We become Pizza chefs on the Agra – Delhi Highway

We visited the Taj Mahal, that icon of love and Ego (capital E intentional – Shah Jihan by all accounts loved himself possibly more than he loved his wife for whom he built the place!) which was wonderful. The weather was absolutely roasting and the Aircon on our rentitontheconditionitsgotaircon car was struggling from the word go!

The trip takes an age, and the road conditions are pretty atrocious, made worse by the flotilla of lorries and trucks, all dolled up and painted rather garishly, who seem to think they rule the road and everything for miles on either side. It is frankly bloody dangerous and I was grateful that our driver was a man of long experience and so we felt reasonably safe, considering.

The Taj was wonderful – I have put in a couple of photos for your entertainment – but after 1 1/2 hours there, it was time to turn around and run the gauntlet of the roads and lorries once again, on the return trip to Delhi.

The temperatures were even hotter now as it was about 2 in the afternoon – in the high 30′s – and so we piled into our Suzuki and headed off.

We decided at one point to stop at a rather make shift service area which had a few chairs and tables out by the side of the road, and which to my delight was kitted out with a fully functional Tandoor oven making chapattis !

The Tandoor wallah seemed a friendly guy and so I decided I would try and achieve an ambition of mine and that is produce a Pizza based on a chapatti.

They all thought the idea hilarious and so I set about making a chapatti and … well, I discoveed that one has to stick them to the SIDE of the tandoor rather than place them horizontal, which immediately stymied my idea of a pizza, as the topping, Newtons laws being what they are, would fall off the pizza and onto the hot embers to frazzle up in seconds!

But I changed tack pretty quick and decided I would still make a chapatti and then place FRESH ingredients onto the top. That worked.

I prodded the chapatti out of the oven and just managed to avoid it sliding off into the abyss – and then simply sliced a fresh tomato and some paneer (Indian sort of Mozzarella) over the top. I searched in vain for some olive oil or some basil leaves (!) but did find a few h..h..HOT chillies which I sprinkled over the top.

It was delicious … and the locals thought the whole process hilarious ! I think they might even copy the idea for other tourists that stop on the way!

The boys went one better, being brainier than I, and mixed the chapatti mix WITH their ingredients – chopped onions and garlic – and then put that in the tandoor. That of course worked very well indeed and out came the most brilliant sort of Garlic bread you could imagine.

We sat and ate our conconctions in silence … they were really rather good !

Previous dinner posts from Peter

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