Here is celebrity chef Manish Mehrotra's recipe for the Badam Chilla Pizza!
The culinary director of Indian Accent restaurants in New Delhi and New York, Chef Mehrotra is unapologetic about adding badam (almonds), besan, ajwain, hing and even garam masala to his pizza
Italian chefs may call it sacrilege but celebrity chef Manish Mehrotra thinks it is gloriously Indian, tadka maar key. The culinary director of Indian Accent restaurants in New Delhi and New York, Chef Mehrotra is unapologetic about adding badam (almonds), besan, ajwain, hing and even garam masala to his pizza. He calls it Badam Chilla Pizza.
“Almonds are delicious and nutritional in every form and that is what we are leveraging here,” he says. He is known to reinterpret nostalgic Indian dishes with an openness towards global influences. He has been awarded the Best Chef in India by American Express and has been called the most exciting modern Indian chef in the world today.
His restaurant Indian Accent, New Delhi, has been recognised by Time Magazine as ‘Amongst the World’s 100 Greatest Places.’ With a personal collection of 1,200 cookbooks from across the globe, he is excited about giving a twist to classics. Here is one.
Badam Chilla Pizza:
For chilla batter
✥ Besan 1 cup
✥ Salt to taste
✥ Almond flour ¼ cup
✥ Ajwain ¼ tsp
✥ Asafoetida powder a pinch
✥ Chilli flakes ½ tsp
✥ Baking powder ½ tsp
✥ Roasted chopped almonds ½ cup
✥ Grated paneer 1 cup
✥ Sliced onions ¼ cup|
✥ Diced tomatoes ¼ cup
✥ Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp
✥ Chopped green chilli 1 tsp
✥ Garam masala ¼ tsp
✥ Red chilli powder ¼ tsp
✥ Turmeric ¼ tsp
✥ Salt to taste
✥ Chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp
✥ Tomato purees 2 tbsp
✥ Cumin seeds 1/3 tsp
✥ Coriander and mint chutney 2 tbsp
✥ Pizza sauce 3 tbsp
✥ Chaat masala to taste
✥ Ghee 2 tbsp
✥ For the batter, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add water and make the batter. Mix well removing lumps. it should have a cake batter consistency.
✥ Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame and pour a ladle full of prepared besan chilla batter. Let the chilla cook for 2-3 minutes on either side. Apply little ghee if needed. Make 4 chillas.
✥ Heat olive oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow it to crackle. Add onions and chopped green chili. keep on stirring till golden in colour. Stir in ginger-garlic paste and cook for
✥ Add tomatoes to the mixture and keep on stirring till they are cooked.
✥ Add garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric. Keep on stirring for a minute; do not let the spices burn.
✥ Add the grated paneer and tomato puree to the pan, mix thoroughly. Season the mixture with chat masala. add chopped coriander.
✥ Add half of the roasted chopped almond and toss it well.
✥ Divide the mixture into 4 parts
✥ Place prepared chilla on a platter, evenly spread pizza sauce over it top it up with spiced paneer mixture.
✥ Drizzle some green chutney
✥ Garnish with remaining roasted almonds