Its another weekend and I always try to make something fun and different on Fri. evenings!!!! Let me go back to something I served last Fri. at home...which was met with oohs! and aahs! from the kids...
Pav bhaji : According to wikipedia... is a fast food dish native to Maharashtrians and is popular in most metropolitan areas in India, particularly in the Maharashtrian city of Mumbai & Pune. (पाव भाजी, also transliterated as pao bhaji and pau bhaji). According to wiktionary... a Maharashtrian fast food dish served on (पाव) bread and garnished with coriander and chopped onions. For most desis, Pav Bhaji is a well-known dish that most of us have feasted on since childhood, even though the recipe might vary slightly in every household.
And, Pizza???...again, according to wikipedia...it is an oven-baked, flat, disc shaped bread usually topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella and then a selection of meats/vegetables and herbs depending on taste and culture. Modern pizza originated in Italy as the Neapolitan pie with tomato. In 1889 cheese was added. King Ferdinand I (1751–1825) is said to have disguised himself as a commoner and, in clandestine fashion, visited a poor neighborhood in Naples. One story has it that he wanted to sink his teeth into a food that the queen had banned from the royal court—pizza.
Now, you may definitely wonder why I talk about two such diverse foods in the same breath. After all, we have all heard this..."East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet..." But I beg to differ when it comes to...Pav Bhaji Pizza!!!
This is a scrumptious dish we first ate at an entertainment/videogame arcade run by desi Indians, here in the Bay area...they have a restaurant where they sell among other things, this Indianised version of pizza... which has a pizza base and topping of pav bhaji curry and cheese, cilantro, onions...yummm! Since then, we have had three birthday parties for our daughter in that entertainment arcade(they specialise in kids' themed parties) and after the first time, when we served the pav bhaji pizza to our guests...we have requests every year from our friends to have her birthday party at the same arcade...they all say they cant wait to try the pizza at her party:))
So, I made this last Fri. evening for my family...I used store-bought pizza base, but of course, you could make it at home...hope you all try this scrumptious dish and give me your comments.
This surprisingly wonderful recipe(normally, pizza is not my favorite dish, but loved this variation)... Pav Bhaji Pizza is making its way to Lavi's Global Kadai - Indian Flavored Pizza event...started by Cilantro.
Recipe for Pav Bhaji Pizza:-
Prep/Cook time: 35-40 mins.(with store-bought pizza dough)
For Pizza Base/Dough: Alton Brown's Recipe and Emeril's Recipe on Food Network
For Curry/Bhaji Topping:
Potatoes, boiled and mashed - 3 medium or big size + cauliflower - 1 boiled and mashed
Tomatoes, chopped - 3 medium
Onions, chopped - 2 medium or 1 big size
Green peas, shelled 1/2 cup
Ginger, chopped 1 inch piece
Garlic 6 or 7 cloves
Oil - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Green chillies, chopped 3-4
Pav bhaji masala 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 medium or big size
Onion - 1/2 cut finely for garnish(optional)
Cheese - mozzarella, grated 3 or 4 tbsp
Boil green peas in water till soft, drain, mash lightly and set aside. Grind ginger and garlic to a fine paste.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat oil in a pan and add three fourth quantity of onions. Sauté till light brown. Add green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Stir-fry for half a minute. Add half the quantity of tomatoes and cook on medium heat for three to four minutes, stirring continuously or till oil separates from the masala.
Add mashed peas, cauliflower, potatoes and one and half cups of water. Bring it to a boil and simmer for seven to ten minutes, pressing with back of the spoon a few times, till all the vegetables are completely mashed.
Add Pavbhaji Masala, salt and remaining tomatoes. Cook on medium heat for two minutes, stirring continuously. Then set aside.
Now, spread parchment paper/foil on baking sheet and place the pizza base/crust on it. Spread an even layer of the curry/bhaji on the pizza base.
Next, add the fresh cut onions, cheese and cilantro on top of the curry. Optionally, you could place some butter on the top of the pizza crust. Bake for 10 - 12 mins(or according to package directions for pizza crust)
When the pizza comes out of the oven, drizzle some lemon juice on top of pizza...serve hot / at room temp.