We love Indian food and were pleasantly surprised to learn about the fusion of Indian food and pizza. Indian pizza is becoming quite a hit in many pizzerias. So you know we had to try it, and it is just as good as you think it would be.
Indian pizza combines the richness of Indian food with the deliciousness of pizza. If you are new to Indian pizza, let us teach you how to make Indian pizza four ways.
Table of Contents
What is Indian Pizza?
Indian pizza takes classic Indian ingredients and adds them to pizza. Some Indian pizzas are made on flatbread or naan. Naan is an Indian flatbread that you can find in most supermarkets. And some Indian pizzas use either a naan pizza crust or a traditional pizza crust as the base for their pizzas.
The sauce is often a regular tomato-based pizza sauce with an added mix of curry or other spices. Some Indian pizzas use straight curry as a base.
As you can imagine, Indian pizza comes in all tastes and is just as diverse as Indian food. If you are new to Indian food, let’s look at some vocabulary to understand some different staples of Indian food.
Curry is a combination of spices that comes in a powder or a paste. There are many different types of curry. Some are spicy, some are not. Curry is common throughout Southeast Asian cooking, and regional variations are abundant.
Paneer is a form of Indian cheese. It is an unaged cheese made with full-fat cow’s milk. It is a soft cheese that doesn’t melt. Paneer is used throughout Indian cuisine as a substitute for chicken. It has a soft yet dense texture that is similar to tofu. You can find it in most major supermarkets, and it’s easy to make at home.
Simply put, Tikka means small chunks. And Masala means spice blend.
Tandoori means marinated meats cooked in a tandoor or clay oven.
Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish with chicken marinated in yogurt and spices cooked in a tandoor oven.
Dal or Dahl or Daal, or however you’d like to spell it, means split Indian pulses like lentils and peas. It is common throughout India and can be spicy, sweet, earthy, and aromatic. It can be a soup or a dip served with Indian bread like chapati or naan.
Of course, this is barely scratching the surface of all of the complexities and varieties of Indian food. These are just some basic terms to help you navigate the beginner’s journey of Indian food.
India is a large country with many regional dishes and variations. Vegetarian dishes are common in India, but chicken is consumed in some areas, and fish curries are popular in coastal regions like Goa.
Fun Fact: We have never visited India despite having obtained a visa a few times but ultimately never made it there. It’s on our list of places to visit. In the meantime, we can satisfy our love of Indian food and make Indian pizza at home.
What Makes Indian Food Amazing?
Spices and aromatics are the key to great Indian food. From turmeric to ginger to curry leaves to chilies to cumin to coriander and cilantro the list could go on and on. Many of these spices can be found in the supermarket or international specialty stores.
Some spice mixes like garam masala and tikka masala are available in seasonings packets to make it easier for home cooks. If you love Indian food, we suggest an Indian spice variety pack to try different spice blends and recipes.
How to Make Indian Pizza Four Ways
We had to keep it to just four ways to make Indian pizza, but of course, there are so many more possibilities. We have tried all four of these and they were all great. And we will be trying more and more because the Indian food pizza fusion is one we really love.
All of these pizzas start with either homemade pizza dough, naan, or store-bought pizza dough. Two of the pizzas feature chicken, and the other two are vegetarian, but you could easily replace the chicken with tofu to keep it vegetarian. Or, if you want to go the other way, you could add chicken or shrimp.
Paneer Tikka Masala Pizza
This pizza is made with marinated paneer cheese and colorful bell peppers. Start by cutting the paneer into cubes and the peppers into slices. Then, make the marinade:
- ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (for more heat, add more flakes)
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
Mix the marinade together and add cubes of paneer cheese and the slices of peppers.
Marinate covered for at least two hours or overnight.
Roll out your pizza dough or grab your naan base and spread the marinated paneer and peppers on the crust. Use the marinade as a pizza sauce and add enough that the dough is covered. Sprinkle on a handful or two of grated mozzarella. Bake at 450º F for ten minutes. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.
Tandoori Chicken Pizza
Tandoori chicken is famous for its bright red color and rich flavor and is traditionally cooked in a clay tandoor oven. But don’t worry. You don’t need a tandoor oven to make tandoori chicken pizza. The recipe starts with marinating the chicken and then baking it.
Tandoori chicken marinade
- 1 pound of chicken breast cut into smaller chunks
- ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 5 teaspoons of tandoori masala
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ Tablespoon of minced garlic
- ½ Tablespoon of minced ginger
Marinate cubed chicken for at least two hours or overnight. Then, bake the chicken at 400º F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and shred.
Take your pizza base and add marinara sauce. You can use regular marinara sauce or add a teaspoon of tandoori masala, a teaspoon of minced ginger, and a teaspoon of minced garlic.
Spread the marinara and cover with shredded tandoori spiced chicken. Add slices of red onion, green pepper, and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle mozzarella and bake at 450º F for ten minutes.
Chicken Curry Pizza
This pizza is a great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken. Start by adding a tablespoon of curry and three tablespoons of marinara sauce to the shredded chicken. Set aside. Take the pizza base, spread the marinara sauce, and sprinkle curry powder.
If using curry paste, add a little to the marinara sauce. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese, then add the shredded chicken to the pizza. Add sliced Bell peppers and onions. Sprinkle more mozzarella and bake at 450º F for ten minutes.
Aloo Gobi Pizza
Aloo Gobi is an Indian dish named after the two main ingredients: potatoes and cauliflower. We suggest using a naan pizza base when you make Indian pizza with aloo gobi.
- 2 potatoes
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Aloo gobi spice mix (it has the whole spices and the powder)
- ½ onion
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- ½ teaspoon of both minced ginger and garlic
- Fresh lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 450º F. Cut potatoes into cubes and cauliflower into floret chunks. Mix with one tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, toss halfway through roasting.
Sauté chopped onion on medium; add the package of whole spices, and cook for seven minutes. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saute pan on medium. Add in minced garlic and ginger ½ teaspoon of each. Add spice blend, one tablespoon of butter, and two tablespoons of water.
Then, mix in 1 cup of tomato sauce and ½ tsp salt. Cover and simmer on low 10 minutes; stir occasionally. Add potatoes, cauliflower, and ¼ to ½ cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Now you have aloo gobi!
Order aloo gobi from your favorite Indian restaurant and add on top of your naan. Take that naan as your pizza base, spread aloo gobi on it, and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 450º F for ten minutes. Add fresh cilantro and serve with lemon wedges. Yum!
These are four of our favorite ways to make Indian pizzas. But there are so many other easy too. Some use curry instead of marinara. Others use red lentil dahl as marinara. We suggest you try a few different Indian pizzas to find your favorite.
Have you tried Indian pizza? What is your favorite?