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Naan vs. Kulcha — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 22, 2024
Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in many cuisines, whereas kulcha is a type of mildly leavened or unleavened flatbread typically stuffed and popular in North India.
Naan vs. Kulcha — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Naan and Kulcha


Key Differences

Naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, giving it a distinct smoky flavor and soft texture, while kulcha may be cooked on a tava (griddle) or in a tandoor, making it versatile in preparation.
Kulchas are often stuffed with ingredients like paneer or potatoes, offering a variety of flavors in each bite, whereas naan is usually plain or simply brushed with butter or garlic.
Naan dough includes yeast or bread starter, which helps it rise and creates a fluffy interior, while kulcha uses baking powder or yogurt as a leavening agent, leading to a denser texture.
In terms of regional popularity, naan is widespread across South Asian countries and has global recognition, whereas kulcha is more specifically associated with North Indian cuisine, particularly Punjab.
Naan often accompanies dishes like kebabs and gravies, used for scooping up sauces and meats, while kulcha is typically served with chole (spiced chickpeas) and is a staple in Punjabi breakfast menus.

Comparison Chart

Leavening Agent

Yeast or bread starter
Baking powder, yeast, or yogurt

Cooking Method

Primarily in a tandoor
Tava (griddle) or tandoor


Soft and fluffy
Denser and can be crisp

Common Fillings

Rarely filled, sometimes garlic or herbs
Often stuffed with paneer, potatoes, etc.

Regional Association

South Asia, global presence
North India, especially Punjab

Compare with Definitions


Often served in various forms such as garlic naan or butter naan.
Garlic naan is perfect for garlic lovers.


Cooked on a griddle or in a tandoor, making it versatile.
The street vendor cooked the kulcha on a hot tava in front of us.


Can be made at home or found in restaurants.
We decided to make naan at home to complement our homemade dal.


Typically associated with North Indian cuisine, especially Punjab.
Amritsari kulcha is renowned for its taste and texture.


Commonly used to scoop up sauces or gravies in meals.
I used a piece of naan to scoop up the last of the curry.


A mildly leavened Indian flatbread, often stuffed with various fillings.
We enjoyed a spicy paneer kulcha for lunch.


A soft and fluffy flatbread made using yeast, traditionally baked in a tandoor.
We ordered naan to accompany our chicken tikka masala.


Served with chole or other curries.
Kulcha with chole is a popular combination in Punjabi restaurants.


Integral to many South Asian cuisines, particularly Indian.
Naan is a staple in many Indian restaurants around the world.


Can be plain or layered with butter.
He preferred his kulcha plain, without any butter or stuffing.


Naan (Persian: نان‎, romanized: nān, Pashto : نان Dari: نان, Punjabi: ਨਾਨ, Hindi: नान, Bengali: নান) is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in the cuisines mainly of Western Asia, Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Caribbean.


Kulcha is a type of mildly leavened flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent.


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


A type of leavened bread from northern India, made with wheat flour and usually eaten with chole.


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

Common Curiosities

Can kulcha be made without any filling?

Yes, kulcha can be made plain, without any fillings.

Are naan and kulcha suitable for vegan diets?

Both can be made vegan, though traditionally, they might contain dairy.

What makes kulcha different from other Indian breads?

Kulcha's stuffing options and cooking method distinguish it from other breads.

What is the main difference in the leavening agent between naan and kulcha?

Naan uses yeast or a bread starter, while kulcha often uses baking powder or yogurt.

Is naan always soft?

Naan is generally soft and fluffy due to the yeast in the dough.

Can I make kulcha at home?

Yes, kulcha can be made at home with basic ingredients and cooking equipment.

Do naan and kulcha use the same type of flour?

Both typically use all-purpose or whole wheat flour.

What is the best way to eat naan?

Naan is best eaten warm, often with a side of curry or kebabs.

What is a common way to serve naan?

Naan is typically served warm with butter, used to scoop up curries or gravies.

Can naan be cooked on a griddle?

While traditionally baked in a tandoor, naan can also be cooked on a griddle.

Is naan suitable for breakfast?

While less common, naan can be eaten for breakfast.

How do the textures of naan and kulcha compare?

Naan is fluffier and softer, whereas kulcha is denser and can be crispier.

Which is typically more flavorful, naan or kulcha?

Kulcha, with its fillings, tends to be more flavorful.

Are there different types of kulcha?

Yes, variations include plain kulcha, stuffed kulcha, and butter kulcha.

Which regions are known for their kulcha?

Punjab in North India is especially famous for its kulcha.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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