Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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nan is the Persian word for bread, now also in common use in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, several C. Asian republics (particularly Uzbekistan) and Xinjiang province, China. In several Finno-Ugrian languages of W. Siberia, it is the general word for dough and dough products. In Afghanistan, it is used as the name for food in general.

People in western countries are likely to know nan, if at all, as something they have in Indian restaurants. However, its distribution in Asia and the various forms which it takes are a complex subject.