The first time I had a paneer pizza was at pizza hut… yes, pizza hut… in Calcutta. I can’t quite remember but I think it was almost 12 years ago. From that point on I was hooked. This was so ingenious… the marrying of two of my all time favorite foods, paneer, in any form, and pizza… After coming home, for the next several years, every time I ate pizza it was all I could think about… but the paneer-topped labor of love was nowhere to be found. Back then making homemade pizza was not that common, especially in our house. So I just had to wait… till the next 22 hr plane ride…
Fast forward, 2010, New York City. We’re walking… somewhere in the village… and my cousin decides for lunch to take us to a kati roll place. Now, if you haven’t had a kati roll in NY let me tell you, you are missing out. It was so mouth-wateringly delicious, so spicy, so tasty… so addictive… Of course, at this point I’m much older, a little wiser, and I’m thinking to myself this can not be that hard to replicate…
I have to admit I’ve made this flatbread half a dozen times and each time I tried something a little different. I think I’ve finally found the perfect combination of spices for this roman style kati roll. We served it at a party last month and it was the number one most requested recipe that evening and for several weeks to follow. I hope you enjoy it in your home as much as we do in ours…
Yield: 1 flatbread (8 slices)
For the marinade:
½ cup yogurt
1 inch grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 ½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cilantro powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
paneer (approx. 5x3x2″ brick)
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp olive oil for the sauté
For the chutney:
1 bunch cilantro, washed
1 bunch mint, leaves removed, washed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
To assemble pizza:
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 pizza dough (Use your favorite dough recipe, or for a fool-proof version buy the fresh dough from the pizza station at Whole Foods)
carrots, cut into thin, 3 inch long, slices
cilantro mint chutney, see recipe below
1/3 cup yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp course kosher salt or sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the yogurt, ginger, garlic, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, cilantro powder, and salt. Next, cube into 1 inch chunks the paneer, onion, and bell pepper. Place in bowl. Dice the jalapeño and add to bowl. Mix well to coat all the veggies with the yogurt sauce.
Next, with the olive oil, sauté the mixture in a large sauté pan on medium/high heat. First it will look like all the yogurt is seeping out of the veggies but then it will reabsorb and the paneer and veggies will get crispy.
For the chutney, place the whole cilantro leaves, mint, lemon, and salt into a blender. Add some water, a little at a time, and blend on high until the mixture is smooth.
For the dressing, mix half the chutney into the 1/3 cup yogurt. Reserve the other half of the chutney for the 1st layer on the pizza.
Roll the pizza dough out onto a 16 by 11 inch pre-greased pan (or your favorite pizza pan). First, add a thin layer of chutney…
followed by a thin layer of parmesan cheese.
Next, add the veggies and paneer mixture.
With a pastry brush, brush olive oil onto the pizza crust and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Put in oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden brown.
Pull the pizza out of the oven. Sprinkle on the carrots. Drizzle on the yogurt chutney sauce and some cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.