This recipe was originally published here on June 8, 2017. It has been updated with new images and information.
Every time I make this tandoori chicken pizza, I’m reminded just how amazing it is. I know I love it but then I make it and fall in love all over again. It’s rich Indian flavours, meets Italian simplicity.
Why you’ll love it
This pizza crust is my favourite recipe. It’s simple to make just like the Italians intended and it’s the perfect base for so many toppings.
You may be surprised at just how good tandoori and pizza are together. The tandoori is rich, spicy and tangy while the base of mango chutney is sweet and oh so good.
It’s also loaded with onion, capsicum (bell pepper) and cheese – I use mozzarella for it’s mild flavour here – and it’s great with some mushrooms too.
This is hearty comfort food but not as heavy as some pizzas since mozzarella is a lower fat cheese. You could also be super fancy and add paneer – a traditional Indian cheese.
If you like pizza and you like tandoori, I promise you’ll love this tandoori pizza.
What is tandoori?
Just in case you’re not sure, Tandoori is a classic Indian dish, usually of chicken marinated in a spicy yogurt sauce then cooked in a tandoor – a cylindrical clay oven used throughout the middle east, with a fire built right in it’s base.
The classic sauce is made up of things like ginger, tamarind, garlic, salt, ground cumin, ground coriander seeds, turmeric, paprika and garam masala.
The tandoor is to India (and many other countries) what the woodfired oven is to Italy.
Ingredients in tandoori pizza
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Pizza dough: My homemade pizza dough is made up of flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast, oil and water. It’s so very easy to make.
- Chicken thighs: I use skinless boneless chicken thighs as it has more flavour and stays more juicy. Chicken breast does work but will be a little drier.
- Tandoori paste: While you can certainly make your tandoori spice from scratch, it’s a lot of ingredients to have on hand for a pizza so instead we keep things simple with tandoori spice paste. This is available at all major supermarkets / grocery stores in the Indian section.
- Yoghurt: Use plain Greek yoghurt for this. It’s not tandoori without it so don’t skip it though if you’re in a bind, you could get away with sour cream (not authentic but will get the job done).
- Lime juice or lemon juice: Tandoori is a tangy flavour and lemons or limes, the latter being my favourite are a great little bit of extra tang in the sauce.
- Garlic: Store-bought pastes (like tandoori and curry pastes) always need a little more oomph, so I add just one clove of garlic here.
- Mango Chutney: This is an absolute must with tandoori and replaces your regular pizza sauce. It’s so so good and also available from all major supermarkets / grocery stores in the Indian section.
- Vegetables: I top this with some typical veggies used in Indian cooking – red onion (must be red onion) and red capsicum (bell pepper) – most often green capsicum but I use red. While not in these pictures, I also often add sliced mushroom.
- Mozzarella cheese: I specifically use all mozzarella cheese here as it’s a mild flavour. Cheddar will mess with the tandoori flavour, at least it does IMO. Please don’t buy pre-shredded cheese as it’s coated in anti-caking agents that affect the way it melts. Buy a block and shred it yourself. You could also use paneer cheese for part of it, which is a classic Indian cheese.
- Fresh coriander: Fresh cilantro / coriander is the only topping this pizza needs and finishes off the flavours perfectly.
If you want to simplify things further, these toppings baked onto naan bread is amazing too.
Tools you’ll need
- A stand mixer with dough hook if you prefer kneading dough this way.
- A rolling pin just makes rolling out the dough a bit quicker though you can do it by hand.
- A pizza stone or, what I use, a cast iron pizza pan. A 12 inch cast-iron skillet will also work. They get nice and hot in the oven first helping to creating a crisp base on your pizza.
- A pizza peel or pizza slice is also handy for transferring the prepared pizza to the hot tray but I often just use my trusty flat cookie sheet (it has no sides).
How to make tandoori chicken pizza
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Make the dough: Mix together the dough ingredients then knead by hand for about 10 minutes or in a stand mixer for 7-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Rest the dough: Let the dough rest for 45 – 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Make the tandoori chicken: Slice chicken thighs fairly thinly, then mix them up with the tandoori paste, yoghurt, lime juice and garlic. Let that marinate in the fridge while the dough is rising.
- Roll out the dough: Before you roll out the dough, preheat the oven with your pizza tray in there getting super hot. Now roll the dough out to about 12 inches (for thin and crispy) and place it on a sheet of baking paper.
- Top the pizza: Spread mango chutney over the pizza base followed by half the cheese or so. Now add the vegetables and chicken randomly over the top. Finish with a little more cheese and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.
- Bake: Slide a pizza peel or flat tray under the baking paper and transfer it to the hot tray in the oven using the baking paper to help you drag it into position. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the edges look nice and crispy.
Tips and tricks
- Don’t over marinate the chicken: Don’t make the chicken too far in advance. It can sit in the marinade for 4-6 hours or as little as half an hour.
- If you like a thick crust: Use this recipe to make 1 thick 12 inch crust or 2 thin crusts.
- Pizza dough can be frozen: This recipe makes 2 pizzas, so if you only want one, just place half the dough in a zip lock bag in the freezer at the same time as you’re rolling out the other. It can freeze for 2 months.
- Char it: Authentic tandoori is charred which adds a lovely smokiness to it so make sure you bake it long enough to get a bit of char on that chicken.
- This recipe will also work with a chicken tikka masala or butter chicken paste.
I’m not a cold pizza nor a leftover pizza person so we try to make enough just to do one dinner but by all means, if you love leftover pizza, just store it in the fridge well wrapped in plastic wrap.
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Tandoori Chicken Pizza
FOR THE DOUGH
- 295 g bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 200 ml warm water (¾ cup +1 tablespoon)
FOR THE CHICKEN
- ¼ cup greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoons tandoori paste (notes)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 340 g raw chicken thighs, fat trimmed and fairly sliced thinly (¾ lb)
- ½ cup mango chutney
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 small red capsicum, sliced
- 2 cups packed shredded mozzarella (230g / 8oz)
- Sea salt flakes
- Coriander cilantro for topping
- FOR THE DOUGH: Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Give it a mix.
- Make a well in the centre and add the oil and water. Give it a stir again until it’s coming together into a dough, then turn it out onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth. It will start out a little sticky but it will begin to “dry out” a little the more you knead. Try not to add extra flour unless it’s sticking all over your hands. You can also use a stand mixer with dough attachment to knead for 7-8 minutes.
- Once the dough is smooth, add a little oil to a medium bowl and rub it a little. Drop in the dough, give it a flip so it has a coating of oil, then cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- MARINATE THE CHICKEN: Combine the yoghurt, tandoori paste, lime juice and garlic in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix well to combine, then place in the fridge to marinate.
- SHAPE THE PIZZA BASE: Once the dough has doubled. cut it in half and roll, pull or press it out to a 12 inch circle (10 inch if you like a thicker crust).
- Transfer the dough to a sheet of baking paper and gently arrange it back into a circle.
- If you want your crust a bit thicker, let it sit for another 15 minutes before topping to puff up a little.
- Repeat with the second if you’re baking both now or transfer the other piece of dough to a ziplock bag in the freezer for another time.
- TOP THE PIZZA: Top each pizza base with ¼ cup of mango chutney and spread out. Follow with about ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella on each. Now scatter half the onion and capsicum over each.
- Add the chicken (half on each pizza draped randomly around). Top each with the remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle over a little sea salt flakes.
- Take the pizza tray out of the oven and, using the corner of the paper again, drag the pizza onto the hot tray.
- Bake for Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is crispy and golden.
- Top with fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve immediately.
- Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I really appreciate it and it helps me create more recipes.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon
- This pizza dough recipe makes enough dough for 2 thin pizza crusts. If you like a thicker base, simply use the whole piece of dough and roll it out to 12 inches. With a thicker base, make sure to allow a few extra minutes cooking time
- You can freeze whatever pizza dough you don’t use by placing it in a zip lock bag in the freezer. When you feel like pizza, allow them to thaw at room temperature (about ½ to 1 hour) then simply roll out your pizza base.
- If you want to save on time, you can use store-bought naan bread as your pizza base.
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