Savory, delicious and kid-friendly Naan-Calzones: vegan naan bread stuffed with a spicy Indian curry called a kheema and folded into calzone-like pockets. They are a perfect snack or lunch to brown-bag.
I think people who don't like pizzas are a little weird. No, a lot weird. Especially when they are married to me.
Yes, Desi-- my Desi-- is not a lover of the almighty pizza pie. Sure, he will eat it quietly when we order in a pizza, or when I make one at home, but I can honestly tell that his tummy is longing for something else. Most likely something that involves rice or pooris.
I, on the other hand, couldn't love a pizza more. It is right up there among the foods I might order for my last meal. In fact, after going vegan I missed ordering pizza so much that I almost dropped to my knees and said a tiny prayer to the Italian gods when a Z Pizza opened in my neighborhood with multiple vegan choices.
As someone who loves pizzas quite so much, then, I am always trying to find ways to make versions that are not just vegan but also Desi-friendly. Today's recipe for Naan-Calzones is a perfect example of a pizza variation that we both can love because it appeals not just to my vegan tastebuds and Desi's not-so-vegan ones, but also to our shared love of Indian food.
A calzone is basically a stuffed pizza, or a pizza turnover, or what have you. You stretch the pizza dough, stuff it with a filling, seal it, and bake it all up in the oven. What you get is not just delicious food but food that's more fun and portable, say, than a slice of pizza.
The twist to my calzone, as you may have gathered from the title, is that it's not made with pizza dough but with naan dough. Naan is something most of you have had at some time or the other at the Indian restaurant and it is a puffy flatbread that's baked in a clay oven, or a tandoor. It tastes especially ethereal when used to scoop up spicy curries.
A basic naan dough is not unlike a pizza dough, except that it bakes up a little more tender and flakier and puffier. Perfect because one of Desi's peeves is that pizza crusts are too thick and too chewy. To stuff into my Naan-Calzone, I made a spicy "kheema" filling. Kheema, in Hindi, means mince (usually mutton mince). Since Holy Cow! is an animal-free zone (food-wise), and very happily so, I made my mince with textured vegetable protein, or TVP. This is such a rich, spicy dish that there is no way you will miss the meat in here-- in fact, even a meat-eater might actually think there is meat in this dish because of the great texture of the TVP.
I am feeling a little better now, and I want to say thanks to those of you who wrote in to wish me well. Opie, who also incidentally had surgery for a broken cruciate ligament last week, is recuperating, although keeping him from trying to run around is a HUGE struggle. He has been particularly unhappy about the large cone around his head that keeps him from licking the sutures. He has also been getting increasingly good at getting it off-- last night I caught him in the act as he was trying to prise it off his head by pushing it against the couch. Those dogs.
Now here's the recipe for my savory, absolutely delicious Kheema-Stuffed Naan Calzone. Enjoy!
Vegan Kheema-Stuffed Naan-Calzones
For the naan-calzone dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- ¾ cup nondairy milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sugar)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For the keema filling
- 1 cup TVP granules or soy granules (place in a bowl, pour boiling water to cover them, and set aside for half an hour. Drain before using.)
- 1 large onion , finely minced
- 1 green bell pepper , finely minced
- 1 medium potato , finely minced
- 5 cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms, finely minced
- 1 medium tomato , finely minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander , all powdered
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 chipotle pepper , finely chopped (use 1 teaspoon paprika if you don't have the stomach for this)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
- To make the dough mix the active dry yeast, flour, salt and thyme. Make a well in the center and pour in the olive oil, milk and maple syrup. Knead the dough by hand or on low speed if using a stand mixer for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. At the end of the kneading you should have a really smooth, supple dough.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn around once to coat the top with oil, and allow the dough to rest about 1 ½ hours or until doubled.
- Meanwhile, make the kheema filling. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and saute for a minute. Add the mushrooms and potatoes and stir to coat with oil.
- Add the white wine, salt, and some ground black pepper, and allow the vegetables to cook, stirring frequently, until the wine has evaporated and the vegetables begin to turn lightly golden.
- Add the garlic and ginger and dry thyme and saute for a minute.
- Add the tomato and the chipotle or paprika. Stir well to mix.
- Add the powdered coriander, cumin and mustard and mix in.
- Add the TVP after draining out all the water. Be sure to squeeze the TVP with your fingers to get out any excess water.
- Stir in the TVP and cook for a couple more minutes. The vegetables should be really tender by now. If they aren't, cook a little longer, stirring, until they are.
- Add the coconut milk and more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Allow the mixture to cook until all the water has evaporated. The kheema should be thick with no visible liquid but it will not be dry.
- Mix in the cilantro and take off the fire. Set aside to cool.
- To make the naan-calzone shell, after the dough has risen for 1 ½ hours, divide it into six pieces. Shape them into smooth balls, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and set aside for 10 minutes so the dough relaxes, making it easier to roll.
- Roll each ball into an oval, about six inches wide and seven inches in length. Place ⅙th of the kheema mixture on one side, leaving a 1-inch edge from the ends to form the seal.
- Brush water on the edges of the calzone and pull the empty half of the calzone over the filled half. Press down the edges to seal, then crimp the edges up. Press down on the edges with the tines of a fork. You want to ensure a tight seal so the stuffing doesn't spill out during baking.
- Place all the calzones on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with some oil and sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on them, if desired.
- Bake the calzones in a preheated 475-degree oven for 8-10 minutes until golden-brown spots appear on the top.
I would like to try making this for my wife, but want to know if you have a suggestion for making "gluten free"?
You could try using a dough for a gluten-free flatbread like this one:
It should be quite delicious and with the veggies in the paratha it should be a pretty well-balanced meal too!
I have a recipe for gluten free flour that I've used in the past to make bread for her. It works "ok" but I think I'll check out the link you sent me and see how it works.
Jan, Kheema is an Indian dish made of minced meat that this is based on-- meatlessly, of course. 🙂
Oh man! Indian calzones! That is a fusion recipe for the win! I am definitely going to have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!
glad to read that you are doing better.
Amazing turn to recipe,as usual.
why named kheema?
Smultron Soul, Yes, you could definitely make these smaller for a snack.
Anthony, Thanks! 🙂 The vinegar and non-dairy milk together make an acidic, buttermilk-like mixture that helps make the naan tender.
Wow what a post. I've made hundreds of pizzas (mostly Margheritas)but this one looks fantastic.Fetching.
Coincidentally, I served my spouse a keema tonight for supper over steamed rice. (I love, love rice).
I'm going to make this calzone very soon,instead of my usual pizza.
Maple syrup is cool, not sure why the vinegar is employed.
Love how you herbed the dough.
Thank You. I hope you are well.
This looks yummy...Lovely presentation..
This sounds delicious! My mom would stuff veggie keema into slices of bread and grill it (sort of like grilled cheese but called a toaster) -- it tastes great but this would be great too, especially if made small for an in-between snack.
I hope the doggie feels better!
Manasi, that sounds familiar. 🙂
Jessica, hope you try it!
Richa, thanks! And yes, this would be great spread on a pizza too.
Anonymous, Thanks! 🙂 You can leave out the white wine. Add 1 tsp sugar to help the onions caramelize.
Miri, Priya, Mel, Sum, Thanks!
Delicious this looks...
Lovely recipe! And Opie looks adorable... Wishes for him to get well soon...
Your calzones look fantastic but I know if I stray from my usual recipe there won't be happy campers at home. Hope you and Opie continue to recover and feel better very soon!
Super delicious calzones, simply inviting..
This looks like a delicious idea - pizzas are a bit iffy sometimes if they don't come out crispy and thin - this eliminates that hassle! and the filling looks delicious!
those calzones and the filling looks so yummylicious.. i am making the "kheema" for a pizza for sure!:) we heart pizzas!
Hope you and Opie feel all well soon!
Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog
I have all of these ingredients! I might have to give it a try tonight for dinner!
My husband is like Desi, not really very fond of pizza, but will eat it.. f curse next day it is back to Rasam- rice!
Love the calzones.
I just started following your blog and must say what you think would be cliched- its a great joint on the web for everything delish and vegan
I have one question-can i sub dry white wine with something?
Tibik, it should be thicker than a chapati, but not as thick as a pizza crust. Roughly five to six inches in diameter, and then roll it once or twice more in one direction to make it oval. The calzone will puff up a little more in the oven.
I am making it this weekend. How thin do you have to roll out the dough for the calzone?
lovely recipe of stuffed nan