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Out of the oven: Bengaluru restaurants serve naan with traditional pizza toppings


Fusion food’s new offspring is chortling away across menus in Bengaluru. In this joint-production where Punjab meets Sicily, the humble naan is the base on which traditional pizza toppings like margarita, mushroom, cheese and peri peri chicken are being served. Complete with brushes of butter, the naan-pizza is baked in a traditional tandoor.

The Open Box’s Amit Ahuja tried it during the 2016 IPL season, since “we like even our Chinese food to be tweaked to suit our palate.” He called it Naan-sense. As the concept became popular, the dish was moved from the special menu to the main menu.

Food critic Suresh Hinduja says, “It takes generations to build a taste into our DNA.Naan is familiar to us.”

What’s more, a celebrity chef like Nigella Lawson gave her stamp of approval to naan-pizza earlier this year. And, the city’s chefs are taking the trend seriously . Sombir Chaudary of Farzi Café has been dishing out tandoori margarita kulcha and mushroom kurchan kulcha.Trials are on for a four-cheese stuffing and perhaps a dessert version with Nutella and banana. Chaudary says, “Diners now want classic dishes with a modern twist and high-end plating.”

The live pizza counter at the Sunday brunch of The Taj West End is giving naan and Gujarati thepla some exotic toppings like sprinkled rock salt and herbs, peking duck, masala steak to desserts like custard, fruit flambe and molten chocolate. Executive chef Sandip Narang says, “In the 1980s, Wolfgang Tuck restaurant in California first tried topping pizzas with salads. Likewise, naan-pizza actually surfaced two decades ago in Mumbai.This is a resurgence. Like fashion, food is cyclic.”

Restaurants like Tippler On The Roof and Devil Goes Veg have elaborate naan-pizza sections on their menus. Toppings include chili chicken, seafood special, tandoori paneer, garnished with corn, black olives, capsicum and paprika. As much as fusion ideas like the naan-pizza bring the suspense and surprise element for palates that constantly seek it, they are no doubt part of new marketing strategies.

Varun Pereira of Sly Granny says, “With the constantly increasing number of restaurants in Bengaluru, we need to keep surprising the diner’s palate. To gain customer base, we have to reinvent.” He too serves naan-pizzas with stuffing like Kerala beef; pumpkin and feta and fig and goat’s cheese.

Source : Economic Times

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