Keema Naan: Fluffy Flatbreads With Spiced Meat

A Keema Naan recipe for soft Indian naan with mouthwatering spiced ground lamb (or beef) filling. Irresistibly fluffy and delicious.

Delicious plate of fluffy keema naans served with thin slices of cucumber and a creamy dip
  • A spicy meat filling is tucked into a warm, buttery naan. Totally delicious and flavorful; the spiced keema is packed with complex and satisfying flavors.
  • Customizable; go ahead and up the spice and heat level or change the kind of ground meat in the recipe (it typically has minced lamb, but I like to make it with ground beef too).
  • Versatile; keema naan can act as a side dish, snack, full meal, appetizer, or as a partner t another recipe to form part of a full meal.
  • This makes a really nice lunch, and it’s even portable for picnics (like a sandwich or a samosa).
  • This is a snack my Indian husband grew up eating occasionally after school—warm naan bread stuffed with savory spiced minced lamb. I like it with beef, too. 

Keema Naan Ingredients 

Ingredients for a keema naan recipe, including prepared dough, onion, green chillies, ginger, garlic and ground lamb.
  • Flour. All-purpose is perfectly fine for this recipe.
  • Yeast. Grab some instant dried yeast for this dough. It’s really an easy yeast to work with for beginners.
  • Salt. I like using kosher salt in my dough, but regular salt works fine.
  • Baking soda. Ensure your batch is fresh so that it will rise to the occasion.
  • Baking powder. Doubles up with the baking soda to ensure the naan are lovely and light.
  • Plain yogurt. You can use either plain yogurt or buttermilk in this recipe. Go for full fat for the tastiest keema naan.
  • Oil. Use your favorite vegetable oil; avocado works well as it doesn’t have a strong taste.
  • Onion. I choose nice juicy-looking white onion for this recipe.
  • Green chillies. You can either leave the seeds in or take them out if you don’t want them to be too spicy.
  • Ginger. Choose a lovely fresh piece of ginger. You can also use the pre-chopped kind if that’s what you have.
  • Garlic. Pairs with ginger to bring a rich flavor to this recipe. Fresh is best, but pre-chopped is perfectly fine too.
  • Lamb. Ground lamb or beef (I also really love making this with beef) for this recipe. Ground meat carries spices really well.
  • Garam masala. A core flavor in this dish, so ensure you have lovely fresh garam masala.
  • Cumin. It brings brightness to the flavor profile; choose ground cumin.
  • Coriander. Ground cilantro or coriander is a distinctive flavor in this dish and stands out among other spices.
  • Cayenne powder. You can leave this out if you prefer or add a little extra if you like heat.
  • Black pepper. Optional, but I love the taste of black pepper cracked over ground meat.
  • Cilantro. It lifts and brightens this snack. I like using coriander leaves and stalks.
  • Melted butter. Plant-based or regular butter is fine for this recipe, don’t skip it, as it pairs so well with naan.

How To Make Keema Naan

You’ll start off by making up the dough, rolling it into dough balls to rest in the fridge before rolling them out into little pads. 

Next is making up the stuffingYou’ll just need to ensure the center of the keema naan reaches 165ºF before you take it off the skillet for food safety reasons.

Lastly, you’ll cook off the naan and assemble them before guzzling them down. 

Step-by-step visual instructions to make delicious, fluffy naan dough
  1. Start by preparing the naan dough. Combine flour, yeast, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed to combine.
  2. Add yogurt and water to the mixer bowl. Starting on low speed, beat until the mixture forms a shaggy dough, then switch to the hook attachment and knead for 4 minutes on medium-low speed. It may look very sticky initially but will come together as it kneads (don’t add more flour).
  3. Flour a work surface. Dump out the dough and sprinkle it lightly with flour, too. Knead once or twice to form a large ball. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball by rolling the dough between your hands.The dough is still quite sticky at this point, but you can work with it.
  4. Cover the dough balls and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Now prepare the filling. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and ½ tsp of the salt; cook until very soft and golden, about 20 minutes. 
  6. Add chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute a minute more. 
  7. Add lamb (or beef) to pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp salt plus the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spatula, until no longer pink. Let the filling cool slightly. 
Step-by-step photo instructions to prepare a delicious keema naan filling with minced meat, onions, and spices
  1. To assemble: Use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into circles about ¼” thick, if not slightly thinner. Lightly flour the work surface and dough as needed.
  2. Place a heaping ¼ cup of filling in the center of one naan circle, leaving a wide border around it. Fold that dough border over the filling and then twist and pinch it closed like a little drawstring purse. Flatten it on a floured surface and then gently roll it out until just thin enough that you can start to see the filling through the dough.
  3. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough. 
  4. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you sprinkle it with water, and it beads and evaporates immediately.
  5. Add one naan to the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the underside is golden (about 30-60 seconds). Flip and cook for another 30 seconds on the other side. 
  6. Stir cilantro (if using) into the melted butter.
  7. Transfer keema naan to a serving plate as they’re cooked and immediately brush with the butter.
Step-by-step photo instructions to assemble a delicious keema naan, from filling in the dough to cooking on an iron skillet

Other Yummy Indian Bites to Serve With This At A Party

Keema Naan is such a great snack to serve for a group. If you’re hosting a gathering, why not whip up a batch of my golden, crispy Potato Samosas or Chicken samosas?

I love the idea of serving this Creamy Indian chickpea salad as well with plain homemade naan as a protein-packed vegetarian option that’s bursting with flavor.

Make Ahead Instructions 

The dough can be made in advance and refrigerated as dough balls before rolling. You can also make the filling up in advance and refrigerate for up to 3 days before using.

You can stuff the keema naan and roll them out and refrigerate at that point. Simply cook them when ready to eat. Layer them between sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. 

Reheat leftovers in the oven, wrapped in foil to keep them soft.

Storage Instructions 

To store keema naan, first allow it to cool completely. Next, wrap it in plastic wrap or in a resealable plastic bag. 

Keema naan can be stored in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The fridge stales all bread (including naan) faster than the freezer, so if you’re not going to eat it the next day, just freeze them.

See reheating instructions below in FAQs. Be sure to fully reheat to 165ºF for safe food handling.

Keema Naan Variations 

  • Cheesy keema naan. Add a sprinkling of grated cheddar or mozzarella on top of the meat while assembling.
  • Vegetarian keema naan. Swap the meat for a plant-based ground meat alternative.
  • Chicken keema naan. Use ground chicken in place of beef or lamb.
  • Add chopped fresh tomatoes to the fresh cilantro at the end.

FAQs

What is Keema naan made of?

Keema naan traditionally is a spiced ground meat (typically lamb) that is bundled up in naan bread before being cooked over a skillet.

What is the difference between Peshwari and keema naan?

While both are flatbread-based dishes but Peshwari naan is filled with a sweet mixture of nuts and raisins, while keema naan is filled with spiced minced meat.

Can you reheat Keema Naan?

Yes, you can reheat keema naan that was stored in a food-safe manner (i.e. refrigerated and not left out overnight) but the method you use to reheat it is very important. Here’s what you should do:

1. Arrange keema naan in a single layer on a baking sheet.
2. Tightly wrap the baking sheet with foil (this keeps the moisture in so the naan doesn’t dry out)
3. Heat in a 350ºF oven.
4. Ensure the internal temperature of the filling reaches 165ºF for food safety.

Can you freeze Keema Naan?

Yes, you can freeze Keema Naan. In fact, it is better to freeze it than to store it in the fridge because the temperature of the refrigerator makes bread stale even faster than room temperature. Keema naan freezes very well for up to 3 months, just keep it tightly wrapped or in an airtight container and follow my instructions above to reheat it.

Don’t miss these other delicious flatbread recipes:

More Indian Recipes You Don’t Want To Miss

I love to serve keema naan with my father-in-law’s yogurt and cucumber salad (but a dish of plain yogurt with some salt and a drizzle of oil for dipping is also delish, if untraditional).

If you love cozy Indian food, you’re going to swoon for some of my other favorite Indian recipes! This comforting creamy Shrimp Korma and almost-famous Butter Paneer or Butter Chicken recipes are great places to start. Or for lentil lovers, you can’t miss these Creamy Madras Lentils. The sauce is to die for! A pot of steaming Authentic Indian Chai is traditional if serving Keema Naan as an afternoon snack. Here are a few other favs not to miss:

(Read next: Roti vs Naan and Paratha vs Naan to learn the main differences between most popular Indian flatbreads!)

Keema Naan

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Side Dish
Indian
Keyword Keema Naan

Ingredients
 
 

For naan:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 18 oz by weight
  • 1 tbsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1 cup warm water see note

For filling:

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 ½ cups diced onion from 1 large
  • 2 minced green chillies optional
  • 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp salt divided
  • 1 lb ground lamb or beef
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper

For topping:

  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 3 tbsp melted butter

Instructions
 

For the dough:

  • Combine flour, yeast, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed to combine.
  • Add yogurt and water to the mixer bowl. Starting on low speed, beat until the mixture forms a shaggy dough, then switch to the hook attachment and knead for 4 minutes on medium-low speed. It may look very sticky at first but will come together as it kneads (don’t add more flour).
  • Flour a work surface. Dump out the dough and sprinkle it lightly with flour, too. Knead once or twice to form a large ball. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball by rolling the dough between your hands.
  • The dough is still quite sticky at this point, but you can work with it.
  • Cover the dough balls and let rise 1 hour.

For the filling:

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and ½ tsp of the salt; cook until very soft and golden, about 20 minutes.
  • Add chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute a minute more.
  • Add lamb (or beef) to pan and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp salt plus the cumin, coriander, cayenne and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spatula, until no longer pink (it should reach 165ºF internal temperature).
  • Let filling cool slightly.

To assemble:

  • Use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into circles about ¼” thick. Lightly flour the work surface and dough as needed. Let rolled out dough rest for 10 minutes before you fill it.
  • Place a heaping ¼ cup of filling in the center of one naan circle, leaving a wide border around it. Fold that dough border over the filling and then twist and pinch it closed like a little drawstring purse. Flatten it on a floured surface and then gently roll it out until just thin enough that you can start to see the filling through the dough.
  • Repeat with remaining filling and dough.
  • Preheat cast iron skillet over medium heat for several minutes on medium-low heat. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you sprinkle it with water and it sizzles immediately.
  • Add one naan to the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the underside is golden (1-2 minutes). Flip and cook for another 1-2 on the other side, covered. Cut one open to ensure the dough is cooked through.
  • Stir cilantro (if using) into the melted butter.
  • Transfer keema naan to a serving plate as they’re cooked and immediately brush with the butter.

Video

Notes

 
  • When making the dough: It may look very sticky initially but will come together as it kneads (don’t add more flour).Cover the dough balls while they rest so they don’t dry out.
  • Keep keema naan warm as it comes off the skillet by placing it in a baking dish covered with foil in a 190ºF oven.
  • It’s important to note that keema naan is best enjoyed fresh, as the bread can become slightly chewy when reheated.
  • However, following the storage and reheating instructions in the FAQ section above, you can enjoy your leftover keema naan without sacrificing too much of its flavor or texture.
To serve: I love to serve keema naan with Adarsh’s dad’s recipe for Cucumber-Yogurt Salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 494kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 18gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1260mgPotassium: 270mgFiber: 8gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 218IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Keema Naan

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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Nikki
Nikki
11 months ago

5 stars
This keema naan has fantastic flavors and I love that it can be an appetizer, snack or meal.

Dana Sandonato
11 months ago

5 stars
Absolute perfection! Loved these with our kebabs and tzatziki.

Ned
Ned
11 months ago

5 stars
What an incredible naan recipe! Was delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe!

Katherine Kyle
11 months ago

5 stars
Wow, so delicious! I always used to love keema naans in restaurants, and had no idea it would be so easy to make it at home. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Hayley
11 months ago

5 stars
Naans are my favourite Indian flatbread and these keema naan sounds so amzing! Thanks for providing detailed post and images.

PPS
PPS
11 months ago

5 stars
So good! My only (not too much of a problem) problem is that there was more meat than what fit in the naan. It’s okay though because it just gives me an excuse to make more naan!!

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