If you asked me ten years ago how I felt about pizza, I would have nodded my head with a slight disapproval. I did not like pizza at all while growing up but come to think of it those pizzas were not that great. But after moving to the US, I have had my fair share of pizza ranging from frozen, all-you-can-eat, to an authentic Neopolitian pizza and I love everything about it. I don’t generally discriminate when it comes to pizza but if I had to choose, I would go for thin-crust with very few toppings. I make pizza regularly at home (case in point here, here, here) using my trustworthy recipe for “easiest thin crust”. Recently, I discovered that naan (unleavened Indian flat bread) is a great alternative for a pizza base especially for days when you don’t want to knead and roll. Not that it is very complicated but some days you just want pizza instantly and I am here to fix that for you. It begins with naan, mildly spiced ground lamb meat, and finger-licking cilantro yogurt sauce.
Lamb meat is the only red meat I consume besides the occasional goat. I get excited when I spot them at grocery stores since they are not very easy to come by. I normally make lamb burgers of some sort but this time, I used lamb burgers as an inspiration to turn them into pizza with cilantro yogurt sauce. If you are intimidated by lamb, don’t be. Let me assure you that this lamb pizza with cilantro yogurt sauce is a good way to introduce yourself to the world of lamb that is spiced with freshly roasted cumin and cilantro.
Once upon a time I hoarded pre-packaged spices and I still have a cabinet full of spices for who-knows-what but lately I have gotten into freshly roasting whole spices and grinding them right before cooking. It makes a huge difference! Please try it in these kebabs and korma to see what I am talking about. Like most ground meat, lamb does not take very long to cook and in the meanwhile, you can make cilantro yogurt sauce. Also please do not compromise on cilantro yogurt sauce as it really compliments the meaty lamb and gives the naan the right amount of moistness it needs. I guarantee that you won’t regret it if you made a big batch and used it as a dip or a dressing.
Once you have both the ingredients ready, it is assembly time with naan and cheese of your choice. I have tried naan pizza with both fresh and frozen naan and personally, I like it with frozen naan. Remember to thaw frozen naan at least 5-10 minutes prior to assembling as it makes it easier to top/spread the ingredients.
As mentioned in my earlier post, once you have your mis en place ready, you are less than 10 minutes away from a slice of Lamb Pizza with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce. Bon appetit friends!
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Lamb Pizza with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
- 3 frozen naan, thawed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoon neutral oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 oz ground lamb
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 green chili, chopped
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon water
- salt, pepper, to taste
- handful mozzarella or feta cheese, for topping
- Heat a small pan over medium heat and toast cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside Use a mortar pestle to coarsely grind them but does not have to be ground
- Use the same pan and heat oil over medium heat and saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes then add ground lamb along with spices, salt, and pepper.
- Let it cook over medium heat until lamb in no longer pink and slightly brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add yogurt, chili, and cilantro in a blender or a food processor. Add 1-2 tablespoon water if needed to get the blender going, otherwise it is not needed.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Layer naan with cilantro yogurt sauce, cooked lamb, and top with handful of mozzarella cheese and allow it to bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
- Garnish with some cilantro, raw onion, and more cilantro yogurt sauce if desired.