Monday, October 17, 2011

Top Toppings: Jasuben nu Pizza

I'm not sure what my hang up was before, but in all my years growing up in Ahmedabad I did not eat Gujju Pizza. Maybe I was too much of a snob as a kid, turned my nose up to the idea or maybe I love Pav Bhaji too much. Plus- I grew up on Smokin' Joes when it was only available to us South Bombay kids- or the first Pizza Hut in which the staff got together and did the Macarena. Oya my pizza eating experience was very Americanized even before I made it to the great country. And then Chicago Deep Dish happened. Holy cow! Its amongst the top 5 things Chicago is well known for. Deep dish pizza which has a super buttery crust and filled with sauce and toppings. The heaviest meal ever. 

So when Chandni, my lovely host in Ahmedabad, asked me if I had Jasuben's Pizza she could not believe her ears. As usual I got the - 'What kind of food blogger are you?' look. (I seem to be getting that look a lot more often now). That's it dinner plans were laid. We drove up to the one location near her house on the highway. I insisted on picking up some pav bhaji (old habbits die slow).
We sat on some chairs on the sidewalk with a hundred others loudly chatting and chomping on little quartered pieces of cheesy saucy bites.  There was a little stall with a vertical oven, a sandwich press and a blender. Three boys whipping out a dozen pizzas by the minute, grilled sandwiches, cheese toasts, and cold coffee to go with it all. Serving a hundred people by the minute and this too on a Sunday Night. And they kept on coming.
Ok let me tell you- Jasuben's Pizza is a pilgrimage. Its a tourist destination. Any foolish notion I had of what a real pizza should be and granted pizza is Italian, it all flew out of my mind when I took my first bite. The crust is biscuity, crunchy, buttery almost like a bhakri. The bubbling hot tomato sauce is a close cousin of tomato ketchup just as sweet but quite spicey. The toppings are simple- no fancy pick your own toppings. No fancy mushrooms, corn, olives, jalapenos. Huh? What are you talking about? Stick to simple finely chopped onions and capsicum ok. Top it with loads ( and I mean large amounts) of grated local white cheese. The singular cheese we grew up- the Amul's white cheese. This is way before the cheese and wine revolution hit us. Simple and yummy are the keywords here.

The crust is baked in the vertical makeshift oven, red sauce spread, then back in the oven, then quickly topped with onions and capsicum and then topped with the grated cheese.  
Any Amdavadis reading this do holler and tell me why you love Jasuben's Pizza. I am a convert- Gujju pizza I love you. Whenever I think about this pizza meal I feel like I could have broken into a moves like Jagger, a rock n roll strut, a bit of knee twisting, pelvic thrusting, sliding in a moonwalk across the floor. Oya!


This is how I felt after my very first Jasuben Pizza:




20 comments:

  1. I love Jassuben because of her story of rags to riches, and her delicious pizzas. I like you had hangups but they all vanished in my first bite! Love it!

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  2. Jyo, thanks for posting this on my wall. Mine was a similar predicament - 10 years in A'bad and never tasted Jasuben's pizza yet. I do miss A'bad but not its overt vegetarianism! But have eaten bhakri pizzas in Law Garden many a times, and I totally love them, though they always leave my mouth sore and hurting. So am hoping some of it was from her laari at some point!

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  3. Dude - i grew up eating these - never heard of jassuben, but oh the pizzas at Wah in Municipal Market - from way before even the days of the now no longer existant Dairy Den!! Mmmmm!!! THE BEST EVER! And incidentally - also weirdly - i refuse to eat any but thin crust pies.

    Also,now that i am in the throes of an intense municipal market gujju pizza - i hate you.

    also since i saw delhi belly last night - like i love you.

    nobody said i wasnt a weirdo.

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  4. ....and Choice!!!!

    and remember the pav bhaji at the guys' near your apartment?!!

    Though really - Sardar at mumbai central, at 4 am after a long night at work - best ever.

    And vada pav at vijay char rasta

    and the chicken mushroom steak at upper crust!

    the kebabs at tomatoes!

    the tikkis at mirch masala!

    the pani puri at bhagwati snacks.

    die joey die.

    (since I sit here in nyc, sunday night, getting ready to a week of salad and soup lunches - nice - but.)

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  5. Hey Megs- remember Tomatoes and the Marilyn Monroe tie. My dad was so cute.

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  6. jo! how do u make jasuben pizza pics look so awesome! :) too bad i missed u in abad this time.. next time u n I go n have chocolate pineapple pizza.. ok? :D

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  7. Jo, i love your photography! You make jasuben pizza look so exotic :-) well maybe it is after all! It has been light years since i tried one!

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  8. The innocent is the person who explains nothing.
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  9. well possibly it is pursuing all! It has long been lighting many years offered which i attempted one

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  11. The most amazing pizzas ever. Shakti Sandwich in the old city will leave a similar kind of craving in your tummy. Do try them the next time you come.

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  12. can any of you provide me the pizza base recipe? it will be a great help.

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  13. Shahaanal- the base is made from regular 'maida' dough and baked in the oven

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  14. the pizza is far better then pizza hut and dominos as it gives an indian feel of tangy and spice taste.
    which cheese is added on the pizza ????????????

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  15. I am a Tamilian Ahmedabadi, now settled in Bangalore. :D I love Jasuben's pizzas, and have had them all the years I lived in Ahmedabad, since I was a kid. I love them for the crispy-crunchy base, the totally Gujju sweet-spicy taste, and the local cheese, and the way they are oh-so-different from the regular Dominos and Pizza Hut fare. And, oh, because I happen to LOVE street food - especially the street food in Ahmedabad. :)

    PS: Not quite sure how I landed on your blog, but I am glad I did. Been reading through your posts, and loved them. Blogrolling you. Will be back to read more. :)

    PPS: Not able to comment using my Wordpress URL, for some strange reason. :(
    Here's my URL: http://thegalnxtdoor.wordpress.com/

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  16. hi, m kuldip singh kaler, m senior editor at Divyabhaskar.com. i like your blog. my mo no is 09909940805. i wants to know more about Ahmadabad and city Food.

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  17. cool............

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  18. Thanks for this write up. After Narendra Modi quoted Jasuben Pizza, I searched in google to know more about it and your blog gave enough details about it to get a feel of the Jasuben's Pizza. During my Visit to Ahmedabad as a tourist, I will make sure I add this in my itinerary to savor one.

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