Sometimes pizza take out menus can be ridiculously repetitive and boring; the same old dough, the same old sauce, and the same core toppings to choose from. Once you’ve exhausted all of your favorite combinations, it can be time for a change. The other day, a friend of mine mentioned to me that I never cook any Indian dishes so I decided to make an Indian themed pizza. I started off with some Naan bread, which is a staple in Indian cuisine.
Naan is a pita-like, flat bread that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, or clay oven. The bread is used as a canvass for meats and vegetables, or as a spoon to scoop up curry dishes. I incorporated the curry into the sauce by combining some Yellow Madras Curry powder with lemon zest and creamy Mascarpone Cheese. I also marinated the chicken breasts in a spicy red curry sauce.
I simply grilled the chicken breasts and sliced them before making them the star of the pizza. I wanted to balance the spicy, smoky curry flavors in the sauce and the chicken with some sweet ingredients so I added some freshly diced pineapple chunks and some golden raisins.
The pineapple added a juicy acidic punch that helped cool down my taste buds, and when the golden raisins baked in the oven, they got plump and gooey. A few thin slices of Thai chile peppers added a subtle kick and some fresh cilantro topped everything off. After about 15 minutes in the oven, the Naan bread got nice and crispy on the bottom like a Tuscan thin crust pizza but remained pleasantly soft and chewy in the middle.
The combination of flavors were definitely new to me but totally worked in terms of balance. I figured that the heat in the curry and the Thai chilies were too much for a red wine, so I paired the pizza with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
The 2008 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc is one of my all time favorites from Marlborough, New Zealand. Loaded with zesty tropical fruit and tart acidity, and finishing with a clean, refreshing crispness; this is your French Sancerre on speed.
Throw all of the grapefruit and balanced minerality out the window and get ready for a fruit-forward torpedo of flavor; a perfect match for such a bold pizza. Look for Naan flat breads in your local grocery store because Naan pizzas are the English Muffin pizza of the 21st century.