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Naan vs. Paratha: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Aimie Carlson || Published on November 22, 2023
Naan is a soft, leavened flatbread baked in a tandoor, while paratha is a flaky, unleavened flatbread fried on a griddle, often stuffed or layered.

Key Differences

Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven called a tandoor, giving it a distinct smoky flavor. While, paratha is cooked on a flat griddle, known as a tava, which imparts a crispy texture.
The dough of naan includes yeast or baking powder, making it soft and fluffy. Paratha, in contrast, is unleavened and gets its layers from the way the dough is folded and rolled.
Naan often accompanies dishes with rich gravies, serving as a scoop for the sauce. However, paratha is versatile, eaten at breakfast or as a snack, and can be stuffed with fillings like potatoes or paneer.
Naan can be flavored with ingredients like garlic, herbs, or butter. Whereas, paratha's flavor comes from ghee or oil used in cooking, and the potential stuffing or spices mixed into the dough.
In terms of regional popularity, naan is more common in Northern India and Central Asia. Paratha is widely consumed across the Indian subcontinent, with various regional variations.

Comparison Chart

Cooking Method

Baked in a tandoor
Fried on a griddle (tava)

Dough Type

Leavened, made with yeast or baking powder
Unleavened, layered or stuffed


Soft and fluffy
Flaky and crispy

Common Flavors

Garlic, herbs, butter
Spices, ghee, various fillings

Regional Popularity

Northern India, Central Asia
Across the Indian subcontinent

Naan and Paratha Definitions


Made using yeast or baking powder.
The yeast in the dough makes the naan rise and become airy.


Known for its flaky, layered texture.
The flakiness of the paratha was perfect with the creamy yogurt.


A leavened, oven-baked flatbread.
We enjoyed garlic naan with our chicken tikka masala.


Typically cooked with ghee or oil.
The crispy texture of the paratha was due to the ghee used in frying.


Soft and fluffy bread, often with a smoky flavor.
The butter naan complemented the spicy curry perfectly.


An unleavened flatbread cooked on a griddle.
I had aloo paratha for breakfast, stuffed with spiced potatoes.


Often flavored or topped with ingredients like garlic or butter.
The garlic naan was fragrant and flavorful.


Often stuffed with fillings like vegetables or cheese.
The paneer paratha was filling and delicious.


Traditionally cooked in a tandoor.
The naan had the characteristic tandoor-baked charred spots.


A versatile bread, eaten across the Indian subcontinent.
We had keema paratha, stuffed with minced meat, for dinner.


A flat, leavened bread of northwest India, made of wheat flour and baked in a tandoor.


An Indian bread with a texture somewhat resembling puff pastry; sometimes stuffed with vegetables etc.


A type of round, flat bread baked in a tandoor popular in South and Central Asian cuisine.


How is naan traditionally cooked?

In a clay oven called a tandoor.

What gives naan its fluffy texture?

The use of yeast or baking powder.

Is naan a staple in Indian cuisine?

Yes, especially in Northern India.

What is paratha?

A flaky, unleavened flatbread fried on a griddle.

What is naan?

A soft, leavened flatbread baked in a tandoor.

Can naan be flavored?

Yes, with garlic, herbs, or butter.

Can paratha be stuffed?

Yes, commonly with potatoes, paneer, or other fillings.

How is paratha different in texture from naan?

It's flakier and often crispy.

Where is paratha most popular?

Across the Indian subcontinent.

What is paratha typically cooked with?

Ghee or oil.

Is paratha considered a healthy option?

It depends on the filling and amount of ghee or oil used.

What makes paratha's layers?

The folding and rolling technique of the dough.

Do naan and paratha have regional variations?

Yes, with many local variations.

Is naan served with specific dishes?

Often with rich, saucy dishes.

Do naan and paratha require different ingredients?

Yes, especially the leavening agents for naan.

Are naan and paratha served in restaurants outside India?

Yes, they are popular in Indian restaurants worldwide.

Are naan and paratha served at specific times?

Naan with meals; paratha can be for breakfast or snacks.

Can naan be a meal on its own?

Rarely, it's usually an accompaniment.

Are there gluten-free versions of naan and paratha?

Yes, using alternative flours.

Can both naan and paratha be homemade?

Yes, with practice and the right equipment.
About Author
Written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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