The Frisky Fifteen by Pizza Hut
I found myself sitting in Pizza Hut a couple of weeks back, ready to sample fifteen pizzas with Indian flavors. Commemorating fifteen years of it’s presence in India, Pizza Hut released 11 new Indian flavor pizzas in addition to the pre-existing 4 to make a total of 15 pizzas. I haven’t been a huge fan of Pizza Hut or any other Pizza chain because just pizzas don’t do it for me. Maybe it’s an Indian thing, but a little more food around the edges relieves what would otherwise be (for me) a monotonous meal. Ever since Pizza Hut expanded it’s offerings to include a range of shakes, smoothies, mocktails, appetizers, soups, salads, pastas… and pizzas, they’ve become far more attractive to me and with the exception of the monotonous snack dips, do like everything they have on offer. Even otherwise, I find the crusts at Pizza Hut better than than those served by it’s peers, Domino’s for instance. A meal at Pizza hut therefore sees us order soups, salads, pastas, smoothies and pizzas… the perfect comfort meal!
In any case, I tried all 15 pizzas, and here’s the lowdown. Pizza Hut’s modus operandi in imparting flavor is three fold. The Sauce, the Toppings and the Sprinkle. Using different combinations, they try and create a difference to each pizza. The sprinkle is sometimes thrown on over the sauce and under the cheese, while in other cases it’s sprinkled over the toppings as a final touch. The name of the sprinkle is representative of the flavors within and not necessarily the only ingredient in the sprinkle.
Sev Puri Pizza
If you like your chaat flavors, this is one pizza you should try. With the typical aromas and crunch one associates with Sev Puri, this pizza even has yogurt splashed on as a topping.
Toppings: Yogurt, aloo bhujia, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, green chili peppers, coriander, bell peppers and a dash of lemon. Sauce: Tomato Chutney Sprinkle: None
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Quite similar to #1, Sev Puri, check this one out if you’re a confirmed carnivore and break into rashes at the sight of vegetables unaccompanied by meat. You can happily munch on pieces of diced chicken along with the never-forgotten flavors of Sev Puri.
Toppings: Coriander, mint, chicken tikka, aloo bhujia, tomatoes, jalapeno Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: Pudina
Nimbu Mirchi Pizza
By far one of the most distinctive pizzas we tried. Oversalted, but I’m sure that was a momentary lapse. Exuding a distinct tangy, sharp and lemony aroma, you’ll like this one whether you’re vegetarian or not.
Toppings: Corn, red chili peppers, bell peppers, onions, coriander Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: None
Nilgiri Chicken Pizza
My number one choice, the Niligiri Chicken pizza came through with distinct south Indian flavors, probably due to the sprinkle used. Sure it’s strange to eat a pizza where every bite has the mixed flavors of coconuts, kadi patta and mustard, but there it was and I loved it!
Toppings: Onion, bell peppers, green chili peppers, plain chicken, coriander, mint Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: Nilgiri
Chicken Achari Pizza
Another good one. It’s obviously we Indians like our pickles and going by this one, the chaps at Pizza Hut know it. The Chicken Achari pizza was mildly reminiscent of pickle and mildly sweet (in a nice way) too. I’d order this one again and ask them to go a little heavy with the sprinkle.
Toppings: Jalapenos, red bell peppers, sweet corn, onion, plain chicken, mint. Sauce: Tomato Chutney Sprinkle: Achari
Chatpata Veg Masala Pizza
Didn’t like this one too much as the name makes one expect a really zingy pizza, which isn’t what’s delivered. Depending on how sensitive your palate is, you may or may not like it. Apparently this pizza doesn’t use a sprinkle. I’d suggest using one to dust the toppings.
Toppings: Onion, tomato, bell peppers, coriander, green chilies Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: None
Chettinadu Paneer Pizza
This one didn’t work for us at all. Sure it had the Nilgiri sprinkle on, but the resultant flavor and texture profiles, especially that of the paneer didn’t make this pizza close to what we expected from the name.
Toppings: Onion, tomato, bell peppers, paneer, coriander Sauce: Pan Sauce Sprinkle: Nilgiri
Chicken Jalfrezi Pizza
Another thumbs down for this one due to it not even being a pale imitation of a fairly distinctive dish. Next we’ll have a pizza topped with scrambled egg whites, called a Souffle pizza.
Toppings: Onion, Tomato, capsicum, red paprika, chicken tikka, coriander, mint Sauce: Tomato Chutney Sprinkle: Achari Sprinkle
Chicken Tikka Makhani Pizza
Barely passable as Chicken Tikka Makhani. Explained through the use of the toppings and sprinkles. A makhani sauce needs a little more effort guys.
Toppings: Onions, tomatoes, green chili peppers, chicken Sauce: Tandoori Sauce
Kadhai Chicken Pizza
I’m not entirely sure what is the distinguishing characteristic of dishes prefixed with Kadhai. Going by the times I’ve eaten Kadhai-something or the other, this pizza wasn’t quite reminiscent of those flavors.
Toppings: red bell peppers, green bell peppers, onion, green chilies, kadhai chicken Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: Kadhai
Tandoori Paneer Pizza
The texture of the paneer in this pizza combined with the flavors weren’t indicative of tandoori nor were they particularly pleasing for me. They could well work for you.
Toppings: Green bell peppers, onions, tomato, red paprika, paneer Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: Tandoori
Chicken Do Piaza Pizza
I quite liked this one; mildly rich, spicy and quite comforting.
Toppings: Onions, tomatoes, green chili peppers, coriander, kadhai chicken, mint Sauce: Brown Sprinkle: Garam Masala
Chettinadu Chicken Pizza
This one’s vegetarian version wasn’t quite so nice for us, but I did like the Chicken Chettinadu pizza. Going by the dissent on my table, some of you may disagree.
Toppings: Green bell peppers, onion, coriander, chicken tikka, red paprika Sauce: Pan Sprinkle: Nilgiri
Mushroom Corn Masala Pizza
We loved this one, perhaps because it uses the same sauce they usually use in pastas. I also appear to be partial towards the achari sprinkle, which has been used in this pizza too.
Toppings: Mushrooms, corn, green chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, coriander, mint Sauce: Pizza Pasta Sprinkle: Achari
Paneer Makhani Pizza
Another non-starter for me. Their treatment of paneer may need a little looking into.
Toppings: Onions, bell peppers, paprika, paneer Sauce: Tandoori Sprinkle: None
Exercise caution when interpreting the ratings. For starters, they’re based on my personal preferences as there’s little to be gained by delving into the finer points of pizzas here. Secondly, All the pizzas were fine in their own right. Finally, none of the pizzas were truly bad, i.e. inedible. The ratings are more about the pizzas delivering flavor per their monikers. So, you may end up lowe-ing a thumbs down and hating a thumbs up. Try them all though and find your personal favorites.