Ever heard of Bhakri Pizza? It is the Gujarati version of thin-crust pizza, and an eternal favourite of mine. The crust of this pizza is made using whole wheat flour, cooked crisp. So, so very delicious! This Bhakri Pizza is sold in street-side carts all over Ahmedabad, and I grew up eating and loving it. Today, I am here to tell you how to go about making it at home.
A closer look at the Bhakri Pizza
The base of the Bhakri Pizza is a bhakri, a popular snack in Gujarati households. Like I was saying earlier, to make the bhakri, wheat flour is bound into a firm dough, with a couple of other ingredients added in. The dough is then rolled out into small discs and cooked on a hot pan till crisp. They can also be baked in an oven.
The bhakri is crispy and crunchy, and holds the toppings of the pizza beautifully. It makes for a clever and wonderful replacement to the maida base used in regular pizza. Bhakri Pizza is definitely healthier and way lighter on the tummy, but every bit just as delectable.
A sweetish sauce is usually spread on the bhakri, which I prefer making at home from scratch, the healthy way. I also add a number of vegetables to the pizza, increasing its nutritive value. The addition of good, unadulterated grated cheese on top makes it all the more flavourful and healthier.
The loaded Bhakri Pizza is then cooked covered on a hot pan till the cheese melts, or baked for a short while. Voila – cute little pizzas are ready! They are perfect for evening snacks or a light dinner, for children and adults alike. We make these for dinner often, as everyone in the family loves them, including my little daughter.
Gujarati Bhakri Pizza recipe for Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This recipe for Bhakri Pizza is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this week is #MunchkinMeals, wherein we are sharing healthy, kid-friendly recipes.
The theme for the week was suggested by Narmadha, author of the wonderful blog Nams Corner. I’m in love with this flavourful Paneer Tikka Pizza and this healthy Whole Wheat Cheese Burst Pizza from Narmadha’s blog. Can’t wait to try them out!
How to make Bhakri Pizza
The detailed recipe follows.
Ingredients (makes about 10 pieces):
For the bhakri base:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon oil + more for making the bhakris
For the pizza sauce:
- 6 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- Salt to taste
- Red chilli powder to taste
- 1 tablespoon of jaggery powder or to taste
- About 1/2 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
For the toppings:
- 1 medium-sized capsicum
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 4 tablespoons sweet corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons red paprika slices or as needed
- Grated cheese, as needed
- Dried Italian herbs, as needed
1. We will start with preparing the dough for making the bhakris. Take the whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in the salt to taste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Adding in water little by little, bind into a firm dough. When the dough is ready, add in the 1 tablespoon of oil, and knead a couple more times. Let the dough rest, covered, till we are ready to prepare the pizza, at least 15-20 minutes.
2. Now, we will get the pizza sauce ready. For this, chop the tomatoes into quarters. Peel and chop the onion roughly. Puree the tomatoes and onion together in a mixer, without adding any water. Transfer this puree to a heavy-bottomed pan, and place on high heat. Cook on high flame till the mixture begins to thicken, 4-5 minutes. You will need to stir intermittently to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The raw smell of the tomatoes should go away completely. At this stage, add in the salt, red chilli powder and sugar. Cook for a couple of minutes or till it thickens to a spreadable consistency. Switch off the gas and add in the mixed Italian herbs. Allow the pizza sauce to cool down fully.
3. In the meantime, let us get the toppings for the pizza ready. Chop the capsicum length-wise and the onion finely. Grate the cheese and keep it ready. Keep the sliced red paprika slices and sweet corn kernels ready.
4. Now, we will prepare the bhakris for the pizza base. Place a thick dosa pan on high heat. Divide the dough we prepared earlier into 10 small balls or so. Roll out each ball into a small circle, slightly thicker than a phulka roti. Prick some holes all over it, on both sides, using a fork – this will ensure that the dough does not puff up and that the bhakri turns out nice and crispy. Place the rolled-out disc on the hot dosa pan, and spread some oil all over it. Cook till brown and crisp on both sides, pressing with a spatula intermittently, ensuring that the bhakri does not burn. Prepare all the bhakris in a similar manner, and allow them to cool down.
5. We will start making the pizza when the bhakris and the sauce have cooled down enough to handle. Now, spread some of the prepared pizza sauce on each bhakri, and lay out the toppings over it. Spread a generous amount of the grated cheese over the toppings. Cook, covered, on low-medium flame on a hot dosa pan for a couple of minutes or till the cheese melts. Serve the Bhakri Pizza immediately, cut into quarters and garnished with some dried Italian herbs.
Tips & Tricks
1. Some families add a bit of fine semolina aka sooji or rava to the wheat flour, to make the bhakri more crispy. We don’t.
2. I have used regular store-bought whole wheat flour here, from Ashirwad. I usually make this with flour ground from whole wheat in a mill, but we haven’t been able to do that in a while and hence the store-bought flour.
3. Some ajwain (carom seeds) can be added to the bhakri dough to make it more flavourful. I don’t, because my daughter doesn’t like it.
4. Use the more tart country (Nati) tomatoes – as opposed to ‘farmed’ ones – to make the sauce. They are more flavourful and make for a delicious sauce.
5. A few cloves of garlic can be added to the sauce too. I have skipped them here.
6. Sugar can be added to the sauce, in place of the jaggery powder. I prefer using the latter. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.
7. Make sure you cook the bhakris on low-medium flame, till they get nice and crisp. Also, don’t forget to prick the dough on both sides – this is crucial.
8. I have used dried Italian herbs from Keya here. You can even make them from scratch, at home.
9. Use a good-quality cheese to make the pizza as healthy as possible. I have used Akshayakalpa’s organic Aged Cheddar here.
10. Use any veggies that you prefer as toppings for the pizza. Here, I have used whatever I had available. Olives can be added too, but I skipped them since I didn’t have any.
11. Any leftover pizza sauce can be bottled and refrigerated. It stays for 10-12 days when stored this way.
12. You can bake the bhakris instead of making them on the stovetop. I prefer the stovetop.
13. You may skip using the red chilli powder and turmeric powder in the bhakri dough, if you so prefer.
Did you like this recipe? Do let me know in your comments!