I'm guessing most of you are thinking "I know what a pizza is, but what the hell is a puda?"
Well, pudas are traditional Gujarati pancakes made from gram flour (a.k.a. chickpea flour), yogurt and spices.
My family were pondering what to have for lunch one day and couldn't decide whether to have pudas or pizza. So my sister (Situp85) and I came up with this recipe for pizza pudas.
Gram flour (chickpea flour),
garlic, green chillies, ginger (crushed, finely chopped or paste),
salt, pepper, sodium bicarbonate,
oil (any low flavour oil such as sunflower or rapeseed will do),
any "pizza toppings" you like. Be adventurous with your experimentation. (Have a look at the photo to see what we used, we also added red chilli flakes).
The recipe is very adaptable and traditionally, ingredients are hardly ever measured in Indian cooking. Therefore there would be no point in providing quantities in the recipe. But as a very rough guide, ten heaped tablespoons of gram flour and a 425g / 15oz pot of yogurt make the base for around 25 to 30 pudas (15cm / 6" diameter).
Step 1: Make the Base.
-If you are using any frozen ingredients, take them out of the freezer now..
-Carefully mix the gram flour and yogurt in a large mixing bowl, making sure not to leave any lumps.
-Mix in the garlic, ginger, chilli, salt and pepper, but NOT the sodium bicarbonate.
-The mixture may look too thick to make pancakes, but don't add any water yet, you'll see why later.
-Leave to stand while you move on to the next step.
Step 2: Prepare the Toppings.
Even though we're calling them "toppings", we added all the other ingredients to the base mixture before cooking. You can actually top the pudas if you prefer, or add some ingredients to the base mixture and use some as toppings. Experiment!
-If you are going to add some or all of your other ingredients to the base mixture, we recommend you finely chop or grate them first, so that everything cooks evenly.
-add the chopped ingredients to the base mixture and leave to stand for around 30 minutes.
-In the mean time, prepare the toppings.
Step 3: Final Seasoning.
-After the mixture has rested for about 30 minutes, pre-heat your pan.
-Depending on the ingredients you added to the base mixture, you'll find that the salt has caused water to release from some of them, making the mixture thinner.
-Give it a stir and if it's still too thick, add a little water, or if it's too thin, add a little gram flour, until you get the consistency you want.
-Have a taste and season until you're satisfied.
-Add a tablespoon of oil and stir well.
-spray or rub the pan with oil. (Carefully! The pan should be hot by now.)
-Add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate, stir thoroughly and QUICKLY move on to the next step.
-If you are making quite a large quantity, separate the mixture into batches and add the sodium bicarbonate to each batch just before you use it.
Step 4: Cook 'em.
-Add a ladleful of the mixture to the pan and quickly spread it out to make a pancake about 4-5mm thick.
-Add any additional toppings straight away and lightly press them into the puda.
-When the puda feels like it will come away from the pan easily, flip it over. We recommend not trying to toss it like a pancake but hey, it's your kitchen! Just make sure to clean up properly.
-When the other side also feels cooked enough, transfer to a plate and lather, rinse, repeat.
-You may need to re-oil the pan from time to time. Unless you have a great non-stick coating on yours, in which case you wont need to oil it at all.
Step 5: Eat 'em!
Enjoy your pizza pudas hot off the pan, either on their own or with your favourite condiments.
We particularly like them with a mug of hot, milky, ginger chai.
We think the pizza pudas will taste even better the next day, but have never had the opportunity to confirm this.