This is not your regular Pizza Hut style pizza. But it is my most favourite pizza recipe in the whole world. That's because this is the pizza that I've been eating since I was a little girl. My Amma (mother) used to make it very often and my friends loved it too. Some of them still remember the 'Pizza Party' we had several times at my place where Amma and Pachi (aunt) would whip up these delcious pizzas by the dozen.
We would get the base from some local bakeries and if the base was not available, how disspointed we would be! Those were times when Dominos was the only famous pizza joint in M'lore and paying a large sum of money for a pizza seemed downright stupid!
Even now when I travel to M'lore I look forward to eating these yummy pizzas made by my mother. She got this recipe from her sister, Nandini Pachi.
My previous endeavours with baking bread - the crescent rolls and the jeera bread - left me overjoyed. I thought of using this experience to make a whole wheat pizza base. A healthy pizza base with my favorite Indian-style topping on it, what more could I ask for! Cheese of course.
1 to 2 tbsp ghee/ butter
12 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2 tsp chilly powder
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1 large tomato
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green beans
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tsp maida (all purpose flour)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp sugar
Grated mozzarella cheese
[Note : You could add mushrooms, corn, capsicum, olives, jalapeños etc to make it more colourful. Here, I have stuck to my mom's recipe].
Chop onions fine. Crush garlic. I like to use the garlic peel as well, but you can discard them.
Boil carrots and beans in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes with just a few tablespoons of water, mixing once or twice in between. The vegetables should be crunchy to the bite and not overcooked. [The beans may be a bit raw at this stage but will be taken care of later].
Heat ghee/ butter. Add the crushed garlic and roast till they turn brownish and exude a garlicky smell. Sauté onions till they turn translucent. Add chilly powder, black pepper powder and stir well. Add tomatoes and roast till they are completely cooked. Sprinkle garam masala powder and roast for a couple more minutes. Add the vegetables and roast till they are cooked but crunchy. Pour in tomato ketchup and mix well. To thicken the sauce, mix 2 tsp maida (all purpose flour) with water and add. Bring to a soft boil. Add sugar, salt and coriander leaves and mix well.
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 cup warm water (100ºF to 110ºF)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup water (+ a few tsp)
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup warm water . Add yeast, mix gently and leave aside for 5 to 10 minutes, till it foams.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, oil, water, garlic powder and yeast mixture and knead for a few minutes to form a smooth dough. If it is too dry and stiff, add a few tsp of water. If it turns too sticky, add some more flour and knead well. [It should be very slightly sticky.]
Transfer the dough into a large bowl greased with oil, turning the dough around, till it is well coated with oil.
Cover with a plastic wrap or a towel. Keep aside for an hour to hour and a half, till the dough doubles in size. It will be light and airy.
Punch the dough to deflate it and divide it into 3 equal portions. [I was so excited about the whole thing I completely forgot to take pictures. If you want to see how much the dough increases and how to roll it, refer my earlier posts here and here]
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
I remembered seeing a pizza stone being used to bake the dough in some cookery show sometime back. So I read up a little bit on it. However, I don't have a pizza stone, so I used what I thought was the next best thing - a cookie sheet [baking tray used to bake cookies]. Place the (ungreased) cookie sheet into the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, dust a large cutting board or a clean countertop with a little bit of flour. Roll one portion of the dough into a big circle (5 to 6") in diameter. [I couldn't manage to get a perfect round. So I overturned a round plate on it to cut out a circle. I gently pressed the edges of the circle].
Transfer the base onto a parchment paper. With a fork, gently poke a few holes into the base like so :
Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and transfer the pizza base along with the parchement paper onto the cookie sheet.
Spread grated mozarella cheese on top. This is where homemade pizza has an advantage - you can add only as much cheese as you want.
Return to the oven and bake at 425ºF for another 5 minutes. Repeat with the other two portions.
[If you don't have an oven and use a ready made pizza base, just heat oil on the tawa, roast the pizza covered till the bottom of the base browns up. Microwave for 15s so that the cheese melts all over].
This entire five minutes, my nose was stuck to the oven door and I was enjoying every second watching the cheese slowly melt into the sizzling sauce. Divine!
And for the next few minutes I was pacing up and down waiting for the pizza to cool down a little so I could devour it! Burned my tongue in the process, but who really cares!