Barbari means "of or related to Barbars" in Persian. Barbars are a group of people living in Khorasan near eastern borders of Iran. According to Dehkhoda Dictionary of Persian Language, this bread was baked by the Barbar (Hazara) people and was brought to Tehran, becoming popular during the Qajar period. In Iran, the Hazaras were known as Barbari ("barbarian," "foreign," "uncivilized"), which they resented. Reza Shah of Iran granted them the name of Khavari ("Easterners") through a decree, and since then, the name Barbari has been abandoned and no longer applies to the ethnic group. However, the bread is still referred to as Nan-e Barbari (bread made by the Barbarians) in Iran while Hazaras refer to it as Nan-e Tandoori (bread made in the Tandoor oven).
This type of bread is perhaps the most common style baked in Iran. It is served in many restaurants with "Tabriz cheese", of ewe's milk, similar to feta cheese. It is also called "Tabrizi bread" because of its connections with the city of Tabriz.