The earliest appearance of “nan” in English is from 1810, in a travelogue of William Tooke. The Persian word nān ‘bread’ (Uzbek non/нон) is already attested in Middle-Persian/Pahlavi as n’n ‘bread, food’. The form itself is of Iranian origin.
Unlike some other staple Indian breads, which are unleavened and crafted from durum wheat flour, or atta, fluffy naan is made with all-purpose flour and yeast. Traditionally, the dough is slapped against the chimney wall of a clay tandoor oven and baked over wood fires, but many home cooks make it on the stovetop. It is best savored hot and slathered with ghee.