“I talked to a calzone for fifteen minutes last night before I realized it was just an introverted pizza. I wish all my acquaintances were so tasty.
Jarod Kintz

Calzones with lamb & beet greensCalzones, Pizza Pies & Popovers with lamb & beet greens. Pizza dough many ways because minced lamb was all that I had in the freezer. I toyed with the idea of meatballs…but NAH, too much effort! So I made pizza dough, with some whole wheat thrown in for good measure! One batch went a long way. Deliciously too. With mince lamb and beet greens, we had calzones one day, pizza pies the next, and popovers for snacks. Never a hungry moment! Pizza Pies with lamb & beet greensWhat is it with teens? Forever hungry! “What’s for fooooooood”  echoes through the house every weekend. Why do weekends seem so long? Why are so many meals involved? Why are ‘they’ so hungry? So many questions … one answer. Something pizza!

Pizza Pies & Popovers with lamb & beet greensCalzones, Pizza Pies & Popovers with lamb & beet greensIt gives me a sense of security and comfort to have a slow rising dough in the fridge. If all else fails, there is always margarita! Make ahead is good stuff! Made ahead pizza dough, even better!Beets and carrotsI’ve grown some beets and carrots in my little patch this year. When the first beet surfaced I was thrilled. MY FIRST BEET EVER! The gardener {lazy inefficient man that he is, quite good for nothing but non stop banter} was even happier. “Photo?” he queried. The camera obliged! Beets and carrots We had the little beets for salad and I didn’t know what to do with the greens. There were loads of them. Sent them for Man Fridays rabbits to munch {Coco didn’t take to them unfortunately though she loves peas and brocolli}. Then spoke to Sangeeta who suggested using the greens in salad etc since they were edible. Kanji... a fermented nutritional drink Kanji... a fermented nutritional drink A few beets and carrots also went into a fermented drink, kaanji, which is highly nutritional and a result of bacterial fermentation. The deep colour comes from ‘black carrots’ or ‘kaali gajar’ which is the star of the drink. Black carrots are available for a brief period in winter in North India. Calzones with lamb & beet greens The kaanji recipe can be found on Sangeeta’s blog. It turned out to good to be true; full of nostalgic memories of the years gone by. Fermented products are an acquired taste, and interestingly, most cultures have something to contribute.

Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol. The science of fermentation is also known as zymology or zymurgy.

Kanji... a fermented nutrional drinkFermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desirable, and the process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and cider. Fermentation also is employed in the leavening of bread (CO2 produced by yeast activity); in preservation techniques to produce lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, dry sausages, kimchi, and yogurt; and in pickling of foods with vinegar.

Examples of fermentation across cultures include kimchi, soy sauce, miso, pickled cucumbers, quark, crème fraîche, sourdough bread, kombucha, idli, dosa, dhokla, sake, vodka, whisky, wine, fish sauce, chorizo …. the list is endless! Kanji... a fermeneted nutrional drink Sangeeta is very “fresh produce and ingredient informed“especially when it comes to local produce. She suggested that I could harvest the beet greens and use them as I like, leaving the beets below the ground. New leaves will keep appearing. Since beets are perennials, they will stay good for two years! This is what I love about food blogging. It’s a large hearted community which has the willingness to share and grow.Calzones with lamb & beet greens Then the possibilities exploded! I searched the net to find a whole load of folk do eat the beet greens, and happily so. The next bunch of leaves headed for pizza. Fingers crossed that the kids wouldn’t think I was ‘killing them with spinach‘ again. That has happened in the past which is why I shifted to purslane. It fared really well in Lamb & Purslane Pides{Turkish pizzas}!Pizza Pies with lamb & beet greens Threw in chopped onion, garlic and some sweet smelling marjoram from Sangeeta’s garden = BLISS. Life was certainly looking up suddenly. In went the chopped greens and they imparted a beautiful deep red to the onions. NICE! They wilted pretty soon. Once the lamb came into play, you couldn’t tell what ‘green’ was ‘going on in there‘.Calzones with lamb & beet greens Pizza Pies with lamb & beet greens The tiredness went, and the spices flew in. Before I knew it I was cooking up certain yumminess. Sweet paprika, smoked, adds huge flavour dimensions to minced lamb. Juberfam & Mittal do a really really nice one available locally. I LOVE it! Bell peppers went in next, basically whatever there was on hand. They were a hit!! Next time would possibly see finely chopped mushrooms too.

[print_this]Recipe: Lamb & Beet Greens – Calzones, Pies & Popovers 
your picture

Summary: Lamb & Beet Greens – Calzones, Pies & Popovers …pizza dough three ways. One batch went a long way. Deliciously too with mince lamb and beet greens. We had calzones one day, pizza pies the next, and popovers for snacks. Never a hungry moment!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour plus dough rising and resting time

  • Dough
  • 150g wholewheat flour
  • 350g all purpose flour
  • 1.5tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs
  • 1 tbsp pickled peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 310ml warm water
  • Filling
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 onions, chopped fine
  • 5 cloves garlic, chooped fine
  • 1 small bunch fresh marjoram {or dried}
  • 10-15 beet greens, chopped
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika, Juberfam & Mittal
  • 2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • Salt & pepper t taste
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 50g cream cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 bell peppers, red & yellow, julienned
  • Mozzarella
  • Pimento olives


  1. Dough {I make it in the Thermomix}
  2. Place all ingredients except water in bowl of food processor and whiz for 1 minute.
  3. Add water and knead to a smooth dough.
  4. Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled. At this point you can refrigerate the dough, else use it. I prefer using it after a rest in the fridge.
  5. Filling
  6. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Sweat onions, marjoram and garlic until light pink and fragrant.
  7. Add the beet greens and saute until wilted. Throw in the mince and cook on high for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
  9. Cook open for about 15 minutes until the mince is cooked. Add the cream cheese, mix well and turn off heat. Cover pan and allow to cool completely.
  10. Preheat oven to 180C.
  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for calzones, used ceramic dishes for pies, and muffin molds for popovers.
  12. Calzones: You can follow the basic recipe on the Roasted Bell Pepper, Mushroom and Ricotta Calzones. This recipe has a nice vegetarian filling option. Maybe some beet greens will do great in here.
  13. Pizza Pies: Roll out small balls of dough and place in ceramic pie dishes, leaving a border hanging out. Fill with filling of your choice, then frill the border back over part of the filling. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes {until golden brown and firm to touch. Time will vary depending on size of pie}
  14. Pizza Popovers: Roll out small balls of dough. Place the filling in the centre and pull the sides up to form a sack. Twist gently to keep in place. I tied mine with a bit of marjoram. gently place in muffin tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes until firm to touch, crisp and brown.


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

” You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them,
go to wonderful places while you still can…”
Nora Ephron

Lamb & Purslane PideChomp, chomp, chomp.Ooooh, this is good“, declared Mr PAB between bites. Then gesturing wildly he said, “This MUST go on the blog. It’s GOOD!” So with recommendation, hot off the press oven, here are Lamb and Purslane Pides, or simply put Turkish Flatbread Pizza!Lamb & Purslane Pides What is purslane? It is an annual succulent, found in North India in the hot summer months, is funnily considered a weed in America {LOL}, and cooked extensively through much of Europe, Middle East, Asia and Mexico! It is known as kulfa saag here, and was the only green other than spinach that I could find to replace the chard! It worked a charm …  and went undetected by the ‘green hating‘ terrible teens!Lamb & Purslane Pides It’s been ages since I cooked lamb mince. By healthy choice I’ve switched over th chicken mince but the lamb murmur has been growing stronger of late. My SIL is a great lamb lover and mentioned that she prefers lamb to chicken any day. I was listening. Then the other day, a meeting with someone from BBC GF and she mentioned her undying love for lamb too. Now I was all ears!Lamb & Purslane Pides “Next kebabs will be have to be lamb“, I thought as I got mince from the butcher. However, this morning I lost my inclination to make kebabs. I wanted something on dough, something baked, something quick! I recollected the Turkish pides with sumac I had made long ago and googling got me to a Lamb & Chard Pide recipe on BBC GF!

Pides, local pita bread, are delicious flatbread pizzas topped with different ingredients from Turkeys rich cuisine. You have specialty Turkish pide restaurants across Turkey which sell different avatars of this flatbread. It is popular street food there as well. Regional variations in the shape, baking technique, and topped materials create distinctive styles for each region which include chicken, beef, cheese, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients.

Lamb & Purslane Pides It came together fairly quickly. I did a quick rise dough, and by the time the dough was rising, the lamb was ready. Baked quick, crisp and nice, the lamb pides were wolfed down faster than the time I took to make them… not a crumb remained!Lamb & Purslane PidesThe recipe suggestion was to drizzle pom molasses over it. I didn’t have any but I did have a fresh plum prune sauce I developed for Del Monte. To that, I added some red harissa that I had made last week. It was H O T! 10 red chilies, more fresh red chilies = fiery HOT! That said, it’s almost gone and I am ready to make my next jar! Lamb & Purslane Pides Red Harissa The lamb offered subtle, gentle flavours, lilted further by the cottage cheese and bell pepper. The pickled peppers added some zest, and a drizzle of plum chili sauce brought out a delicious complexity of flavours … all pairing beautifully together!Lamb & Purslane Pides I loved how quickly and beautifully the meal came together. Of course we had the much dreaded power cut halfway through, so I baked a couple on a heavy griddle pan covered with a lid over low heat …. and there was no reason to complain {pictured above}. So there you, if it’s too hot to turn on the oven OR you suffer power cuts like we have all summer, these cook up crisp beautiful on the stove top too!Lamb & Purslane Pides

Lamb & Purslane PidesI had some dough left over, so made some chicken, red harissa and plum sauce pides the next afternoon for the kids. Gone in minutes! They are filling yet light enough for a summer meal. Pair with a green salad, maybechilled summer cooler … and you have a meal!Summer CoolerBon appetit! Afiyet olsun!

And as I leave I wish to thank Lifezing for interviewing me. It was an honour and I loved doing it.
Catch it, with a whole lot of colour here

In conversation with Deeba Rajpal From Passionate About Baking

[print_this]Recipe:  Lamb & Purslane Pides your picture

Summary: Turkish flatbread pizza with lamb and  seasonal greens.The lamb offered subtle, gentle flavours, lilted further by the cottage cheese and bell pepper. the pickled peppers added some zest, and a drizzle of plum chili sauce brought out a delicious complexity of flavours. {Makes 10 pides}.  Adapted minimally from BBC Good Food.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

  • Quick pizza dough
  • 410g plain flour
  • 110gm whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 380ml warm water
  • Lamb Purslane Mince
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 500gm lean lamb, minced
  • 2-3 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 1  large bunch purslane {Indian kulfa saag, or chard}
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Toppings
  • 150gm cottage cheese, cubed, tossed in olive oil
  • Plum Sauce
  • Red Harissa or chili sauce
  • Pickled peppers
  • 150gm mozzarella


  1. Quick dough
  2. Place both flours, salt and garlic in bowl of food processor and process for a minute in short burst.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
  4. Knead for 2-3 minutes to get a smooth pliable dough.
  5. Transfer to an oiled bowl, and leave covered in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Store in fridge after its been doubled if you intend to use it later.
  6. Mince
  7. Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Sweat onions and garlic in this for 4-5 minutes until light pink, add bay leaves and mince and roast well on high heat. Season with cumin, cinnamon and salt. Cook open on medium high for about 10-15 minutes until the mince is cooked, becomes brownish and no liquid remains.
  8. Add 1 tbsp of the plum sauce and 1-2 tsp of hot chili sauce {as per taste/optional}, followed by greens. Sauté for a minute or two until the greens begin to wilt. Take off heat, add bell pepper and mix well. Cool.
  9. Assemble
  10. Preheat the oven to 225C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or sprinkle a pizza stone with cornmeal.
  11. Divide into 2, and then into 5-6 parts each. Make balls, toss lightly in flour and roll out to an oblong shape, stretching one corner to get a tear drop like base.
  12. Top with cooked mince, pickled peppers, cottage cheese and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  13. Bake at 250C for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and puffy. Drizzle with EVOO and serve with a plum chili sauce, or pom molasses…or as is!


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza This was a pizza waiting to be made and I’m not sure what took me so long to get here. It’s a summer pizza, or maybe spring if that’s the season you are in. Light, crisp airy crust, minimum sauce and happy toppings! I’ve had Jim Laheys No Knead pizza dough bookmarked for ages, and then one day I read a post on What Katie Ate and there she had the most inspirational food flooding her beautiful blog. It was time for No Knead Pizza with Buttermilk Chicken.No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza I’ve read only good stuff about Jim Laheys No Knead Pizza Dough and the temptation was too much a few days ago. How luxurious can a foodie feel if she has a slow rising dough sitting out on the counter, made kneaded stirred together the previous evening. I hopped out of bed and raced to see if had risen… and of course it had!No Knead Buttermilk Chicken PizzaInspiration came from Katies delicious blog. That buttermilk chicken pizza stayed in my head for a few days. After stirring the pizza dough, I dunked the chicken in the buttermilk mustard mix to enjoy a slow overnight marinade. Love make ahead bits of recipes!! No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza The rest happened the next morning. I stirred up a a quick pizza sauce, trying to keep it minimalistic, enough to perk the base and chicken but not too overpowering. Just chicken on top is good if you use a pizza sauce like in Katies recipe, but since I had no sour cream, watercress, walnuts etc, I added some bell peppers and onions  … cheese of course!No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza Nom Nom Nom! Mr PAB declared this was the best one yet, almost like a wood fire pizza we had a while ago, one which has always been the benchmark for comparison. Great thin crisp crust, beautiful blend of flavours, delicious subtle chicken. Did I forget to tell you I pickled some red & green chilies the other day? They went on top as well! Even the ‘now threatening to be quite terrible‘ preteen munched them up as they weren’t too hot!No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza The vegetable vendor had packed me a bag of red and green chilies the other day, knowing how much I love vibrant colours. Got home and looked at my now almost empty bottle of quick pickled cucumbers that I made for the DB Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood … the chilies could would go in there.No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza Snipped with my kitchen scissors in a matter of minutes, they were soon submerged in the mix of white vinegar, a dash of sugar and salt. They sat in the fridge and two days later we enjoyed nice tangy peppers. Makes a nice addition to sandwiches and wraps, and a great topping for pizza. Nice and zingy, mildly hot too! I sometimes smash a clove or two of garlic and throw it in!

[print_this]Recipe: No Knead Buttermilk Chicken Pizza
your picture

Summary: Great thin crisp crust, beautiful blend of flavours, delicious subtle chicken... a wonderful light picnic pizza for spring/summer!

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour plus resting time

  • Dough Adapted from Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough {yields 4  X 10-inch crusts}
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup gluten
  • 3/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 11/4 cups + 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Topping
  • Buttermilk Chicken {Buttermilk Chicken from What Katie Ate}
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of small half a lemon
  • 2 x 200g (average sized) chicken breasts
  • Bell peppers, onions, preserved chili peppers, fresh basil
  • Pizza Sauce
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes
  • 100ml tomato puree
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs
  • Red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive Oil


  • Dough
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70 F /21C.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into 3 or 4 balls, depending on how thick you want the crust. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours then use as required.
  • Buttermilk Chicken:
  • To make the marinade, add buttermilk, Dijon mustard and lemon juice into a medium-sized bowl, season with salt and pepper whisk together to combine. Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut the chicken crossway into ½ cm thick strips.  Add the chicken to the marinade, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight
  • After chilling, cook chicken pieces on a hot griddle pan until almost cooked through. Keep warm.
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Saute onions, garlic, fried herbs and red chili flakes in olive oil till fragrant.
  • Blend the tomatoes and tomato puree together to a smooth sauce and add to above
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and pinch of sugar, season with salt and pepper and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes till most of the liquid has evaporated and it yields a thick sauce.
  •  Cool and blend to a smooth puree. Adjust seasoning if required, add fresh basil and reserve until required . {Can be made a day or two ahead}
  • Pre heat oven to 250C
  • To assemble the pizzas
  • Roll out dough to your desired thickness and place on pizza stone or baking tray
  • Brush the bases with extra virgin olive oil and divide sauce evenly over both pizza bases and spread out leaving a 2cm border around the pizza edge {I like keeping the sauce to a bare minimum in summer}
  • Top pizzas with pre-cooked chicken strips, bell peppers, onions, preserved chillies, fresh basil. Top with grated mozzarella.
  • Bake until base is cooked through {20-25 minutes in my oven}.
  • Note: You can skip the chicken for a vegetarian version of the pizza. Mushrooms, sweet corn, cottage cheese cubes would work well.


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

%d bloggers like this: