Chef’s Summer Recipes: Hari Nayak’s Grilled Naan Pizza

1x1.trans Chef’s Summer Recipes: Hari Nayaks Grilled Naan PizzaChef, author, and restaurateur Hari Nayak is changing the way we look at Indian food. He aims to make Indian cooking more accessible while maintaining its culinary heritage.

Most people are intimidated by Indian food. People think it is complicated and labor intensive. Chef Nayak has shown that Indian cooking can be prepared in a more simple style, with all the modern trappings, yet appealing to the common household cook at the same time.

If you’re interested in learning more about Indian cooking, check out his books, I quite like them.  Modern Indian Cooking and My Indian Kitchen have a permanent spot in my kitchen and I am certain his new book,  Easy Indian Cooking will be soon as well.

When I asked Chef Nayak for a summer recipe to share with us he said: “I have choosen a recipe for grilled naan pizza. This recipe is unique and perfect for the summer. Who doesnt like pizza? this combines my favorite food with Indian flavors and the best cooking method for the summer ie grilling.”

1x1.trans Chef’s Summer Recipes: Hari Nayaks Grilled Naan Pizza

Ingredients:

Tandoori Chicken Grilled Naan Pizza

  • 6 ounces Naan Pizza Dough, recipe follows
  • ¼ cup ghee (optional) or virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • ½ cup loosely packed shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 6 tablespoons chopped canned tomatoes, in heavy puree
  • 4 breasts of cooked tandoori chicken, thinly sliced
  • 8 mint leaves

Naan Pizza Dough

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 6 cups high-gluten flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Ghee or oil

Method:

Tandoori Chicken Grilled Naan Pizza

  1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire, setting the grill rack 3 to 4 inches above the coals.
  2. On a large, oiled, inverted baking sheet, spread and flatten the pizza dough with your hands into a 10 to 12-inch free-form oval shape, 1/8-inch thick. Do not make a lip; the shape is unimportant, but do take care to maintain an even thickness. When the fire is hot (when you can hold your hand over the coals for 3 to 4 seconds at a distance of 5 inches), use your fingertips to lift the dough gently by the 2 corners closest to you, and drape in onto the grill. Catch the loose edge on the grill first and slide the remaining dough into place over the fire. Within a minute the dough will puff slightly, the underside will stiffen, and grill marks will appear. Using tongs, immediately flip the crust over, onto the coolest part of the grill.
  3. Quickly brush the grilled surface with ghee or olive oil. Scatter the garlic and cheeses over the dough, and spoon dollops of tomatoes and sliced chicken over the cheese. Do not cover the entire surface of the pizza with tomatoes. Finally, drizzle the pizza with 1 to 2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil. Slide the pizza back toward the hot coals, but not directly over them. Using tongs rotate the pizza frequently so that different sections receive high heat; check the underside often to see that it is not burning. The pizza is done when the top is bubbly and the cheese melted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve at once, topped with the mint leaves and additional olive oil, if desired.

Naan Pizza Dough

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over ½ cup warm (105 to 110 degrees F) water and allow it to dissolve and activate, about 5 minutes. Combine the flour and salt and mound it onto a cool work surface creating a high walled well in the center. Combine the yeast mixture with 1 ½ cups of cool water and yogurt and pour into the well. Slowly begin to mix the water and flour, a little at a time, moving your fingers in short, counter clockwise circles around the border of the water. When the dough is firm enough to hold its shape, scrape the remaining flour over it and knead until the mass is smooth and shiny, approximately 7 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dough to a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. Brush the top of the dough with ghee to prevent a skin from forming, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place away from drafts until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough and knead once more. Let the dough rise again for about 40 minutes, punch down again and form dough into 4 balls.
1x1.trans Chef’s Summer Recipes: Hari Nayaks Grilled Naan Pizza
I am one of the co-founders of FriendsEAT. Obviously, I love to eat. Other passions include A Song of Ice and Fire, Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, and Aldous Huxley.
1x1.trans Chef’s Summer Recipes: Hari Nayaks Grilled Naan Pizza
1x1.trans Chef’s Summer Recipes: Hari Nayaks Grilled Naan Pizza

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