Spicy Beet Pizza Appetizer Recipe

Spicy Beet Pizza Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Here's a fusion version of pizza made with spicy beets. The pizza dough is baked separately then topped with Indian beets and dal. It's perfect for vegetarians since it's packed with protein. 

I usually serve them as appetizers. They would also be a great addition to a party platter because of the pop of color and exotic flavors.


Yields: 4 servings

½ (16-ounce) package whole wheat pizza dough, store-bought
1 cup mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 red beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, as needed
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon urad dal (see picture below)
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
3-4 fresh curry leaves, torn in half
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon dried mango powder (see tips) or juice of a lime
1 tablespoon chopped curly parsley, for garnish
1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional)


Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Preparing the beet: Remove any dirt and scrub the beet under tap water. Trim off a little piece from the end of the root. Peel the beets and boil the beet for 5 minutes. Drain as much liquid as possible and pat dry. Using a mandoline slicer on a medium setting, cut the beet into matchstick-like pieces. 

Cooking the beets:

In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Reduce the heat to medium-low. When the cumin seeds start popping (after 5-10 seconds), add ginger, garlic, red chili powder and garam masala. Add the urad dal and cook until lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the beets, sugar, turmeric powder, tomatoes and about ¼ cup of water. Cook for 8-10 minutes until bright red and fork-tender. Adjust seasoning. Season with more salt (if necessary). Cover and let stand until ready to assemble.

Assembling the pizza:

Punch the air bubbles of the dough. Dimple the dough with your fingers to shape the dough. Dust the dough with additional flour if necessary. Flatten the dough using a rolling pin. Using a 2¾" metal circle cutter, form 10 disks.

Meanwhile, place a pizza stone in the oven. Let the shaped pizza disks rest for another 15 minutes. It will increase in volume a little. Sprinkle some cornmeal (if used) on the pizza stone. Transfer the pizza appetizers to the hot stone. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Garnish with the warm beet mixture, parsley and drizzle a little olive oil (you can also used chili-infused oil).

Bon appétit!


I used Trader Joe's ready made whole wheat pizza dough. To gain time, you could replace the pizza dough with naans (Indian flat bread).

I used a mild Cheddar cheese. I chose one with mellow and creamy falvor to pair with the beets. You could replace with your favorite cheese.

For an acidic and tart taste, dried mango powder (also known as amchur) is added to the sabziAmchur is made of finely ground flesh of sun-dried green mangoes. It's an important step toward the end of cooking. You can find the beige-colored powder at any Indian store. If you don't have any, you could use lemon or lime juice.


Urad Dal

Urad dal can be found in any Indian store.


Published By: Jacqueline Pham on April 24, 2013.


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