Indian pizza, in my mind, trumps nearly every other flavour out there. I think it's the combination of complexly flavoured spices and tastes found in Indian food, but with the bread and cheese combo that is perfect on pizza.
Sadly, this winning combination seems to be scarcely available outside of California, so, during my years in Massachusetts, I started making my own.
This recipe is based on those by Shari from My Fancy Pantry and Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen. I highly recommend both of these blogs, so please go and check them out!
You will need:
- a oven and stovetop
- several bowls
- a frying pan
- a wooden spoon
- a pizza pan
- a good sharp knife and cutting board
- a rolling pin
- a food brush (optional, but definitely useful)
- 1 medium size onion
- 2 small yukon gold or purple potatoes
- olive oil, hot pepper flavoured if available
- pizza dough, or ingredients to make such
- a soft, easily meltable cheese: I recommend fontina, preferably smoked if you can find it
- paneer (optional, but delicious. See my other instructable for how to make your own flavoured paneer)
- Indian spices: I used garam masala, paprika, tumeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cloves, and vadavan spice blend
Step 1: Caramelized Curried Onions
Make some caramelized onions, flavoured with the spices of your choice.
First, I heated some hot pepper olive oil and some garlic over medium-low heat. Once that was hot, I added two chopped onions - one large white and one small red, for diversity of flavour.
Then I added my spices. I used 1 tablespoon each of vadavan spice blend (available from Amazon) and garam masala (tastier if you make it yourself), 1 teaspoon each of paprika and tumeric, and 1/2 teaspoon each of cardamom, cumin, coriander, and cloves. Mix them up in the onions, and let cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, cover with a lid, lower heat down to low, and cook for another 20 minutes before transferring to a bowl. Do not wash pan yet!
You will probably have extra onions - resist the urge to each them immediately on toast with an egg on top, but feel free to indulge in that later, with the leftovers.
Step 2: Make Pizza Dough
If you are feeling up to the challenge, and are not yeast-impaired like my mother, make some pizza dough. I used Deb Perelman's Rushed Pizza Dough from her book The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which I highly recommend for everyone.
Mix 1 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water, and let sit for 5 minutes (also known as proofing the dough). During these five minutes, heat oven to 200 deg F very briefly, and turn off before yeast is done proofing. Then add 1 cup of white flour, 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, and combine to form a rough shaggy dough.
Knead for 5 minutes, either by hand or with your handy-dandy dough hook.
Transfer dough to a well-oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size, in your pre-heated oven.
If you don't want to make your own dough, there's no shame. Trader Joe's makes delicious pizza dough, and it will certainly cut down on how many things you have to juggle at once.
Step 3: Lightly Toast Sliced Potatoes
While your dough is rising, slice your potatoes as thin as possible. If you have a mandolin, this is the perfect time for it.
Add some oil to your onion-spice pan and heat on medium heat. Toast potato slices for 1 minute on each side.
Step 4: Prepare Pizza Dough
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from oven. Heat oven to 450 deg F.
Roll out pizza as thin as possible, to fit either a 12 inch or 16 inch pizza pan, whatever you have available. Brush the pizza with oil (hot pepper olive oil preferred) and bake for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Assemble Pizza Toppings
Grate your fontina or other soft cheese, until you have about 2/3 of a cup.
Layer your toppings on the pre-baked pizza crust. I prefer this order:
Step 6: Bake Your Pizza
Bake your pizza for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is brown and crunchy, and all the fontina has melted.
Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cilantro as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Cut into wedges, and enjoy!