This is a dish for heat-seeking spice lovers. Complement its kick with a bottle of cold beer or with a glass of cooling lassi (an Indian yogurt drink).
The recipe calls for the use of a baking stone; if you don’t have one, use a heavy pizza pan instead and preheat it for 10-15 minutes instead of a half-hour.
1. Place a baking stone on the bottom shelf in the oven. Heat at 425 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Slice eggplants lengthwise into three or four planks (no need to peel unless the eggplant is large). Cut the planks into thick sticks and the sticks into cubes. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium flame; add the eggplant and sauté until eggplant has softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in 1/3 cup of the Madras sauce and simmer another 5 minutes or so.
2. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into four quarters; chop the quarters into pieces about the size of the eggplant cubes. Halve the cherry tomatoes crosswise. Cut the string cheese sticks, if you’re using these, into small rounds.
3. Spread remaining sauce evenly over pizza crust. Scatter eggplant pieces over surface. Scatter zucchini, tomatoes and string cheese (or shredded mozzarella) over eggplant. Bake about 17-20 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or basil just before serving, if you like.
Copyright by Terese Allen