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Look What I Made: Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza (Photos by Travis Awalt)

This is a gratuitous combination of stuff. A mashup.

Everybody loves a good mashup. Maybe even a little too much. The existence of the KFC “famous bowl” and people who put bacon on everything prove that.

This mashup is way less, frankly, bonkers than those. Masala is tomato based, so using it as a pizza sauce isn’t too far of a leap and naan fills in nicely for pizza dough*.  And it’s a great one to do as an appetizer for a party, because you can crank them out pretty quickly.

jump to get mashed-up

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

(makes about 5 small pies)

Ingredients:

For chicken:

2 split chicken breasts, cut into about 8 strips
1 cup greek yogurt
juice of a large lemon
tsp paprika
salt

For masala:
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 inch piece ginger finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp tandoori masala
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt
about 3/4 cup cream
handful chopped cilantro

For pizza assembly:

Packaged naan, frozen for an hour or so
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and place it in a plastic bag.

2. Mix the yogurt, paprika and lemon juice together and add the mixture to the bag with the chicken. Marinate for several hours in the fridge or an hour at room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, start the masala. Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil over low heat until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and spices and bring to just about a boil, stirring and smashing down some of the chunks of tomato with your spoon. Partially cap and lower the heat. Simmer 20-30 minutes.

5. Remove chicken from marinade, scrape off any excess and grill or broil, flipping once, until pieces are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

6. Let the chicken rest a few minutes then chop it up.

7. Add the cream to the masala, stirring a little in at a time, until you have a bright orange color, then remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

8. Top frozen naan rounds with masala, cheese and chicken. Bake (on a baking stone or cookie sheet) in a 450 degree oven until the cheese is melted and the sides of the naan are starting to crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

9. Eat. Make more.

*Of course you can use regular pizza dough, that would be awesome, too.

And if you don't like the pizza idea, you can add rice to this...