One of my friends asked me if I am out of Konkani recipes because I am posting these non-Indian dishes continuously. No, don’t worry, I won’t run out of Indian recipes even if I write a post everyday for next 10 years(I am not exaggerating) and I am not even counting my experimental recipes. Many of my readers asked for this pizza recipe, so I thought of finally posting it.
Last few weeks, I have been experimenting a lot on pizzas. I tasted pizza for the first time at my aunt’s place in Belgaum. When I was studying in engineering college, I used to go to their house very frequently. One night, she had baked pizzas for dinner. That being my first time, I didn’t even know how to eat it. On the dining table, both my cousins(who are very younger to me), uncle and aunt were using their knives and forks to cleanly cut the pizza into small pieces. I was very nervous because I didn’t know how to use a knife :(. Then my cousin felt bad at my plight and he helped me. It was a “love at first bite” :).
After that we regularly started going to a bakery nearby our hostel to eat pizzas. After I moved to Bangalore, somehow I started hating them. The main reason was, I was working in a software company. Our first project needed all of us to work day and night (night literally meant, we used to work throughout night). On these days and on the weekends when we had to work (which was almost every weekend), people used to order pizzas for lunch & dinner. It continued till all the 30 people in the project had already eaten enough pizzas for one lifetime. If anyone suggested pizza, we would all get ready to attack that person :D.
So for almost 2 years, I never touched any pizza. Then one day, my cousin from Belgaum visited us. He wanted to eat in Pizza Corner. I was surprised that one large size pizza costed us 600Rs+. I vowed that day, never to keep my foot again in Pizza Corner :).
When I got married, I soon realized, hubby was a great fan of pizzas. Now we settled on Dominos. Somehow we always liked Dominos. When we came to USA, we are now back to Pizza Hut, but in Bangalore, we definitely prefer Dominos.
Initially when I started making pizzas at home, I always used ready made pizza base. But from last 1 year, I have not bought any base. I always made it at home. Initially I used to make the base with all purpose flour. But these days, I make wheat flour base for my pizzas. I also add few dried herbs which makes the base very tasty. I have experimented a lot with different toppings, different sauces etc. The one which I am posting below is my favorite one. Every time I bake a pizza, I make slight changes to it so that we don’t get bored of it.
Ingredients for Wheat base:
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 tea spn active dry yeast or 1 tea spn(5gms) fresh yeast
1/2 tea spn sugar
1/2 tea spn salt
1/2 tea spn Italian seasoning (a mixture of different dried herbs)
Extra vergin olive oil
In about 1/4 cup of warm water, add sugar and salt. (I usually heat water for 10secs in my ancient microwave). Add the yeast, slightly give a shake to the bowl and leave it for about 5mins. By this time the yeast starts working and you can see a kind of froth.
Now add flour, Italian seasoning and make it into a dough (of about chapathi dough consistency). Add more water if necessary. Pour some olive oil and mix well.
Cover the dough with a damp muslin cloth. I usually leave it as it is without covering, in a warm place. I usually start the microwave for 10secs, stop it and leave the dough there just to keep the dough warm. Leave the dough for 10mins. The dough increases to about double the volume in this time. If the dough is of same size as you started, then there is something wrong and you might want to leave the dough in a warm place for a little more time.
Press the dough to remove air. Roll the dough into a round using a rolling pin or just spread with fingers.
Prick the base with a knife/fork at few places.
Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Bake it in a preheated(heated to 300F for 10mins) oven for about 5-8mins at 300 F. I bake the base just to make sure even baking.
1 and 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 tea spn finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup onion cut into thin slices
1/4 cup capsicum cut into thin slices
1 tea spn chopped fresh basil leaves or about 1/4 tea spn Italian seasoning
1/4 cup fresh/canned pineapple
2 tbl spn chopped olives
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven at 450F for about 10mins.
Spread marinara sauce on the base. Spread all the vegetables on top.
Spread the mozzarella cheese on top.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Spread Italian seasoning or basil, garlic on top.
Bake it in oven at 450F till the cheese is melted.(about 12-15mins)
Serves : 2
– I added ricotta cheese while taking above picture. I saw this in one of the Italian restaurants. I had this cheese with me, so added a little to the pizza. It tasted great.
– I like the fresh basil more than the dried herbs, it is very fragrant.
– Once I added crushed tomato on top instead of marinara sauce. I liked that taste too. I made marinara sauce at home once with Giada’s recipe, it tasted great. I sometimes buy ready made marinara sauce and use it when I am in hurry.
– Toppings can be used according to your choice. I don’t add mushrooms because my hubby is not very fond of them. But they taste great too. I sometimes slightly fry the onions and capsicums in olive oil before adding them to pizza.
– I add the garlic and herbs on top to give extra flavor to the pizza.
All said and done, please keep in mind, this is how I do veggie pizzas and in noway I am saying this is the ‘real’ and final version of it. There might be hundreds of different varieties people make and they may all taste great and be called the ‘real veggie pizzas’. I shall keep on improving and experimenting even with this version that I’ve posted and hope to get to the ‘real’, if there is one. Hope you all give this version a try and see if you like it.