Indian Pizza Taking Hold in Bay Area

""“Mike Gosain still remembers eating his very first pizza. It was in Newark some 30 years ago, shortly after the native of Punjab, India, moved to the United States. The pie was of the Pizza Hut variety, nothing fancy, nothing formal. But he was hooked.”

‘”I loved it,’ Gosain, the owner of Pizza and Curry in Fremont told the San Francisco Chronicle. Now he’s one of a handful of pizzaiolos in the Bay Area offering Indian pizza, a curious blend of cultures and flavors. From the relatively benign tandoori chicken pizza to pies decked out in palak paneer, samosa filling and even mango, Indian pizzas are perfect for those looking to spice up something as all-American as Sunday’s Super Bowl.”

“In San Francisco, the best-known Indian pizza comes from Zante Pizza & Indian Cuisine on the edge of Bernal Heights. The decades-old shop is the brainchild of Dalvinder Multani, a native of India who worked for a pizza shop in Queens before moving to the Bay Area. When he took over Zante, which was a traditional pizzeria, he added Indian food to the menu. Before long, his Indian pizza was born. The Best Indian Pizza, as his top seller is called, is the kitchen sink of pies, with diced tandoori chicken, lamb and prawns sharing space with slivers of spinach, eggplant, cauliflower, garlic, green onions and cilantro, on curry-colored dough. There are also vegetarian and vegan versions.”

Across town at Golden Gate Indian Cuisine & Pizza owner Mandeep Kaur offers a pair of Indian pizzas along with her standard pizzas and Indian fare. Kaur says her top-selling pie is the Vegetarian Indian Pizza, with spinach curry sauce, tomatoes, red onions, cauliflower, eggplant bharta and mozzarella cheese.

‘”People like it because there are so many different flavors,’ Kaur says. That’s especially true outside of San Francisco, where restaurants like Pizza and Curry in Fremont, or Sunnyvale’s duo of Pizza Pub and Tasty Indian Pizza, aren’t shy about mixing it up. Their lineup of Indian pizzas – to say nothing of the rest of their menu – can be overwhelming to the uninitiated.”