Thursday, March 29, 2012

Indian Pizza

I had this great idea for making Indian inspired pizza. I thought about it for a week and knew it would be a lot of work. I did it over the course of two days. I make the homemade paneer and marinated the Quorn chicken tandori on the first day. On day two I made the chutney and pizza dough. I also make lemon pickle swiss chard but found that the pizza was better without it. For the dough I used Fleishman's pizza yeast which does not require doubling time. I just followed the recipe exactly as written on the package. I could have made naan bread to be more Indian but I was looking for a short cut time-wise. I suppose I could have bought naan.

Indian Tandoori Chik'n Pizza
serves 4 (or 2 hungry bears)

Dough made according the package instruction or you can use my dough recipe here.

I always precook my dough. Usually I do this on the grill but I did it in a pan this time. I brushed it lightly with olive oil and cooked both sides on medium heat until bubbles formed.

For the paneer:
1/4 gallon milk
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice or vinegar would work as well)
cheese cloth

Place the milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then add lemon juice. The milk will form curds and whey. When your whey is greenish and thin it's time to strain. Tie your cheese cloth around the ball of curds and hang above the sink for 30 minutes to an hour. (As you can see I could not find my cheesecloth, so I found a shirt with open weave like a cheese cloth and made it work. It's kind of funny.) Then I pressed mine into a plastic container and put it in the refrigerator overnight. This helped to make it more firm. When it was time to use I cut it into cubes.
Making it work!

For the chutney:
1 bunch cilantro
2 hot peppers, serrano or jalapeno
1 handful shelled pistachios (I guess this is about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
salt to taste
Blend it!

For the tandoori chik'n:
1/2 bag Quorn chicken pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Tandoori spice and paprica (enough to get the red color you desire for me this was about 1/4-1/3 cup)

Just mix this together and pop it into the refrigerator to marinated for however long you have. Mine marinated for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When it was time to assemble  I smeared the chutney onto the dough, placed the paneer and marinated "chicken" on my pizza. I let it cook for about 25 minutes if memory serves me correctly.

In retrospect the chutney lost it's acidity in cooking so I would probably change the recipe by cooking the dough and chicken in the oven on their own, then assembling all of the ingredients. Paneer doesn't really melt anyway so it doesn't need to be cooked in the oven. The other option would be to make the tandoori marinade as your sauce instead of marinating your chicken with it. I think I might try to make a saag paneer pizza or a madras mixed vegetable curry pizza.... mmmm.

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