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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guest Post - Naanza!

The minute I saw "Naanza" on my Facebook updates, I knew I wanted it on my blog somehow and that this was one recipe that needed to be shared. And all I had to do was ask !

Shachi Thakar, my friend and a Guest Blogger today, graciously agreed to share a few words, the recipe and a delicious click on Pasta and Paratha. Thank you Shachi and I hope I get a chance to try out more of your wonderful recipes!

So, here's how "Naanza" came to be, in the words of the Chef herself ..

I started to learn cooking once I came to the US for my masters' degree. Until then, my cooking experience was limited to helping mom when there were guests at home or when she was sick. But it was always under her supervision, and things were so much easier (I didn't have to use my  brain :P). 

The first thing I tried making after landing here was Pav Bhaji. Many of my undergrad classmates (all boys) had come with me to the same college, and a couple of them had come a semester in advance. I was the only girl, and they asked me to step up and take the lead for preparing dinner one day. They helped me cut the veggies, but the rest was all on me. I was very very nervous. However, I managed to serve a very delicious meal for everyone, and that first attempt at cooking in this country gave me the confidence I needed to keep getting better and to keep trying out new recipes. Over a period of time, I learnt to really enjoy my time in the kitchen. These days, its a peaceful relaxing activity for me and I look forward to it on most days!

So back in February, I came across this recipe, and loved it. I finally got a chance to try it myself, and as usual, made some tweaks along the way to improvise. 

Naans - 4 (I bought them from Costco) (if you use frozen naan, thaw before using)
Colored bell peppers - 1 cup sliced
Zucchini - 1/2 cup sliced
Red Onion - 1/2 cup sliced
Garlic Cloves - sliced
Grape or Roma Tomatoes - 1/2 cup - sliced
Optional veggies - mushrooms, eggplant.
Pesto Sauce or Marinara Sauce - 3 tbsp per pizza (homemade or store bought)
Amul cheese - 1/2 cup shredded (you can also use sliced mozzarella or crumbled feta)
Avocado - 2 large - peeled and sliced
Fresh basil leaves - optional
Olive oil, salt, pepper - for roasting the vegetables
Red chili flakes (optional)

Toss all the sliced vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Give them a good shake so that all of them are evenly coated. Spread them out on a tray and toss them in the oven, and roast them at 425F for 10-15 mins (they should be well roasted). While the veggies are being roasted - take the Naan, spread the Pesto or Marinara sauce on it (you can also do half pesto/half marinara), add a layer of Amul cheese on top and keep them ready. Once the veggies are out, spread them evenly on the cheese. Put the naan back in the oven for few minutes, until the cheese melts, the toppings bubble up and the naan is crisp (it should turn a light brown color on the edges).

Garnish with avocado slices and fresh basil leaves, and add red chili flakes on top (if you like it spicy) and dig into your NaanZa!

A daughter, sister, wife, MOM, a caring and dependable friend, a compassionate human being - I am an Indian living in California (USA) since the last 12 years. I am an engineer by profession. I love being a mommy. My hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, music, sports (Racquetball, tennis, swimming, gymming) - just to name a few.  


  1. Thats a great post,fantastic naanza.

  2. Nice and delicious!loved this version of pizza.very innovative..bookmarked to try soon..

  3. lovely guest post; I remember seeing this one in Pioneer's blog- the tweaked one by shachi is a good attempt !

  4. I like the different toppings Saachi has used for the naanza :) looks wholesome and healthy!