Protest Pizza: Exclusive Recipe

What makes a good pizza?

If you’ve responded with anything other than trolls, then your answer is incorrect. The same trolls, who choose to reside in the dark corners of paid per tweet Indian internet; lurk around Twitter threads and make themselves real in DMs and in comment sections.

If bot trolls (which also makes for a delightful pun if you look hard enough) are to be believed, then truly iconic and authentic pizza is being distributed for consumption at the Farmers' Protests down here in Delhi NCR. Pizza is accompanied, not with breadsticks and Italian seasonings, but with complimentary foot massages, whey protein shakes, and workout space to make it into a wholesome staycation to be envious of.

And why not, we’ve all had a tremendously difficult year (not you, Dolly Singh).

Without overstating, 2020 has been a real test of grit. Some of us have lost our jobs and some others, our family members. If you’re me then you’ve lost them both and lived to tell the tale. I get it, I’m the first to understand anger and aggression on account of those having fun, and showing it publically. It could be your domestic wanderlust on Instagram feed display, a religious pilgrimage minute by minute update on stories, an Instagram live from the wedding celebration in the hills, or even a takeout pizza flex on Twitter.

Oh, wait.  

Perhaps, that’s why, I am attempting to rationalize with my bot brethren who are losing their collective shit on Twitter dot com and its second copy, Instagram. You all gotta chill out.

Really, calm your tits and ask yourself, is the aggression all about seeing someone eat the damn pizza? Or is it about seeing people grab the administration by their balls while having pizza?

I’m not going to jump further to explain why pizza, or biryani, or just about any other fucking edible food is not akin to living your good life, but just means to an end. In a year that’s tested everyone’s patience, will-power, and strength to keep it together, pizza or just about any other food is only for sustenance.

We are also past the 1990s and our introduction to pizza during a family vacation to Vaishno Devi (shoutout to Preeti Babbar from a school trip who confided in me, in moving bus, how she introduced her dad to pizza at Vaishno Devi). The rest of us can thank cuntish food bloggers for making pizza into an Indian household item, one that we can prepare in kitchens sans oven, yeast, cheese, sauce, and veggies.

No, for real. There are numerous tutorials by Indian bloggers about the preparation of the same, making pizza a regular subject of discussion. If that doesn't cut it for you, there are pizza rating videos to help you decide what to eat, and pizza omelettes and refugee pizzas to pick from, and help you come to terms with how fucking common pizza is.

I wholeheartedly believe that the creators of this video should shut shop but clearly this isn't a world where my opinion matters.

I digress, but let’s assume for a hot minute that pizza is a sign of affluence and luxury, as we are being made to believe. Even then, why should pizza, as an edible commodity, be restricted to the likes of these food blogging cunts and their followers? What makes pizza a non-inclusive food, especially for farmers and the community that is largely behind providing for the ingredients that go into making pizza?

As the collective Indian population proceeds to head-butt one another on the internet over the consumption of pizza vs gaumutra, it is critical to note it is not the food that is as problematic as space where it is being consumed. Protest sites are imagined spaces, where a fictional population, labelled as tukde-tukde gang, takes charge and plans dubious activities against the nation by dissenting against the government. That’s the poison we are fed on our screen with fake information overload, that which some of us regularly challenge and are exhausted from doing. Thus, we need pizza to recuperate.

I don’t have to explain, but I do; in the process of participating during protests and establishing your dissent, you cannot fucking forego basic essentials such as eating, sleeping, drinking, resting. If you choose to show yourself at a protest, you’re offered food and beverage as a mark of solidarity by those who are at the center of it. Food or drinks (water/juice/aerated beverages) are distributed as a mark of acknowledgment for your presence and support to keep you hydrated and well-fed by those in participation. It’s not unusual to see pizza there as much as it is unusual for this to blow up in this capacity, to point that the farmers can’t possibly eat pizza. Cause, well, they’re farmers. They’re supposed to be downtrodden and not up with the times. They should stick to Dal-Bhaat or perhaps Sabji-Roti if that’s what they grow.

Pizza is considered a mark of celebration, not agitation. Pizza is rhetoric, to establish boundaries and demarcate us vs them, and create ideological distinctions. It is acceptable to make pizzas in your house while the country is in lockdown, using the ingredients grown by the frontline workers including farmers. But god forbids, if farmers get out and protest, pizza shouldn't be on the menu, cause how dare they have fun.

Should you choose to participate (in spirit) with the farmers of India, here’s a handy recipe to create this marker of dissent from your home kitchen.

Farmers Protest Pizza

(recommended serving: 2 lying cheating scums at the center of Indian politics; if you know you know)

Ingredients

4 tbsp refined oil

2 tortilla wrap sheets

1 Choudhary Mozzarella Cheese (no other cheese will do, fuck off with other brands)

2 tsp tomato ketchup (do not use McDonald’s sachets)

4 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp garlic paste (fresh, fucking fresh paste)

1 cup full of fresh vegetables from your local market (whatever the fuck you like, barring root vegetables). I prefer capsicum, onion, mushroom.

Salt, to taste

Crushed black pepper, to add some fucking zing

Method 

1) Line up your wrap sheets across two large plates and use a tbsp oil each to grease the base on both sides.

2) Take a small bowl, add tomato ketchup, tomato puree, salt, pepper, garlic paste, and give it a good stir. Think of how Twitter trolls stir a piece of information and don’t exert that kinda force. Much less.

3) Meanwhile, depute a person in your life to grate the cheese. I’m assuming you’re one better and have someone to help you out with. If you don’t, then take the time out, and grate it yourself. Grate your aggression out.

4) Once you’re done prepping (practically 50% job is done), pre-heat your oven/tandoor/griddle/whatever else you’re using. I’m not going to school you here or at all. Go nuts. Just keep it warm enough to cook the base and somewhat char the veggies and melt the cheese (easy).

5) Right, this is the most important step. You gotta start with a layer of grated cheese and use it generously. Top that with your veggies. Do not arrange it like a fucking collage. Freehand the shit out of it. Top that with a spoonful of oil each.

6) Stuff this in the oven/where ever else you plan to bake and cook It through for 5-7 minutes or longer depending on your equipment setting.

7) Take it out, and use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the pizza (do not use a fucking butter knife).

8) Eat it, and put out a message of solidarity for those who provide you with the food that you eat daily. They deserve it.  

Handy tip: DO NOT ADD oregano or seasonings. That does not make the pizza better/cooler. You’re making a farmer protest pizza and I’m pretty sure they’re not snorting Domino’s oregano as food bloggers do.

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Anisha Saigal

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Pop-culture omnivore. Survived publishing, academia, film school. Struggling with the pandemic.