Nawsaji is kind of like a cross between breakfast pastry, doughnut, and Indian naan bread. Lightly fried in oil, it’s not for every day, but with its bready texture and gentle sweetness offset by aromatic nigella seeds, nawsaji is the ultimate breakfast treat, and such a fun way to start your day. 

Enjoy nawsaji with natural yogurt, honey and walnuts. Or, if you fancy a savoury breakfast, serve it alongside a fried egg with a runny yolk.

Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour for proving)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 (makes 8 nawsaji, so 2 each)
Make ahead: I like to make these the night before I want them for breakfast. Heat them up in a warm oven or microwave before serving, or serve cold. 

430g (3 cups) strong white bread flour
250 – 310ml (1 – 1¼ cup) warm water 
24g (2 tbsp) sugar 
10g (1 tbsp) dried active yeast
8g (1 ¼ tsp) fine salt
10g (1 tbsp) nigella seeds 
2 tbsp sunflower oil 
Enough oil for shallow frying

​1. Add the bread flour to a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl add in the yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of warm water. Stir for a few minutes until it all mixes together, then make a well in the flour and pour the yeast mixture in. Slowly stir together with a spoon.

3. Add 2 tbsp sunflower oil and 1 tbsp nigella seeds to the mixture and knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes until it forms a smooth, elastic ball (add some more warm water to the dough at this point if you feel it needs it, I use about ¼ cup).

4. Cover the bowl with cling film or a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about an hour. 

5. Once proved and double the size, tip out your dough mixture onto a floured surface and divide into 8 equal portions.

6. Prepare your frying pan. Put enough oil into a pan to shallow fry your nawsaji, and turn the heat on high. 

7. Using your fingers, gently press down on the first portion of dough to form a flat piece that is no more than 5mm thick. Once the oil in the pan is hot, put the dough into the pan and fry, pressing down on the dough with a spatula if necessary to ensure that it browns evenly. Allow 1 minute on each side, or until both sides are golden brown. 

8. Whilst one nawsaji is frying, shape the next portion of dough. If you prefer, you can shape all your dough pieces before you start frying, but this is more time consuming. 

9. Once all the nawsaji are made, serve and enjoy!

4 thoughts on “NAWSAJI”

  • Thank you for the recipe. We tried it last night and they were delicious.

    We did find with the quantities given, the dough turned out slightly wet, so ended up adding additional flour after proving.
    Also in the written steps, when to add the Nigela seeds is missing, so I added them when mixing the ingredients, like in your photo.

    Will definitely be making these again!

    • Thank you, I’ve updated the recipe so the extra 1/4 cup warm water in step 3 is optional, and I’ve written when to add the nigella seeds so it should be clearer now. Thanks for pointing this out, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the nawsaji!

  • I made this for family, everyone absolutely loved it, including me! So easy to make and it’s so worth it

  • These are great! Made them this morning for Newroz and we loved them. Will definitely make them again.

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