India Gourmet

meter-haI find it difficult to even type the words “India Gourmet” without my stomach gurgling. Their chicken tikka masala naan wrap is probably in my top 10 favorite foods of all time. I say “probably” because I am not organized enough to actually have put together such a list, so we’ll never know for sure.

Neener neener. You guys are still waiting in line, but I have my wrap already.

Neener neener. You guys are still waiting in line, but I have my wrap already.

” More meat, less feet. That’s my kind of bird.”

India Gourmet – *gurgle* – is a food vendor that shows up at various farmers’ markets around the Bay Area. They currently attend Santa Clara’s weekly shindig on Saturdays, and they can also be found at the Campbell farmers’ market on Sundays; they have also been known to make a showing in San Francisco, San Leandro, and San Jose. Whatever you have scheduled for this upcoming week, cancel it. It’s well worth the effort to seek this place out, trust me.

One of each please.  No really, one of each.

One of each please. No really, one of each.

I’ve tried about half the menu at India Gourmet, mostly just to say that I have. Everything they make is great, but the chicken tikka masala… Holy schnikes. It’s an exceptionally creamy and flavorful version of the dish, and not too spicy. I would consider it mild, but some people I know (*cough* pansies) think it’s closer to medium. The chicken itself is absolutely divine. It’s 100% white meat, cooked perfectly, and contains absolutely no unidentifiable chewy bits. More meat, less feet. That’s my kind of bird.

The naan is made to order right on the spot using a gravity-defying cylindrical oven thing. I’ve been told this mysterious appliance is called a tandoor, but to me it will always be R2-D2’s friendly naan-making cousin. This magical flatbread droid makes me very, very happy.

Help me Obi-Naan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

Help me Obi-Naan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

When you order up a wrap, you get several generous scoops of chicken tikka masala ladled over a heap of lovely rice (to soak up all the saucy goodness) and rolled up in a fresh naan straight out of the robot’s head. Like many other ridiculously awesome foods, this thing is messy. Peel back as much of the foil as you dare, take a bite, and hang on for dear life. You are all but guaranteed to be wearing curry on your clothing within a few minutes, but you won’t care. Once the incredible flavor of the naan wrap hits home you will probably begin laughing and crying at the same time or, if you’re me, you’ll just slump to the floor in a drooling, euphoric stupor.

India Gourmet earns an exceedingly rare perfect 16 out of 16 curry-colored shirt stains. Get in your car, buy a plane ticket… Just do whatever it takes to pay India Gourmet a visit.

India Gourmet
(415) 751-0505
www.indiaclayoven.com

This is bucket list material, no question.

This is bucket list material, no question.



Experimental pizza roll

I nearly named this recipe “pizza doh” because it really didn’t look like it was going to turn out, but in spite of itself it ended up being something humans can eat. My better half described this recipe as “a fun way to eat pizza”, and I think that description is spot-on. The entire process of preparing this was equal parts recipe and experiment, and the results were favorable enough that I’ll be making this again.

Skip to the short version

” The tube detonated with a doughy ‘wump’ “

As usual, I did not come up with this idea myself. I was not influenced by any one recipe – simply browsing through dozens of “pizza roll” and “rolled up pizza” recipes available on the interwebs was enough to get an idea of what to do.


Ingredients:

  • 1 tube Pillsbury pizza dough
  • 1 metric ton shredded mozzerella
  • 1 gaggle pepperoni (I’m pretty sure they come in gaggles. If not, they should)
  • green olives to taste (Read: The whole jar.)
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 jar premade pizza sauce


Directions:

Set your oven to 375 degrees F.  Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and mentally prepare yourself to open the tube of pizza dough. I know that opening the tube sounds simple, but it didn’t go so smoothly when I tried it. Perhaps it would have helped if I had read the directions, or perhaps I am exceedingly sub-par when compared to whatever Pillsbury considers to be the lowest common denominator. Regardless, when I pulled the little triangular tab, the tube detonated with a doughy “wump”, shredding the pristine sheet of rolled up pizza dough that was once inside. Super. If this same exact thing happens to you, welcome to the slow class – there’s an available seat right here next to mine. Do your best to patch together the tattered dough remnants into something vaguely rectangular and place it on the sheet of foil.  Try not to dwell on this humiliating moment.

Add a layer of pepperoni directly onto the Frankendough, covering as much area as you can.  Next sprinkle some shredded cheese…. No, not sprinkle. Sprinkle is too small of a word to describe how cheese is applied. Heap some shredded cheese on top of the pepperoni in an even layer. Wait, you’re saying. WAIT. Where’s the sauce?? Aha! That’s all part of the plan. The sauce comes later. Much later. For now just keep your socks on and do what I say.

Add any other toppings you like at this point, namely green olives. Lots of ’em.  I’m not sure if any other pizza toppings actually exist, but if they do feel free to use them I guess. You can also dash a bit of Italian seasoning over the top of everything as well, and maybe add some garlic powder and Parmesan if you’re feeling extra sassy.

It ain't pretty, but even an ugly pizza can be a good pizza.

It ain’t pretty, but even an ugly pizza can be a good pizza.

Starting at one of the shorter sides, carefully begin rolling up the whole mess into kind of a large mutated burrito.  Lightly rub the top with some olive oil and a dust bit more Italian seasoning on top to help hide the horrific scars.  Stick it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

I don't remember putting a hand grenade in this before baking it.

I don’t remember putting a hand grenade in this before baking it.

Ah. Well this is awkward. Quickly, cut the roll into slices before anyone notices that the whole operation has gone pear-shaped.  At this point, just pretend like everything that has happened so far has been according to plan.  The more confident you seem, the less likely guests will be to question your methods.

Serve the roll slices with some warmed up pizza sauce (for dipping) and try not to burn off all the flesh from the roof of your mouth.

Well hey, that didn't turn out so bad afterall.

Well hey, that didn’t turn out so bad afterall.



tl;dr

Experimental pizza roll

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube Pillsbury pizza dough
  • 1 metric ton shredded mozzerella
  • 1 gaggle pepperoni
  • green olives to taste
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 jar premade pizza sauce


Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Open tube of dough and lay on a flat surface. Layer on pepperoni, cheese, olives, and any other toppings you like. Roll up dough and pinch trailing edge against roll to seal. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Slice roll and serve with heated pizza sauce.