Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pizza Pizza!

My favorite food after my obsession with AFSI (all foods S. Indian, Indian, etc.) is pizza. And I can  honestly say the best I've had, on several occasions is at the extremely laid back, high quality Piece Pizzeria, in the Wicker Park area of Chicago. It is as good as pizza gets. I lived closer to that pizza joint once upon a time. Saddeningly, these days I must fly over a 1400 mile stretch to sink a bite into a piece of Piece. Distance can never diminish that strong love I possess, I confess Piece Pizza will always be my sunshine of pies.
Keeping that in mind, pizza as America and the world know it stems into quite a different path, unalike it's very traditional and original Neapolitan counterpart. These days, we have oozy cheesed up buttered-crusted options that overfloweth with unbearable goodness. Further decorated with more than a gazillion toppings. Agreed, pizza is everywhere, familiar ingredients making it undoubtedly fine, yes, but a little too run-of-the-mill so.

Bringing me back on track to my adoration of savoury pie and my immutable, rather fierce love of  Indian ingredients led me one day to the realization that bringing two of the most potent food species together could result in a super phenomenal eat of high intense ranking.

Entirely a can do, right? Something I should do, I know. Though the nagging head talk diligently reminded me of my irksome Fear of Pizza Dough. Don't get me wrong, numerous times went by where according to recipe instruction I'd come up with fantismo dough making results. On the other hand, an equal number of occasions led to epic dough making fail, doomed from the onset with a no rise, super sticky demeanor that no one could put straight. Pathetic it was, the days relying heavily on my hope in the Hut (Pizza, that is) and of course readymade pizza crusts.

But let me tell you, my sweeties, miracles do happen. Mine came, in the form of a larger-than-half-my-kitchen counter breadmaking machine. So yes, with my brilliant breadmaker churning out dough, I was liberated to dream up topping after topping, thus bringing me to my India meets Italy mighty wonder. Oh, how good it is to see these two in union, not in a long time has this  merging looked so fabulous and chic.

Shredded chicken tandoori carried with a flavor packed white sauce styles the top of this stretched, baked- crust dough.

Dear people, this is seriously good, it is beyond swoon.

So, stop order that ridiculously cheesy( yes, pun) takeout, and give Tandoori Chicken pie a try.

Surely, you will consider yourself fortunate if ever a slice makes it for leftover following morning.

What shall it be then, shukriya or arrivederci - I accept and you are most welcome, si!

Ingredients :
  • pizza dough ( enough for two medium pizzas)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or canola
  • shredded tandoori chicken from 4 breasts
  • 1 ½ c chili white sauce
  • ½ c feta cheese 
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
Directions :
  • Preheat oven oven to 400° F.
  • Working with one piece of dough at a time (keep second covered), shape with hands or roll with pin dough into either a rectangular shape or round ( 7- 9 ",to fit  2 baking trays) of 1/2- 1/4 inch thickness. 
  • Brush olive oil over both sheets of prepared dough. Divide and pour sauce over both stretched doughs. Top both with shredded chicken and sprinkle  the feta over that.
  • Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until dough is done.
  • Take out and top with cilantro leaves.

 Tandoori chicken topping:
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili powder or cayenne (adjust this for heat)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • *1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Mix the ingredients from the coriander powder to to oil together and combine to paste- like form
  • Evenly coat the chicken breasts with the mixture.
  • Place chicken onto a lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes .
  • When cool, pull apart pieces and shred with fingers
  Chili white sauce:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ c warm milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ 10 oz. can lime and chili blend diced canned tomatoes
  • In a small heavy saucepan over medium- low heat, melt the butter.
  • Blend flour into the melted butter using a wooden spoon. Cook and stir over low heat for 4 - 5 minutes.
  • At this point, use a whisk and slowly stream in milk, whisking at intervals.
  • Continue to stir and cook until mixture is smooth, thick and free of lumps.
  • Stir in salt.
  • Take off heat.
  • Let cool. Pour in canned tomatoes and combine with the sauce.
For the pizza dough I used the recipe that came with my breadmaker's manual, which gives me steady results each time, not to mention the ease of it - throw in the ingredients- it mixes, it kneads, dough rises. For those of you wanting to make dough with a processor which can also be done by hand, I've adapted an awesome one from  Bobby Flay. Believe me I've tried and the Iron Chef duly delivers a very good dough.

Junior bunch don't like leaves on pizza, so I omit the cilantro, altogether.
Pizza Dough:
( adapted from Bobby Flay's Bar Americain cookbook)
  • 1 c water, you may not need the whole amount
  • 1 ½ tsp yeast
  • 2 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil or canola 
  • 2 c bread flour or all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Measure ½ c of the water into a cup. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture foams, 5-7 minutes.
  • In a food processor, pulse  flour and salt until mixed well.
  • Add in yeast mixture and pulse 4- times to combine.
  • Stream in olive oil and slowly add in water. Pulse with each addition, all the water may not be used for dough to pull together.
  • Process until dough is smooth and pliable.
  • Take out and turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. 
  • Form into a smooth ball, keep covered in a well oiled bowl, until doubled in size, about 2- 4 hours.
We like our crusts thick, but if you prefer a thinner dough, roll out thin.
Never doubt ~ God will finish His work in your life in its entirety. Trust His faithfulness.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6


  1. Oh my goodness Tisa!!!! This is to DIE FOR!

    1. Aw, thanks so much Annie, it was just that!

  2. I love pizza! Well, who doesn't! This looks lipsmacking.

  3. I love how you dressed this pizza! I don't know how else to say DELICIOUS!

  4. I feel honoured to be in the prescence of such a stunning pizza :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Thank you G. Uru, an honor to be complimented by you, dearie :))

  5. What a fabulous idea! This looks so yummy.

    1. Thanks so much, this is what happens much of the time with leftover grill meat :))


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!