Chicken Tikka Pizza with a Chapati Base
I absolutely love Pizza. Like a LOT. However, we all know it's not the healthiest of food choices.
As someone who advocates healthy, non-processed food, I've tried several variations of 'healthy’ pizza - the cauliflower crust pizza, sweet potato crusts and even aubergine pizzas. And do you know what? It just isn't the same thing. I've decided that if you are going to have pizza, and get anywhere near the same sort of satisfaction you get whilst eating a Zizi Classic Pepperoni Campagna, you are going to have to have a pizza that is made out of flour, and has a little bit of cheese.
So, I present to you my take on a healthy pizza recipe. The pizza base is actually a chapati (unleavened flat bread) – an absolute staple food eaten in almost all Indian meals, that is quick and relatively easy to make. I've added carom seeds to the dough - these seeds are used in traditional Indian home remedies to alleviate acidity and indigestion. And they taste great! I’ve also made a homemade chicken tikka as the main topping – cooked in spices and yogurt, and then finished with cheddar cheese, rocket, red onions and sun-dried tomatoes. No excess oil or processed toppings that you find on so many pizzas.
This isn’t vegan. It isn’t even gluten free. In my view, this is a healthy, balanced meal that you should NOT feel guilty about having.
For the chapati pizza bases:
1 cup of whole-wheat flour
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. carom seeds
6 tbsp. cold water
Pinch of black pepper
For the pizza topping:
2 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp. of garam masala
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
3 tablespoons of greek yogurt
40g cheddar cheese, grated
2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
1 red onion, sliced
6 large sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh rocket
Handful of fresh chopped coriander
First job is to start with the chicken tikka. Wash and dry the chicken breasts, and then cut into small chunks.
Grab a bowl and add to it the salt, garlic, ginger, chili powder, garam masala, ground coriander and yogurt. Stir with a spoon.
Place the chicken in the marinade and using your hands rub the spiced yogurt all over the chicken pieces.
Refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least one hour.
Whilst the chicken in marinating, prepare the chapati dough that will be used for the bases.
Put the flour in a bowl and slowly add the water, bring the flour together with your hands to make a dough.
You want to knead the dough using your knuckles, folding it over as you go. The dough should come together and come away easily from your hands - if it is sticking to your fingers, add a little more flour and continue to knead. You should be left with a soft, ball shaped dough. Set to one side for at least 10 minutes.
After one hour, heat the oven to gas mark 5. Place the chicken on a baking tray lined with foil, and cook for 25-30 minutes. Turn once.
Whilst the chicken is cooking in the oven, you can start cooking the chapatis.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean worktop for dusting. Heat a frying pan (or thava - an Indian griddle pan) over a medium heat, flour your hands and using your palms to roll, create two balls of dough.
Flatten the dough ball using your fingers, then holding the dough in one hand rotate it round and flatten out with the other.
Flour again, and begin to roll out. Turn it over, flour and roll again. You want to roll it out roughly to the size of a small tortilla wrap. Pick it up and pass from one hand to the other, as if your clapping. This shakes off any excess flour.
Carefully place the chapati onto your frying plan (or thava) flat.
The colour of the chapati will darken after about 10 seconds, at this point, turn the chapati over. You will start to see bubbles appearing after about 10 seconds, and you will want to turn over again. Using a clean tea towel gently press the top of the chapati and it will begin to 'blow-out' hot steam and flatten. Continue turning and pressing until the chapati blows up into one big bubble.
Remove the chapati from the pan and set on a clean tea towel, and cover to keep warm. Repeat the above twice so that you get two chapati bases.
Once the chapatis are ready, you are ready to start creating your pizzas.
Grab a small frying pan, and add a glug of olive oil. Lightly stir fry the red onions for 3-4 minutes. Place to one side.
Place the two bases on a large baking tray. Sprinkle both bases with the grated cheddar cheese and place half of the stir-fried red onion, across both bases.
Place the baking tray under a grill, on medium heat. Heat until the cheese has melted.
Chop the cooked chicken into small pieces and place on top of the chapati bases. Add the rest of the red onion, rockets, green chillies and sun-dried tomatoes.
Finish with a generous sprinkle of fresh coriander.