Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tandoori Prawn and Pawpaw Pizza

If you had a pawpaw, what would you do with it? I had no idea how to use a pawpaw, because I have never tasted it. It's not available all year round and is a tropical fruit, so some may find it hard to get their hands on-which sort of makes it the holy grail of fruits because it tends to be rare in parts of the world. I live in a sub tropical climate, so I see those pawpaw trees all over the place. And I still didn't know what it tasted like!
What does a pawpaw taste like? It doesn't have a strong flavour, and while some say it reminds them of mango and pineapple, it does not hold the same sweet and aromatic qualities. It isn't really comparable to any taste I have experienced before, and while some say its texture is like that of a ripe banana, I also find this quite unique. It almost has a buttery quality to it. In a nutshell, it's indescribable, and must be tasted! I personally think it's a little like cantaloupe.
I initially was thinking baking it into something sweet, but on cutting open that golden baby, my husband and I decided it should be paired with curry. So the Tandoori Prawn and Pawpaw Pizza came into existence. Its a great pizza recipe for the base, requiring no proofing and no kneading. That makes this recipe a quick and easy dinner or lunch choice, and perfect for those days you just need to quickly whip up a meal. I used my chef's toolbox saute pan to make this pizza in the oven without the lid on. You can use any round pan or pizza tray for this, but I used the saute pan because I liked the size of it, and I could mix up the pizza base in there also, and just press it straight into a disc before topping.
So-what did the tandoori prawn  and pawpaw pizza taste like?
Imagine an open front cafe so close to the beach that you can dip your toes in the sand. There's a warm fresh breeze tangling your hair and swaying the palm trees, and you can hear the waves pummeling the sand close by, on the shores of some exotic holiday destination. Biting into a slice of this pizza is like being carried away there. If you close your eyes you immediately forget you can't literally feel that sand and breeze because the flavours that hit you are so deliciously distracting-that exotic indian tandoori flavour combined with the tang of greek yogurt, the subtle yet very present tropical vibe of the paw paw and the seafood thrill of the crunchy prawns at the end. Who needs a holiday when you have a slice of this pizza in your hands?

NOTES: This pizza is great for the family table and would be very appealing to teenagers and adults alike, and if you wish to serve this to children (while it is not very spicy due to the addition of the greek yogurt) you may wish to adjust the quantity of tandoori paste to 1 tsp for their little pallets!(my 2 and 4 year olds ate this pizza with 1 heaped tbsp tandoori paste in the sauce, and loved it! I added a little sour cream to the top of their pizza just in case it was too spicy for them.)


1 cup SR flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp dry yeast
pinch salt
1 tsp honey
1 cup luke-warm water

1 heaped tbsp tandoori paste (this is concentrated tandoori paste. For children, you may wish to reduce the tandoori to 1 tsp.)
1/2 cup greek yogurt

1/4 yellow pawpaw, seeded, skinned and sliced thinly
1 1/2 cup raw prawns, tails removed (about 20 prawns)
3/4 cup grated cheese (I used Tasty cheese)

Preheat the oven to 190C. In a bowl, combine all the base ingredients and combine until a soft dough forms. Dump this mixture onto a greased or non stick round pizza tray and using your fingers, push around the tray until it forms a disc. (You may like to dust your hands with a little flour if it's sticking to your hands)
In a small bowl, combine the tandoori paste with the yogurt, and spread it over the pizza base.
Arranged the sliced pawpaw on the tandoori paste, along with the raw prawns. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the base is golden brown on the underside, and the prawns have turned pink and curled into themselves.
Set aside for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

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