Tandoori paneer naan pizza step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
Tandoori naan pizza is Indian-flavors-inspired fusion pizza that is made using naan (leavened plain flour flatbread) as the base and is topped with marinated paneer, veggies, cheese, and yogurt sauce. Also called 'naanza', it is super easy to make with a few shortcut ingredients and super delicious. There is no cooking in a pan involved - just marinate, assemble, and bake (or air fry).
This is also great for meal prep and parties. Assemble and keep this tandoori pizza ready and bake just before serving. I also make a yogurt sauce that replicates the dip that is served with tandoori paneer.
This desi pizza is great for parties and is loved by both kids and adults alike. It can be made quickly and easily using store-bought naan. This pizza can be served as an appetizer or in the main course. It is also perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Read on for ingredients, variations, meal prep ideas, and step-by-step instructions.
What is paneer
Paneer is a fresh Indian cheese made from curdled milk. Paneer is prepared by adding food acid like lemon juice or vinegar to boiling milk, separating the whey from the curdled milk, and pressing out the curdled milk to remove excess water content. Paneer is quite milky and as such, has a very mild taste. It is very similar to ricotta cheese. The texture of the paneer is comparable with firm tofu as it is pressed firmly to remove any water content.
Ingredients and variations
Naan: I have used store-bought plain naan. Garlic naan or whole wheat naan can also be used here.
Paneer: Or Indian cottage cheese is the main topping. You can also replace it with extra firm tofu or use only vegetables for the topping.
Pizza sauce: I have used store-bought pizza sauce. The marinara sauce also works well.
Spices: Tandoori masala powder is the main spice blend. It is easily available in Indian grocery stores and supermarkets. If you don't have access to it, substitute it with garam masala although the taste of the final dish will not be the same and the pizza will miss the smoky tandoori flavor.
Cheese: I use mozzarella cheese. A mix of cheese or pizza cheese blend can be used.
Tandoori masala is the main spice blend and adds a nice smoky flavor to the pizza. It is easily available in Indian grocery stores and supermarkets. If you don't have access to it, substitute it with garam masala although the taste of the final dish will not be the same and the pizza will miss the smoky tandoori flavor.
You can use frozen naan directly and there is no need for defrosting it before using.
I have used store-bought frozen naan in this recipe. It is very convenient and can be used straight from the freezer. You can also use homemade naan or a regular base.
This dish is great for meal prep. You can make and store the yogurt sauce in the refrigerator for up to three days. Marinate the paneer and store it in the refrigerator overnight (or for up to one day). Frozen naan can be used without the need to defrost it.
The yogurt sauce is optional and can be skipped.
The cooking time in this recipe is based on frozen naan. If you change the base, adjust the cooking time accordingly depending on the base used.
You can use cooked shredded chicken instead of paneer. Replace it with the paneer and follow this recipe.
Naan Pizza in Air Fryer
You can make this 'naanza' in both the oven and air fryer. I think there is not much difference in the texture of the pizza and they are the same with either of the cooking method. The only advantage of using an air fryer is the time saved in preheating the oven. If you are making just one or two pizzas, an air fryer is a quicker option whereas, for a bigger batch, it is best to make it in an oven.
To bake in the oven, see the step-by-step instructions below. To make it in an air fryer, assemble the pizza and place it in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 390 F (200 C) for 8-9 minutes.
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Yes. See the instructions in the above section.
Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and is easily available in Indian grocery stores outside of India. It is also available in many supermarkets.
Tandoori masala is a spice blend that is used in North Indian cooking, particularly in dishes that are made in a 'tandoor' (clay oven). It has a complex and strong flavor. The chili used in this spice blend is called Kashmiri red chili, which has a deep red color yet is not too spicy. This gives the tandoori dishes a nice deep color. You can buy this spice mix in any Indian grocery store outside of India.
This naan pizza is:
- very easy to make and delicious
- fun and unique
- great as an appetizer or main course
Step by step instructions
1. To make the yogurt sauce, blend together yogurt, coriander leaves (cilantro), mint leaves, garlic, green chili, and salt. Set it aside in the refrigerator.
2. In a small bowl, combine thick yogurt, tandoori masala, Kashmiri chili powder (or a mild chili powder), and salt. Mix well making sure there are no lumps.
3. Add the paneer, onion, and capsicum. Mix well so that the marinade coats the paneer and veggies. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes.
4. Place the frozen naan on baking trays. Spread pizza sauce evenly.
5. Top with mozzarella cheese.
6. Add the marinated paneer and vegetables evenly to the naan. Top with some more cheese.
7. Bake in preheated oven at 410 F (210 C) for 10-12 minutes
8. Drizzle with yogurt sauce before serving.
Tandoori Paneer Naan Pizza
- 250 gram paneer cut into cubes
- 1 small onion sliced
- 1 small capsicum sliced
- ¼ cup thick yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (mild version) or any mild chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 4 naan (I used store-bought)
- ½ cup pizza sauce (I used store-bought)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves for garnish, optional
Yogurt sauce (optional)
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 green chili
- ¼ cup coriander leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- Salt to taste
- Make the yogurt sauce. Blend all the ingredients listed under yogurt sauce and store the sauce in the refrigerator
- In a small bowl, combine thick yogurt, tandoori masala, Kashmiri chili powder, and salt. Mix well making sure there are no lumps
- Add the paneer, onion, and capsicum. Mix well so that the marinade coats the paneer and veggies. Let it marinate for 15 minutes
- Preheat oven to 410 F (210 C)
- Place the frozen naan on baking trays. Spread pizza sauce evenly
- Top with mozzarella cheese
- Add the marinated paneer and vegetables evenly to the naan
- Top with some more cheese
Bake / Air fry
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes
- Alternatively, place the assembled pizza in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 390 F for 8-9 minutes
- Take it out of the oven and drizzle the yogurt sauce
- Slice and serve hot