Over the 14 or so years I’ve been visiting Canton, MI, it has increasingly becoming a suburb that’s attracting a lot of immigrants, and as a result now has a pretty significant Middle Eastern and Indian population. Along with this, it has picked up a rather large number of restaurants and stores, with some of the most notable growth being in Indian food and groceries (see my 2011 review of Neehee’s, for example). So I’m used to going through strip malls in the area and seeing some new Indian eateries, and this time I was particularly intrigued by one of them: Curry on Crust, which serves "Desi-Style Pizza".
Wait, what? That’s right, “Desi-Style Pizza”. Instead of the usual pizza toppings, Curry on Crust offers a choice of eight different sauces ranging from “Spicy Tomato” to “Makhani” and “Tikka”. Add in some Indian style veggie toppings (corn, mint, peas, potatoes) to some of the more standard toppings (tomatoes, peppers, onions), offer up a few Indian-style paneer or meat toppings (Chicken Tikka, Malai Chicken, and Butter Chicken), a light layer of mozzarella, and bake. Voila, you’ve got something that’s actually one of the better examples of fusion cooking I’ve seen in recent years.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Indian food and pizza combined (over the years, I’ve run into at least half a dozen pizza shops run by Indian people that also offer Indian food), but this is the first time I’ve seen them actually offer up the Indian ingredients as pizza toppings (although some web searching shows that it’s not completely unique, with a similar “Curry and Crust” place open in Portland, Oregon). Saying that it’s a family tradition that goes back a few years, the owners of Curry on Crust decided to open up their own pizza shop. And I decided that we had to go there.
Walking in, it’s a bit of an interesting experience, since it’s like walking into just about any other pizza place, including the shakers of parmesan and red pepper flakes on the table. Looking over the menu, I was sorely tempted to order a chicken tikka pizza just because I had that option, but I had been craving palaak (Indian style spinach), so we ended up settling on one of their specialty pizzas, the Hara Bhara Pizza, with spinach sauce, malai chicken, red peppers…. and mozzarella cheese. A bit of an interesting combination, but I had some confidence that this would taste good.
About ten minutes later, our pizza came out, and it was pretty much exactly what I would expect from the description. The spinach sauce and malai chicken were flavorful, and tasting almost exactly like I’d gotten them as entrees at a regular Indian place. And it was a reasonably good pizza crust underneath it all, although I think the crust could have used a bit more cooking (I like my pizza crusts fairly well done).
Overall, this was a pleasant and enjoyable pizza. I’m usually not into novelty pizza toppings, but what they are doing here at Curry on Crust isn’t just a novelty, it’s actually quite good, taking some of the best concepts from Indian food and pizza and successfully combining them. I’m looking forward to coming back and trying more of their menu in the future.