Sania, my nine-year-old niece, is one of the most intelligent kids I have known. She is one of the children I have seen right from their birth through each step in their lives. Born as an incredibly beautiful child with amazing, lovely eyes, Sania and I share a bond that I have never shared with any other child. She has this wonderful ability to surprise you by telling you what you are thinking. She can be this wise little lady, almost making you laugh at her unsolicited advice every other minute. Her honesty and livewire attitude are the most adorable qualities besides her quest to be independent about the smallest activity since she was a year old.
I remember how my friends would rush back from college so we could play with Sania at my place. She knows all my friends by their first names, some even by their nicknames, and keeps asking about how each one of them is placed in life. She remembers every little thing about every one. No wonder, I love spending time with Sania also because she takes me through my wonderful past.
Four years ago, Sania was shown her parents’ wedding album. After carefully looking at all the pics and identifying most guests at the reception, this kid became curious as to why she wasn’t invited to such an important occasion of the most important people in her life. After many failed attempts to make Sanu understand that she wasn’t born to be able to attend the wedding, Sania starts wailing as to why her mommy and daddy couldn’t wait for her to arrive so that she could also be a part of the wedding and show the album to her friends!!! Even as my sister kept wondering how to remedy this instant errupt of emotion, the smart little girl got her recently clicked snap, in which she looks her best, and tells mommy to “paste it between the two of you”. And they continued to live happily ever after..
Today, I dedicate a dish to Sania that she loves the most and can eat at any time of the day, given any quantity: Homemade Pizza. And this is a special Pizza because it is made by her royal self 🙂 Remember, I just said she loves to be independent and try every thing that grown-ups do? 😉 Sania is such a foodie herself that the first thing she asks as she steps down her school bus every day is “what’s for lunch?” Yes, she is totally fussy about food like most kids are but I never had this kind of curiosity or preference for food when I was her age.
As my sister insists on healthy food for her kids, this is a slightly healthier version of the junk-est of foods. We have used a wheat crust and loads of veggies. We have not bothered to start from scratch as the pizza crust is easily available in the market. As Indian-style, or let me call it the Gujarati-style, pizzas are thin, they more like wood-fired pizza bases compared to the doughy pizzas served at most pizza outlets.
Homemade Indian-style Pizza by Sania
Your favourite toppings. You can choose out of chicken sausages, paneer, corn, onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, jalapenos, mushrooms and so on
For the pizza sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 fresh tomatoes, boiled, peeled and seeds removed
3 tbsp tomato sauce
1 cup tomato puree
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
In a pan, heat olive oil with butter. Add minced garlic, tomatoes, paste and puree. Add the bay leaf and the rest of the ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer and keep the flame on till it reaches a desired consistency. It should be thick enough to spread on the pizza base.
Once the sauce is ready, grease a plate on which you plan to bake the pizza. Place the pizza base on the plate and spread a large spoon of sauce over it. Sprinkle some cheese over the sauce. Arrange toppings as desired. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil all over the topping. Grate more cheese over it if you like it.
Set the oven on 180 degrees to preheat. Once done, place the baking plate with pizza inside the microwave on a high rack or a grill plate and press start. When done, cut into pieces and serve hot.
You can also cook this pizza on the pan. 🙂 Sania and I shared this pizza over a lot of chit-chat. She may only be nine but her life is on a roll, you see? 😉