Yes! we have all had it all, in all its forms and diversity; pizza rolls, pizza pie, pizza pasta, pizza bagel, bread pizza, thick crusted pizza, thin crusted pizza, cheese stuffed crust pizza, kebab stuffed crust pizza, deep pan and sheet pan and from countless flavours in various food culture frames, who knew pizza would be so eloquent. It’s simply something that doesn’t fail to impress and just when you thought, there is nothing left to explore, pizza ofcourse surprises us again. That’s right, the flatbread Naan pizza has come to pizza town and it’s all the other pizzas are talking about. It has taken the “pizza obsession of a saucy and cheesy devotion to a whole new level” (Keryn Donnelly).
Anyone who knows me, knows I have always had a relationship with pizza. Growing up my mom never made home made pizzas because she was more of a Indian cuisine lover kind of lady. The first time I had a pizza was at a friend’s party where her mom was baking pizzas in the kitchen. She was literally on a roll where she would bring two in and we friends would immediately devour it and there she was again putting two more in the oven, ready just in time as the first two were finished off. That day just sparked my love of pizza in me and it wasn’t for the pizza I would at Pizza Hut or at a pizza parlour or take outs; No way! nothing compares a home baked pizza, it is densed with memories. I will never forget that friends mum for as long as I will be living because she imprinted the love of pizza on my heart, the blissful, laughing and partying memories of that party back when I was doing my GCSE’s are tattooed in my brain for life. And thus, began my love relationship with pizza that never replenished. I read Sarah Addison Allen’s “Lost Lake” a couple of months ago, a book worth reading, and here’s the thing about me and my reading habit, I jolt down every food reference I read in any book because those references help me write my blog emotionally and meaningfully because those food references are what I can actually relate to. In the book, she made a food reference to pizza stating, “warm, enticing scents were floating down, basil, oregano and tomato. It made Wes, long for something, something he couldn’t place, a happy childhood, a home”. We all have our own pizza memories and that which deepens our love of it.
So, these flat bread pizzas are no different and a devoted pizza lover will love pizza in all its forms. The base is the fluffy Naan Bread very common in the East and used to eat curries with and dunked in gravies. The perfect Naan is one that is crusty on the outside but is fluff as cotton from the inside. As you tear a piece of it, it is as if you have placed your hand atop of a cloud. That is when you know you have the perfect Naan bread. This is what makes this recipe extremely effortless and hassle free because your base is already done. Just in case you wonder, why not use a pre-made pizza dough? I say No-No, that is just vile. I would rather go through the process of kneading and proofing a home made pizza dough than to buy a pre-made crust. I just don’t like it and if you really are pressed for time, Naan bread really is the best way to go. These flatbread pizza’ s take less than 25 minutes to put together. Now, doesn’t that sound nice?
The sauce is a blend of East and West harmony flavours. I mean this flatbread pizza has it all, Tandoori Masala, BBQ sauce, smoked cheese and mango chutney and recently, I have fallen deeply in love with Roasted Red Peppers and have gone on a Roast pepper spree with almost every recipe. You would think, wouldn’t that make every recipe taste the same? the answer is No, it doesnt. Roasted Red Peppers incorporate with other flavours accentuate the true flavours of individual spices concocting a new flavour every time. These are a must in my pizza base anytime I make it.
The smoked cheese is another ingredient that gives this pizza topping it’s depth. The smoky flavour pairing with the sweet and smoky flavour of the BBQ sauce and the heat from the Tandoori Masala spice is a perfect trio, where two is a company and three is a crowd, really didn’t apply and these three are made for one happy bunch. Infact, the chilli smoky flavour of the Tandoori Masala and the sweet smoky flavour of the BBC sauce, merge in an explosion of accentuated BBQ’d Tandoori Flavour. It’s a beautiful marriage, until death do them part.
The crunch from the red onions and the herby flavour of coriander is a burst of piquancy. However, the kick of the whole topping that really brings the whole pizza together is ofcourse the Mango Chutney turning the flavours scrumptiously sapid. The sweet and smoky flavour, with just the right amount of heat will have you in an aura of happiness. The one I bought was from Morrison’s, if you can find something similar, that would be ideal but if not, don’t stress, just use any mango chutney available. This one has a little chilli.flakes added to it which makes it really sweet with a kick of heat. It’s yum!
Therefore, give your cliché Pizza a twist with this BBQ Tandoori Naan Pizza with Smoked cheese and Mango chutney. The name says it all, this piquant slices of naan pizza are perfect for a quick and easy dinner, that is both time friendly and packed full of flavour. For those who love a good home-baked pizza, this is ideal.
Happiness that comes from a pizza before, during and after you’ve enjoyed it is something amazing as Jandy Nelson says, “I love pizza, meaning: even when I am in the middle of eating pizza, I wish I were eating pizza” (From the book: I’ll give you the sun). So, go ahead! stuff yourself happy.
Just look at those gorgeous hues.
1. Naan Bread — 4
2. Mango chutney (store bought) — 8 tbsp
3. Smoked cheese slices — 12
4. Mozzarella cheese — 1 cup
5. Coriander leaves chopped — ½ cup
6. Red onion — 2
BBQ Pizza Sauce
1. BBQ sauce — 6 tbsp
2. Tomato tin — ½ cup
3. Roasted Red Pepper (store-bought) — 4
4. Salt — 1 tsp
5. Tandoori masala spice mix — 6 tsp
6. Lemon juice — 2 tsp
7. Red chilli flakes — 1 tsp
8. Dried Fenugreek leaves — 1 tsp
9. Chicken boneless — 960g
10. Oil — 2 tbsp
1. Prepare the topping
a. In a blender, blend together; chopped tomatoes, roasted red pepper, BBQ Sauce, red chilli flakes, salt, tandoori masala, lemon juice, coriander leaves and fenugreek leaves.
b. In a deep skillet, heat oil and add the blended puree.
c. Add the chicken cubes and a sprinkle of water.
d. Cook the chicken until it is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
e. Set aside.
2. Assemble the Naan Pizza
a. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
b. Heat a griddle pan or a fry pan.
c. Butter the bottom of the Naan and toast it on the pan until lightly crisp (the reason is so that it doesn’t go soggy once the filling is on top).
d. Once toasted at the bottom and crisp, move to a baking sheet.
e. Layer the smoked cheese slices at the bottom and top it with the prepared chicken masala.
f. Dollop over the Mango chutney over the masala chicken.
g. Top with mozzarella cheese and add the slices red onions rings on top.
h. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top.
i. Put it in the oven for about 6-8 minutes to help melt the cheese on top (microwave not recommended as it will make the Naan bread soggy).
j. Serve with arugula salad.
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