Indian Pizza is San Francisco’s Best Kept Secret — Dining on a Dime
– We are on Mission Street in the Bernal Heights
neighborhood of San Francisco just south of the Mission district. We are heading to a
place called Zante Pizza. We’re gonna try some of this Indian pizza, which is just a mash-up of traditional Indian flavors with a traditional Italian pizza as we know it. So it’s gonna be super interesting and I can’t wait to try it. (upbeat jazzy music) – When I started, it was only Italian. So I turned to the Indian– – [Lucas] There was only Italian
pizza in the neighborhood. – Italian pizza and Italian food. – Okay.
– Yeah. We started making pizza
for the staff to eat and see how it goes. So eventually, it went good. Everybody was saying, “Okay,
let’s put on the menu.” So I know how to cook
back in home in India, so I put my own dishes
and put in the menu. Then, we tried to make
a pizza and (mumbles) we have the kitchen, so everybody said, “Okay, let’s put on the menu.” It goes very well.
– Okay. And since you started doing
that, have you noticed, have other people also
started trying to sell– – Yeah, there’s quite a bit people. One guy used to work for
me and he opened his own. – Really?
– And he copy me. – That guy. – But, you know, I have the ingredients in my dough, he doesn’t know. – Ah.
– I have my special dough. – Okay, you have the special dough that he doesn’t know about. – He doesn’t know about it. – But when he betrayed you– – Yeah. (chuckling)
– And opened a new… And you’re the godfather. – Yeah, I’m the godfather. – And you took him and you
kissed him (kissing air) and you said– – I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. (laughing) – That’s okay. You’re okay with that guy. – [Tony] Indian (mumbles) dough, with all my spices.
– [Lucas] Okay. Can I touch it? – Yeah, you can have it. – Ooh, nice. – How it feel? – It feels like a like a cold, sticky baby. (laughing) And you can see in the dough, it is slightly yellow in color and you can see all of
the different spices that are sort of dotted–
– [Tony] Fennel. – It looks like there’s
maybe a little chili in there as well.
– Chili flakes. – Yeah, and it looks really great. So this is the special dough.
– Yeah. – So what do we do with this now? – Let’s go there. Go like this first. – Ah, see, you’re the expert.
– And you make a little– – Oh, and you’re making the
little bubbles in there. – Yeah. I’m gonna put in the air. (hollers)
(laughs) – Amazing. So this one is… – [Tony] Spinach curry
sauce, masala sauce. – [Lucas] This is the creamy masala sauce. – [Tony] Creamy masala tomato base. – And now the cheese. – I put on half and you do the half. – [Lucas] So this is the
Italian influence still. (jazzy music) – Okay, now this is the cauliflower. – Cauliflower.
– All over. – [Tony] Eggplant all over. Garlic, fresh garlic. – Oh, I love that. I want a lot of garlic. – [Tony] All right. – [Lucas] Give me extra garlic. – [Tony] Extra garlic.
– [Lucas] Extra garlic. I love the garlic.
– [Tony] There you go. One half is chicken… – [Lucas] That’s the Tandoori chicken. – [Tony] This is a paneer masala. – [Lucas] And then we have
some prawns there. Oh, great. – Coriander, cilantro, and green onion. – [Lucas] Ah, yes. – [Tony] All around
– [Lucas] Amazing. Can I put it in the oven?
– [Tony] Yeah. (jazzy music) – There we go. (claps) Good. – All right.
– All right. You did it good.
– Hey! – Hey! One, two, three.
– [Tony] (mumbles) Yeah, there you are. – [Lucas] Oh, wow.
– [Tony] Good. (jazzy music) – [Lucas] Let’s start with
chicken tikka masala. I’m gonna use the chutneys that Tony’s brought out. We have a mint and we have a tamarind, slightly sweet and fruity, but I’m told this will accompany the pizza quite well. And that’s delicious. So you have the traditional pizza base, the pizza dough,
which you would expect in a traditional pizza. And then you have the mozzarella cheese, which you saw we just put on. And then that creamy tasting of curry as the base of the sauce
and then you have these tender pieces of chicken tikka. It makes for a really nice piece of pizza, like you would expect
from an Italian place except for the flavors are
just completely South Asian. Totally subcontinent. Why don’t we move on to the second half of the meat? This is going to have
bits of chicken tikka and it’s also gonna
have some little prawns, which you saw we put on there as well. I like that a lot. Where I come from, Chicago, where people make fun of our pizza, (bleep) y’all. That is pizza. It’s not a casserole. Sorry. My favorite type of pizza to eat in Chicago, deep dish Chicago pizza, is a spinach deep dish. And so having this saag spinach-based sauce is really excellent. So it’s nice, tasting of spinach, a little bit creamy, a lot of sharp garlic flavor. Again, you get these
tender pieces of chicken, which are sort of spicy but also marinated in yogurt. So they’re very tender and very soft, vaguely creamy. It’s a totally interesting new way to deliver Indian flavors into your mouth. Why don’t we just break down
this dough a little bit? You know, it looks like
traditional pizza dough, but it does have a
distinct yellow coloring. It’s a bit more solid than a traditional naan bread would be. For example, you saw us
in the New York season at the Pakistan Tea House sticking those naan to the side of that very hot tandoor oven. But it’s a hybrid. It still does retain those flavors, so it does still taste
like saffron as well. And it does sort of raise the question of why don’t people do more with the pizza dough? We’ve seen monstrosities when people have tried to do things like put cheese inside the pizza crust. – We eat our pizza the wrong way. – Crust first. – [Voiceover] Introducing
stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut. – [Lucas] Moving on to
the vegetarian options. On the masala side, this has paneer. It’s a non-melting cheese. If you’ve ever had cheese curds, you Wisconsinites, you
midwesterners out there, I know you’re watching. You know what I’m talking about. They’re delicious, they’re
totally delightful. They don’t melt, however, like a traditional cheese, like a mozzarella cheese. Anyway, so that’s what’s on this side along with the masala sauce. You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna double-up on the chutneys. I’m gonna put that on a shirt. “Double-up on the chutneys.” And I’m gonna sell it on Etsy. That is good. This is gonna be real good drunk food. This is gonna sop up whatever mistakes you made last night. It’s gonna make ’em go away. This is heavy stuff, but
it’s very, very good. I’m gonna have another bite of it. Lots of garlic and cheese and a big mouthful of herbs that
we sprinkled all over. That is solid. That is really good. This is wave of the future and the food is great. And it’s a really interesting way to present pizza that
I’ve never had before. And yeah, I encourage you all to try it. (jazzy music) I really hope you enjoyed this episode of Dining on a Dime from Zante Pizza in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. If you’d like to watch
more, please click here. Craig, explain to us, hanging them, drying them. They look incredible.