Tawa Pizza Recipe| No-Yeast, Whole Wheat Stovetop Pizza

This recipe is a throwback to older, simpler times when we had no ovens at home. Back then, pizza was an occasional treat, cooked at home on the stovetop. The sauce would be very Indian, again home-made, never out of a bottle. Served piping hot, these old-fashioned pizzas had a charm of their own and would be, always, super delicious.

I learnt this recipe from a Gujarati friend of mine, and this is how we made pizza at home, while I was growing up. I love these tawa pizza because they are so rustic, and for the fact that they are made from scratch, allowing us control over exactly what and how much goes into making them. Besides, there’s something so very soothing, so very therapeutic, about making pizza from scratch – base and sauce included.

BeFunky Collagepizza
Left: The tawa pizza, all set with its toppings; Centre: The pizza, ready to be cooked; Right: The pizza, all ready to be gobbled up

These tawa pizza are just as delicious as their baked counterparts. With just a little beforehand prep, they can be put together oh so easily. Do try these out!

Ingredients (makes 5-6 medium-sized pizza):

For the pizza base:

  1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 2 tablespoons oil + more as needed to cook the base
  6. 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the pizza sauce:

  1. About 8 large tomatoes
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. Red chilli powder, to taste
  6. Mixed Italian herbs, as needed

Toppings:

  1. 1 medium-sized capsicum, chopped
  2. 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  3. 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  4. Pitted and chopped olives, as needed
  5. Pickled jalapenos, as needed
  6. Cheese, as needed
  7. Mixed Italian herbs, as needed

Method:

We will first get the dough for the pizza bases ready.

  1. Take the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in the salt to taste, the sugar, and the baking soda. Mix well.
  2. Add in the oil.
  3. Now, adding the buttermilk little by little, bind a soft dough. Use a little water if needed to bind the dough.
  4. Keep the dough aside, covered, while we get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Now, we will get the pizza sauce ready.

  1. Chop the tomatoes and onions into large pieces. Puree, using a mixer.
  2. Transfer the puree to a heavy-bottomed pan. Cover and cook on a medium flame till the puree thickens considerably. Stir intermittently, to ensure that the puree doesn’t get burnt or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. When the puree has thickened to a spreadable but not-too-thick consistency, add in the salt and red chilli powder to taste, mixed Italian herbs and sugar. Mix well.
  4. Cook without covering for a couple more minutes. Keep aside, and let it cool down completely.

Now, we will get the toppings ready.

  1. Chop the capscium and onions. Keep aside.
  2. Lightly steam the sweet corn kernels in boiling water. Drain out all the water. Keep aside.
  3. Chop the pickled jalapeno, if the pieces you have are too large. Keep aside.
  4. Grate the cheese. Keep aside.

Proceed to making the pizza bases now.

  1. Make 5-6 large balls out of the ready dough, depending upon how big you want the pizzas to be.
  2. Flour a flat work surface, and place a ball of dough on it.
  3. Spread out the dough into a circle, thicker than an roti, using a rolling pin. Dust the circle with flour, as and when required. Use a fork to prick the circle, randomly.
  4. Heat a dosa tawa till droplets of water dance on it. Lower the flame to medium, and place the circle of dough on the tawa. Spread a little oil around the dough. Cover the base, and let it cook till it gets brown on the bottom, taking care to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Now, spread a little oil on the top, and flip to the other side. Cook on low-medium flame, covered, till the other side turns brown as well. Take off heat.
  5. Prepare bases out of all the dough balls, in a similar fashion.

Now, we will get the pizza ready and cook it.

  1. Spread some pizza sauce evenly on one prepared base.
  2. Spread some chopped onions and capsicum, steamed corn, jalapenos and olives evenly over this.
  3. Sprinkle some mixed Italian herbs over this.
  4. Sprinkle grated cheese as needed over all the toppings.
  5. Heat the dosa tawa again, till droplets of water dance on it. Lower flame to low-medium. Place the prepared tawa pizza on the heated pan, cover, and cook for about two minutes, or till the toppings are slightly cooked and the cheese has melted. Take care to ensure that the pizza base doesn’t burn.
  6. Prepare all the tawa pizza in a similar fashion. Serve hot.

Notes:

  1. You can use any type of cheese that you like.
  2. You can use any toppings of your choice – pineapple, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, coloured capiscum, sundried tomatoes, tomato ketchup, basil pesto, chopped tomatoes, anything goes. You are limited only by your imagination, in this case. I usually add whatever I have on hand at the moment. The toppings I have mentioned in the recipe above are the bare minimum you can use.
  3. This is another method to make home-made pizza/pasta sauce, which uses a couple of store-bought sauces. I have added sugar and red chilli powder to the pizza sauce here to eliminate the need for adding red pepper sauce and tomato ketchup to it. I wouldn’t recommend skipping either of these – they add a lovely flavour to the sauce.
  4. One of my friends would add a dash of ajwain (omam) to the pizza sauce instead of mixed Italian herbs, and I occasionally do that, too. It adds a lovely Indian touch to the pizza, and we love that as well.
  5. The base can be baked in an oven, instead of cooking it on the stovetop. After adding the toppings, the pizza can be baked in the oven, again, too, instead of making it on the stovetop.
  6. Make sure you roll out the bases slightly thick, thicker than you would a normal roti. This ensures that you get a crisp, yet soft base. Random pricking of the bases with a fork is an essential step, too, for it ensures that the base cooks well and evenly.
  7. The baking soda-sugar-buttermilk combination works to give you a soft, well-cooked base. It eliminates the need for any yeast.
  8. You can use a combination of wheat flour and maida to make the base. I usually use only whole wheat flour to make these tawa pizza.
  9. Garlic can be added while making the pizza sauce, too.

You like? I hope you will try out these tawa pizza, and that you will love them just as much as we do! 

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