Punjabi Leavened Bread

Punjabi Leavened Bread especially enjoyed in Punjab in north-west India and Pakistan, is cooked in a traditional coal or wood-fired clay oven called a tandoor. This delicious bread, enriched with milk, yoghurt and butter, is slapped onto the inner walls of the hot oven where they cook quickly, partially puffing, and taking on a smoky flavour.

For a conventional western kitchen, baking this recipe in the oven at 200 C also makes a delightful Indian bread with a crisp textured crust.

Serve alongside my tandoori recipe for a satisfying Indian home-cooking.

Happy Baking!


  • 2 tsp of dried yeast – soaked in 60ml of lukewarm water
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 70g natural plain yoghurt
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 60ml of melted Persian Ghee -some extra for brushing
  • 2tsp salt
  • 525g plain flour – extra for the board and kneading
  • 2 tbsp of Nigella seeds


  1. Add 1 tsp of sugar to the dissolved yeast.  The yeast mixture should start to froth.
  2. Beat yoghurt and egg in a bowl until smooth. Then incorporate the ghee, salt, the yeast mixture and 110 ml of warm water. Mix well.
  3. In a stainless steel/ glass mixing bowl, put 300g of the plain flour making a well in the centre.
  4. Add the yoghurt mixture and whisk with a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter.
  5. Now add the remaining flour gradually until the dough is too stiff to stir with a wooden spoon.
  6. Using your hand continue kneading for 10-15 minutes – add extra flour if required. The dough should be smooth.
  7. Roll into a ball and cover the whole bowl with a few layers of tea towels. This is necessary for rising of the dough in a warm environment.
  8. Leave in warm place for at least an hour until the dough has doubled in size and when pressed with a finger, it leave an impression.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200C, put the baking tray in the oven to preheat.
  10. Knock back the dough and divide into 8 balls. Rest for 10 minutes.
  11. Pat the dough into circles, keeping thin in the centre. Now pull one end of the dough to form a teardrop shape.
  12. Brush the dough with melted ghee and sprinkle with nigella seeds.
  13. Bake on preheated trays for 5-7 minutes until puffed and golden crusty.
  14. Serve warm with lamb tandoori (recipe here)

Nush-e-Jan! (Enjoy!)

*** Cooking Tips ***

If your yeast mixture doesnot froth it means your culture is not alive – discard and start again

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