Garam Masala Tuesdays (or not): Cucumber Raita & Naan Pizza

by Shumaila

Ok, I know I have been slacking with GMT. I did not post last week because I had other posts to catch up on (by the way, there are still 2-3 recipes in my drafts!) And this week again I could not post on Tuesday.

Its not that I did not have anything to post- I did make Indian- of course I made Indian– its what we eat everyday! But, I just did not get time. I would have posted on Tuesday- but then I was busy the whole day baking three layers of cake and in the evening we went to watch the new and final movie in the Harry Potter series (can’t believe it has come to an end!). Wednesday morning I was busy decorating those cakes- it was my friend’s daughter’s first birthday and I offered to bake a cake for her. In the evening was the barbeque she was hosting for all of us. I thought I’ll post on Thursday but our internet decided to give problems and I had no connection most of the day. Amidst all this I was also dealing with an ant infestation inside our house. Today, finally I found the root of the problem and sprayed tons load of insecticide and put a layer of turmeric powder (my mom says that helps keep ants away) on the crack from where these ants are coming. I hope I have solved the problem but any other suggestion is welcome for future reference!

Not that you asked, but for those of you were interested to know why I did not post, now know!

Since I have been slacking with GMT and haven’t posted for a while, I thought I would post two recipes today instead of the usual one.

And, I do realize its not Tuesday but well, we don’t need Tuesday to make Indian now, do we?

And since its a weekend I am posting recipes that you can whip up in minutes and have the whole day left to relax and unwind with your family!

The first one is of Cucumber Raita.

Raita is a yogurt based dish to which you add raw vegetables and Indian spices to make a great side to have with flatbreads, biryani. Its a refreshing dish to have during summers and especially great to cool off your mouth after having a serving of spicy Indian food.

The second recipe I am sharing today is something that we had in an Indian restaurant when we were on our way to Yellow Stone and then again at one of our friend’s place- Naan Pizza.

Naan Pizza is fusion food at its best and can be made in a jiffy if you have Naan on your hand. 

On our last trip to Phoenix we had got a few garlic naans packed from India Grill, Mesa. Since this was the first time we were ordering to-go we misjudged our requirement and ordered way too many naans. A firm believer of not wasting anything, I decided to use the naans as a pizza base to make a quick and easy dinner for both V and me. Naan pizzas are great as appetizers also.


I used garlic Naans that I had leftover from a to-go order but you get Naan- an Indian flatbread in quite a lot of stores across US. If not available, I think this recipe will work with Pita bread as well. Also, feel free to put toppings of your choice- chicken tikka would be a great way to go!

Serves 2


  • 4 Naans
  • 1 tbsp Tomato ketchup, per naan as a sauce (Yes, you do not require pizza sauce, though feel free to use if you have some on hand- I did not and ketchup works just fine!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 tsp dried herbs (I used fresh herbs- oregano, basil and a little chive)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil, to drizzle


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Slather a little melted butter on each naan. Add a generous amount of ketchup (or pizza sauce) and spread over the naan.
  3. Put a few slices of bell pepper and onions on each naan. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle some herbs. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake Pizza for 10 minutes or until cheese on top melts and browns slightly.
  5. Serve hot!


The cucumber and mint make this raita a refreshing bite on a hot summer day. The roasted cumin powder is what gives it its distinct flavor. To make the roasted cumin powder, dry roast a few cumin seeds till they start turning a darker color. Be careful not to over-burn them. Once roasted, grind them to a fine powder. Serve this any flatbread- a stuffed one would be perfect!

Serves 2


  • 1/2 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
  • 4-6 tbsp finely grated cucumber that is unpeeled but deseeded
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional- skip if you prefer mildly spiced food)
  • about 2 tbsp water, to thin down the yogurt


  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Add only enough water to make it a little thinner. Chill till ready to serve.