Paneer pizzas are a huge favorite in our house and this one is no different. From scratch pizza with a pillowy dough, quick makhani sauce made out of fresh tomatoes and topped with juicy paneer tikka. To add some kick, I add pickled jalapeños. This pizza is a riot of flavors in every bite.
Until last year, before lockdown, I considered as pizza one of the most casual food. Pizza nights were either take outs or something put together with off the shelf items from Trader Joe’s. Quick pizzas did the job but I knew in my heart that I was missing out on something.
Last year, when everyone was struggling to find yeast last year, so was I. But I kept looking and looking and nearly after a month I found yeast online. Took over 20 days to deliver and then started my quest for homemade pizza dough.
Right from how the house smells while pizza bakes to how the dough feels between my fingers, the entire process of making pizza from scratch can be so gratifying.. It swells my heart to see kids enjoying desi pizza- one filled with orange sauce and topped paneer, it’s their huge favorite.
Desi pizzas are a huge hit in our home, here I make a quick makhani sauce and paneer tikka. You can use chicken as well instead of paneer. You can make the dough, the sauce as well as marinate the tikka ahead of time and just assemble and pop into the oven or pizza oven (if you have one) anytime for a quick treat!
Paneer Makhani Pizza
- mixing bowls
Make the Pizza Dough
- 2-2.5 cups all purpose flour (250-290gms)
- 1 package active dry yeast (7gm)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 cup warm water
Quick Makhani Sauce (Makes about 2 cups)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamom
- 1 clove
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2.5 cups tomato puree (Simply blanch 4-5 large fresh tomatoes and puree them in blender)
- 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp kasuri methi
- 1.5 tbsp heavy cream
- 150 gms paneer cut in cubes
- 1 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder or to taste
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemom juice
- 1 tsp kasuri methi
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- Shredded low moisture mozarella cheese as much or as less you like
- Sliced Onions as much or as less you like
- Pickled Jalapenos as much or as less you like
Make the pizza dough
- In a small bowl, empty the yeast packet. Add 3 tbsp luke warm water (of the 3/4 cup), add sugar, give a gentle mix and let the yeast bloom for 5 minutes. You should see bubbles once bloomed else start over.
- In a large bowl, add the 2 cups flour salt, olive oil and garlic powder. Using your fingers mix everthing well. You can add some dried herbs to the flour as well.
- Pour the yeast mix over the flour. Add remaining water. Using your hand mixer attached with the dough hook, mix the dough for a minute on medium speed or so till it starts clumping around the hook into a ball.
- On a floured surface, take out the dough ball and knead for 3-4 minutes until its smooth and springs back when you press it with a finger. Add a little flour if the dough feels wet at any point. Pizza dough should not be sticky but its a pretty soft dough.
- Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Rub the surface of the dough ball with some olive oil. Cover with a cloth or cling film and place in warm place to rise for 1-2 hours (depends on the tempetature of where you live). The dough should double in volume after the rise.
Make the Makhani Sauce
- In a pan, warm up the butter and oil together. Add the whole spices – cloves, cardamom & cinnmaon and saute for 15 seconds. Add the onions to the pan and saute the onions till lightly browned for about 3 minutes.
- Once the onions are browned, add the ginger garlic paste along with the powdered spices. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato puree next and mix well. Let the tomato puree cook down for about 5 minutes tll you see that the sauce is thick and oil is starting to seperate. Switch off the stove. Dont dry the tomatoes too much, add 1/4 cup water if needed to make a thick slurry like consistency sauce.
- Strain the makhani sauce into a bowl and immediately mix in the cream, garam masala and kasuri methi. Mix well. Makhani sauce is ready to go.
Make the Paneer Tikka
- In a bowl, add all the ingredints except paneer. Using a whisk, mix well to make a smooth paste.
- Add the paneer cubes and mix well to coat using your fingers. Marinate for 15 minutes.
- Once marinated you can cook the paneer on a heated tawa brushing oil on all sides. Alternatively, you can skewer the paneer, brush oil and broil in oven for 3-4 minutes each side. Dont cook the panner too much since it will cook with the pizza as well.
Assebmle and Bake Pizza
- Preheat ypur oven to 475 F. I use my seasoned cast iron skillet to bake pizza. You can use your baking sheet lined with parchment paper or pizza steel (if you have one).
- Punch down the risen dough and on a floured surface, using your hands in a circular motion shape it in a circle.
- Place the shaped pizza dough into the cast iron griddle/baking sheet/pizza steel.
- Laddle makhani sauce on top of the dough leaving a little space from the edges. Add the shredded cheese over the sauce.
- Place the paneer tikka, onions and jalapenos on top of cheese. Drizzle with a little oil.
- Bake the dough for 8-12 minutes untill the cheese has melted and the edges are golden.
- Slice & Serve. Enjoy!
- Use chicken in this recipe instead of paneer to make chicken makkahi pizza.
- Use any kind of vegetables for topping.
- You make make all the elements 1-2 days in advance and assemble and bake the pizza. This dough rests well in the fridge for 2 days after proofing.