say, “Naan is made of leavened dough from plain white flour (maida or all purpose flour), and cooked either in a Tandoor, or on a tawa/griddle.”

So basically, they’re the same thing; except naan has a leavening agent which makes the bread puff up. For other info about Indian flatbreads, please visit the article on

Another similar flatbread is pita, used in Mediterranean culture. Pita looks a lot like naan in its shape and size. However, the two types of flatbread have different texture. Pita is thicker and can sometimes be sliced into a pocket for making a sandwich. Both are incredibly versatile and irresistible when freshly prepared. A great article which speaks more in-depth about this comparison can be found on

My personal favorite place to go for naan is Namaste Indian Cuisine on Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR. When I’m looking for a special treat I go to Nicholas Restaurant on Grand and get an extra crispy pita delivered to my table. The bits of char are reminiscent of perfect pizza crust. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Hope you have enjoyed this post and learned a thing or two about the wide range of flatbread in existence. Try some out; it’s quite the experience!


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