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Staples and spices

DANIELE PAGANI
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Pizza Hut unveiled their new Birizza recently, and organised an unsual safari to promote the same

Birizza is an unusual mash-up of two Indian favourites
Birizza is an unusual mash-up of two Indian favourites

“Hut Kay” means something unusual, not necessarily new but simply out of the routine. This is what Pizza Hut promised us, to focus our attention on a new dish that will be found in their restaurants all over India. Journalists, tweeters and bloggers were taken for an unusual food experience around Delhi on a bus.

The first stop was the breakfast, which consisted of a fruit sandwich filled with pineapple, grape, pomegranate and a slice of paneer — an attempt, not entirely successful, to combine toasted bread and fruit salad, both great classics of a perfect breakfast. With the second stop, the level increased one notch: tandoori momos, both veg. and non-veg., spicy at the right point and served with a creamy green chutney in a perfect combo. Lastly, to cleanse the palate, three different types of paan were served: chocolate, mango and icy.

The bus reached the Pizza Hut outlet in Vasant Vihar, final destination of the tour, where a new dish was unveiled. The new creation is the product of research undertaken with the aim of expanding the market and reach the three hundred million members of the Indian middle class: “We went to research the notion of amazing taste”, said Sanjiv Razdan, the General Manager, and in doing so, what came to light was that “the secret of unlocking the market was in three s: staples, sauces and spices”.

Starting from this point, the chef Arjyo Banerjee, head food innovation, and his team created the Birizza, the union between the traditional biryani and a pizza. “It is a biryani cooked in a dum style on the tava with vegetables and forest seasonings, sealed with a baked pizza dough and accompanied by a masala gravy sauce,” said the chef. The idea behind this innovation, he explained, is “to render Indians of all ages more comfortable with our restaurants, giving them the opportunity to find also traditional food with a new taste and not only pizza”.

On the whole, the dish was good: the pizza dough was well cooked and the sauce, with some south Indian influences, was a guessed seasoning. A single concern: despite the paneer, the vegetables or some chicken along with the rice, Birizza is composed mostly by carbohydrates, almost giving the idea of a course that requires some kind of a side dish.

It is a biryani cooked in a dum style on the tava with vegetables and forest seasonings, sealed with a baked pizza dough and accompanied by a masala gravy sauce

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