6 Substitutes For Yogurt In Naan Bread 2023

Did you run out of yogurt while making the delicious naan? Or perhaps you are looking for a substitute for yogurt because of dietary reasons or some intolerance towards dairy products?

While making naan, yogurt can be substituted with buttermilk, lemon juice and milk, curd and butter,  sour cream, soy yogurt, and coconut milk yogurt. Some of these substitutes are dairy products while others are vegan-friendly non-dairy products.

Do you want to explore more on how these substitutes can be used to make the delicious flatbread naan? Keep reading to know more.

Naan and Why Yogurt is Important in Naan Recipe

Naan is a commonly eaten flatbread that originated in  India. It goes really well with other Indian curry-based or vegetable preparations. You can also find naan to be fondly relished in some of the countries in Western regions and parts of Central Asia. 

Naan is a type of leavened flatbread. The fluffiness comes from using yeast. Yogurt is primarily used to make the dough stretchy and sticky. The presence of yogurt in the dough also makes the crumb softer.

 Since naan is cooked in a traditional tandoor at a high temperature, it also keeps the naan moist from the inside while giving it the typical blistered appearance from the outside. 

6 Substitutes For Yogurt While Making Naan

Now let’s quickly discuss what are some best substitutes for yogurt in Naan bread. So if you are planning to make a Naan and not sure what to use in the place of yogurt, you can have a look at the following substitutes for yogurt in Naan bread.

Following are some of the substitutes you can easily use instead of yogurt while preparing naan:

1. Buttermilk

The dairy substitute for yogurt that I personally prefer is buttermilk. Buttermilk has a slightly sour and tangy taste to it which imparts a sour taste to your naan making it more flavorful. 

 The major difference between buttermilk and yogurt is the texture. Since buttermilk is a little runny and yogurt is dense and thick, I recommend you do not overdo the use of buttermilk. 

Buttermilk is easily available at any local store and hence is the go-to substitute if you do not mind using dairy. 

How to Substitute:

To get the right levels of elasticity from your dough naan, you can substitute buttermilk in the ratio 0.75: 1. That means for one spoonful of yogurt, use a quarter and a half spoonful of buttermilk.

2. Lemon Juice and Milk

Another quick-fix substitute that I recommend is to use a combination of lemon juice and milk. 

A combination of lemon juice and milk creates an acidic substance similar to yogurt. 

The texture of this substance also resembles yogurt. 

Since both lemons and milk are household items, you can always rely on this substitute when in a fix. The availability of lemon and milk in your nearest supermarket or local store also makes it convenient to use this substitute. 

How to Substitute:

In order to use this substitute you need to first curdle the mixture of lemon juice and milk. You simply need to use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with one and a half cup of milk. Set it aside for a few till it becomes thick and develops the essential bacteria. Then you use the curdled substance in a ratio of 1:1. 

3. Curd and Butter

In the list of quick fixes and easily available substitutes, I recommend using a combination of curd and butter. This is a special substitute as the preparation time for naan is drastically reduced by the use of curd. 

When you are done with kneading the dough for naan, you need to set it aside for some time to let it set. But if you don’t have the time to let the dough sit for some time, you can use this substitute. The bacteria in curd fastens the process without affecting the overall taste and texture of naan. 

The overall texture of the curd and butter mixture is also very much like yogurt. So you don’t have to worry about the consistency of naan dough being affected. 

Since it is easy to get your hands on butter and curd in your nearby supermarket aisles, this also happens to be a convenient substitute for me. 

How to Substitute: 

Take 1/4th cup of curd and 1 tablespoon of butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1/4th cup of water to this mixture little by little till you get a consistency like a yogurt. You can then substitute this mixture in 1:1 proportion. 

4. Sour Cream

If you want your naan to have a richer and tangier taste, I recommend you use sour cream. 

Sour cream is thicker in consistency than buttermilk. Sour cream is also easily available and hence it is easier to use it as a substitute. 

How to Substitute:

Use sour cream in the ratio 0.5: 1. That means for a tablespoon of yogurt use half a tablespoon of sour cream. 

5. Soy Yogurt

For vegans and people having dairy intolerances, I highly recommend using soy yogurt.

I found that soy yogurt is similar in texture and taste to regular yogurt.  

You must however choose the non-flavored soy yogurt while making naan. Given that soy products are easily available in the vegan aisles these days, you should be able to use this substitute conveniently.

How to Substitute:

To use soy yogurt as a  substitute use a 1:1 ratio. That is, for every tablespoon of regular yogurt to make naan dough, use 1 tablespoon of soy yogurt to get your naan bread right.

6. Coconut Milk Yogurt

Another dairy-free substitute for regular yogurt that I recommend is coconut milk yogurt.

Coconut milk yogurt is similar in texture to regular yogurt. So you do not have to worry about your naan dough being too sticky or runny. Just use it like your regular yogurt.  

It can be tricky to get your hands on this substitute though as it may not be easily available in your nearest supermarket.

How to Substitute:

Use a 1:1 ratio while using coconut milk yogurt too. For every 1 portion of regular yogurt use 1 portion of coconut milk yogurt. 


Though yogurt makes naan perfect, you may have to use substitutes in a fix. Both dairy and non-dairy, these substitutes for yogurt in naan, can give you the perfect, tangy, soft, and chewy naan flatbread.

Do let us know what do you think about above discussed substitutes for yogurt in Naan Bread.

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