Mumbai food: Introducing gluten-free pizza with natural ingredients
Tuck into a grandmother’s recipe of gluten-free pizza whipped up with natural ingredients, a first by an Indian fast food chain
In the early 1970s, when city-based home chef Sudha Shah travelled to Italy, she brought back pizza recipes, which she began doling out to the Ambassador Hotel and Turf Club in 1974. While she shut shop after five years, owing to family responsibilities, her grandson, Aditya Shah revived the recipes when he started Juno’s Pizza, a vegetarian delivery chain in the city, six years ago. So, sometime back, when Shah informed the 78-year-old about the trend of gluten-free foods, she immediately donned the chef’s hat and whipped up a pizza base with natural ingredients like jowar, rice flour, oil and sugar.
Full Smash pizza with a gluten-free base
“At home, she makes nachni pizza but the crust turns soggy quickly and won’t work for deliveries. The rice-jowar flour combination worked. By blending the two grains, we got a better ‘bite’ in the pizza crust,” says the 31-year-old, who has now introduced gluten-free pizza, touted as India’s first launched by a fast food brand. “Often, gluten-free versions include chemicals and ingredients such as edible glue, which are unhealthy. Our version is preservative-free,” he claims. Available at Juno’s outlets in Kemps Corner, Lower Parel, Indiabulls Centre, BKC, Ghatkopar, Powai, Borivali and Vile Parle, the gluten-free crust option is offered on all the varieties including House Special (cheese, garlic and capsicum) and Indiano (cheese, tomato, onion, capsicum and paneer).
“It is easier to hand-stretch the gluten-free dough, which is made fresh every day. Taste-wise, the main difference is that the texture of gluten-free crust is softer than the regular, crispy crusts. We also serve a no-cheese pizza called the Workout. Paired with a gluten-free crust, it would be completely vegan too,” he sums up.
At: All Juno’s Pizza outlets in the city
Cost: Rs 650 for 11-inch pizza
What is gluten?
A mix of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye and barley that helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds them together.