Happy National Pizza Pie day!
I love making pizza. It’s just so easy to put together. I mean aside from making the sauce and preparing the toppings, it’s super fast and easy and bakes in about 5-10 minutes. So it’s perfect for a busy weekday when you’re pressed for time. And the sauce and toppings could always be made ahead of time. And the infinite list of topping possibilities — I mean where else can I order a lentil curry pizza? Plus, pizza places always charge you extra for each and every topping. But that doesn’t happen at home when you’re adding each and every topping you want.
Making homemade pizza brings forth memories of that particular day, when I was little, and my dad was in the kitchen mixing flour together and rolling out dough into round-shaped discs with a rolling pin. He was making flour tortillas and cooking them on the comal, flipping each tortilla one by one. And then just suddenly he decided to also make pizzas with the fresh flour tortilla dough. Flour tortilla dough is not quite the same thing as pizza dough but still, I was amazed that he knew how to make pizza. I mean, we’re Mexican, and we’ve only ordered pizza by telephone. That was my first homemade pizza! But it was just that ONE time that dad made pizza for us. And to be quite honest, I hardly even remember anything about it, like what toppings he put on it or what it tasted like. All I could really remember and can’t ever forget is that my dad made pizza that day. I was delighted.
A memory I’ll never forget and forever cherish.
This Lentil Curry Pizza just occurred to me at the last second. It’s so nontraditional, I know. My first thought was to make a traditional veggie lentil pizza with tomato sauce and cheese, subbing the meat with lentils. But then I saw the curry powder sitting there with the rest of the spices on the counter and it just hit me. Gee, I wonder if a curry-style pizza with lentils would taste good… It just sounds much more interesting, if you like curry, that is. I love curry. I love it’s spicy, earthy, and warm-feeling flavor. It’s a very exotic spice.
The first time I made curry it was super strong and made me cry. My taste buds were in shock for a couple of days. But then I added some apples and plain yogurt to tone it down and it really made it so much better! I claimed those leftovers for myself and only for me, as in I labeled it with my red sharpie “This curry belongs to Ruby. Do not eat!”. I mean really, I didn’t want to share my eggplant curry leftovers with anybody at all. It was just that good.
This Lentil Curry Pizza is quite delicious. The curry spice is not too intense, so don’t worry. I learned my lesson about curry the first time around! And the lentils on top get nicely toasted from baking in the oven, I never knew roasted lentils tasted so good! The cilantro! Do not, I repeat, do not omit the cilantro. It’s mandatory with curry. It just completes curry. Honest!
Lentil Curry Pizza
- 1/4lb pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
- cooked lentils
- tomatoes (sliced)
- green bell peppers (sliced)
- cilantro (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons onion (minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup pumpkin (puree or canned)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- pinch turmeric
Tip: Cook lentils ahead of time and keep refrigerated or stored in freezer.
Tip: Cook curry sauce ahead. Also, you could cut recipe in half if desired. I had plenty of leftover sauce after making just one 6inch pizza. Or you could serve extra sauce with pizza or use it in another meal.
Pizza dough: I used the basic pizza dough recipe from Martha Stewart. But I halved the recipe and divided the dough into 4 portions to make 4 6-inch thin crust pizzas. But I made just one pizza and froze the rest for future use. Dough could be divided into 2 portions to make 2 regular crust 6-inch pizzas.
|Cook about a cup or less of lentils by combining them with water with a garlic clove and a bay leaf. Bring to boil and simmer uncovered for about 35-45 minutes until tender. Drain completely.|
|Make curry sauce:|
|Heat oil in a saucepan, add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add flour and stir well. (mixture will turn into a dough) Whisk in warm water. Add coconut milk. Season with salt, add curry, paprika, and a pinch of turmeric. Whisk in the pumpkin, add the nutritional yeast, and keep on whisking until thickened and smooth. Add more water or milk if desired. Grate some black pepper and set aside.|
|Preheat oven to 450F.|
|Roll out pizza dough to the length of your cast iron skillet. (if you want a thin crust use half the amount of pizza dough that you normally use) I have a small 6 inch skillet and I used a 1/4 lb of pizza dough.|
|Sprinkle cornmeal onto cast iron skillet and preheat skillet over medium heat on the stove until the cornmeal starts to toast.|
|Place rolled out pizza dough carefully onto skillet over medium-low heat. Brush with oil on top and especially the edges. Spread about a tablespoon of cooked and drained lentils over the edge part of pizza and a few in the center part. Then spread the top with about 3 tablespoons of curry sauce. Top with about 2 tablespoons more of lentils. And finally, top with slices of tomatoes, bell pepper, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.|
|Bake for approximately 5 minutes in the oven if making a thin crust pizza or about 10 minutes if making a regular crust pizza. Cooking times may vary depending on your skillet's size and pizza dough thickness.|
|Place in broiler for a minute or less to brown the edges and to get an extra crispy crust.|