We eat together at the table every night but just like our routine is altered by the weekend so is our dinner rituals. Some Saturday nights we find ourselves eating something casual in front of our television. This past Saturday we added a little international flare with an Indian inspired dinner and a movie.
Pizza is a great movie night dinner. It’s easy to make and perfect to enjoy in the living room without much mess. Although I love homemade pizza (it’s a staple on the barbeque in the summer) but it can be a lot of work if you want a homemade crust. That is until I discovered chickpea flour.
When I was trying out Next Magazine, an digital magazine subscription service for my iPad, I stumbled upon a great recipe for Chickpea Pizza with Sausage and Onions. The recipe was so easy to make but the best part is that everyone loved it. Unlike traditional pizza crust, there’s no wheat or yeast involved so there’s no need to wait for the curst to rise, the longest part about making homemade pizza. The crust involved just three simple ingredients and can be ready in under 20-minutes.
Chickpea pizza crust is a great base for an Indian inspired meal and Patak’s cooking sauces with chopped chicken makes a great topping. We’ve tried their traditional Butter Chicken sauce but for a little spice I decided to use their Spicy Butter Chicken cooking sauce. The rating on the side of the bottle had 3 peppers meaning it was hot but my kids love a little spice. Patak’s Spicy Butter Chicken is the perfect amount of heat. You can feel it with each bite but still enjoy the meal, the kids too. I actually think I prefer the spicy version of their sauce in this case.
While many people would swear by their rice cooker, I being one of them, my Actifry is also another great kitchen tool I love. All I had to do was chop up my chicken into bite-size pieces (though next time I think I might chop them up even smaller), mix in a can of corn and my Patak’s Spicy Butter Chicken cooking sauce, and add to my Actifry. Set the timer and let it do its thing.
Dinner was so simple and that seemed to fit with our Indian theme, simple and without worry. I have never been to India but the people I have met and the movies I have watched always portray life in a simplified way. When I think of what we rely on with specialty foods and hi-tech gadgets, India has this romantic notion of going with the flow. Of course this could all just be a notion. I think that’s why I was drawn to the film The Best Exotic Merigold Hotel on Netflix Canada. Although I’ve seen (and loved) Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi (both also on Netflix Canada), I was looking for something a little more uplifting for a dinner movie. Although not a traditional Indian film or rather a real Indian film at all The Best Exotic Merigold Hotel takes place in India, exposing a cast of great British actors to a very different world than what they currently live or what they imagine India to be.
I’m a fan of exposing the kids to dramatic films too. Just because you’re watching a movie as a family doesn’t mean it always has to be a Disney film. It was a great film about going with the flow and living in the moment, seeing the beauty that is around you and taking chances. I often imagine myself as Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench), open to exploring and trying to fit in to a new environment but I fear I might be more like Jean Ainslie (Penelope Wilton), caught up in the dream of what life should be and struggling with the reality, afraid. It was a great film for our dinner and opened up some great conversations on friendship and relationships in general as well as traveling outside of your comfort zone. And yes I cried a few times.
You can see the trailer here
It was a great film for our dinner and opened up some interesting conversations on friendship and relationships in general as well as traveling outside of your comfort zone. And yes I cried a few times.
Chickpea Pizza with Spicy Butter Chicken and Corn
- 1 cup (250 mL) Chickpea Flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) Water
- 2 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Value size Chicken Thighs, skinless boneless
- 1 jar Patak’s Spicy Butter Chicken Cooking Sauce
- I 12 oz can (341 mL) Peaches and Cream Corn
- Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded for topping
- Cut chicken into small bite-size pieces and add to heated oil in wok with cooking sauce and drained corn. Follow sauces cooking instructions.
- Add chickpea flour with water, salt, and 1 tablespoon of oil in a small bowl. Wisk with fork until all lumps have been removed and let sit.
- Heat the remaining oil in deep-dish pizza pans for about 5 minutes. We like individual pizza pans and have deep dish ones perfect for the barbecue. You could use a large single pan however it needs to be deep enough to hold the liquid chickpea base.
- Cook the chickpea curst for about 9-10 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the pan and the top looks to be firm.
- Carefully remove the pans from the oven and add your Spicy Butter Chicken topping and sprinkle with cheese.
- Return to the oven under broil for about 3-minutes, until cheese starts to bubbles and melts and the crust edges start to brown. These slide right out of the plan with the help of a spatula and I just quarter the pizza so it’s easy to pick-up and eat a slice.
After I discovered how easy this chickpea pizza crust is to make and better still how tasty it is to eat, it has become our new pizza crust staple, perfect for Indian-styled pizza or any other pizza toppings you might like.
The ingredients only made four mini pizzas, perfect for our family, with lots of the Spicy Butter Chicken topping leftover. I founds this great to toss into a wrap for lunch the next day. You can’t go wrong with a dinner that yields a lunch too.
Disclosure: I am part of the Patak’s Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions and experiences on this blog are my own.