"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six" – Yogi Berra
On cold winter Saturday evenings which happened to be our treat day my mum would give us a choice – pizzas or burgers. Mind you, we hardly ate out and there was no Dominos or Pizza Hut during the 1980’s where I grew up.
Our treat meant that mum would pull out her Tarla Dalal cookbook start making dough and have yummy pizzas out from a battered orange coloured oven in no time.
The kitchen in my childhood home (a stable from the British times converted into a home) was out in the veranda and my memories of those Saturday evenings still stick to the smell of slightly burnt cheese and tomato which travelled through the veranda. We would sit on a swing and look out to the garden waiting for the pizzas to get ready, with half filled transparent glasses from the weekly quota of one Thumbs up bottle split in careful measure between my brother and me.
We grew up of course and the homemade dough turned into readymade pizza bread from the local bakery. What didn’t change was mum’s secret recipe for the sauce that gave the pizza such a desi flavour and trust me though pizza happens to be one of my comfort junk food nothing has ever come close to what we used to make at home.
A few days ago a sudden urge for those pizzas came over me and off I went BBMing mum to remind me of the recipe!
Because I love olives and can have a full jar in one sitting I used olives in my version of the pizza my mum used to make, I also used readymade bread and tomato puree because seriously, who has the time?
With so many shortcuts, it is perhaps the easiest and fastest vegetarian meal to make when you get back from work at 9pm, skip the gym, dont mind a dinner full of cheese & bread and have just an hour before you eat and crash.
So here goes my recipe for the Sethi’s version of pizza twisted especially for single working girls (and boys too) :-)
What you need –
- 4 pizza bases (I used the frozen ones at Carrefour and tasted great)
- 1 can of tomato puree (I love Pomi’s)
- 4-5 pods of garlic chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon Ajwain (Bishops weed/Carom seeds)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly crushed peppercons
- 1 table spoon oil
- 1 Chopped onion for the sauce
- 1 onion cut into small pieces or chopped (however you prefer it, I use chopped onions, because I buy a pack from Carrefour and save my time and tears)
- 1 medium capsicum chopped or cut into rings
- Olives – Green or Black cut into half
- Mozzarella cheese (we grew up with grated Amul cheese on the pizza, so whatever you get your hands on)
- Salt to taste
What you need to do –
- Preheat the oven to around 170 degrees (gas mark between 6-7)
- Heat the oil in a non stick pan, add garlic and chopped onions
- When the onions become translucent add the tomato puree, add a little water to the can and scoop out everything from in it.
- Reduce the heat, add salt, sugar, ajwain, pepper and allow it to thicken
- Taste the sauce; you might want to alter the levels of sugar and salt to get that perfect tangy sweet and salty sauce. Turn off the heat when the sauce is little thick.
- Prepare the pizza - A nice thick layer of sauce and top it with onions, capsicum, olives and cheese
- Dump it in the oven till the base gets brown and crisp (I like my base extra crisp and always leave it a little longer)
- Cut into 4 or 6 pieces and hog away!*
*Eaten and served best with a can of bud**
**Guarantees sound sleep and a fresh you the next morning!Happy Gluttony!