Even if you named a hundred different ways to top a pizza, there's a good chance you'd never think of some of the ones you'll find at Curry on Crust Desi Pizza in Canton.
It's pizza made with Indian flavors and ingredients, developed from the home recipes of sisters-in-law Dipali Patel and Krishna Patel, along with their husbands' cousin, Mona Patel, who has extensive restaurant experience.
When Dipali and Krishna made pizza at home for their families, they said last week, they would use the dough for naan -- a delicious Indian bread somewhat like soft pizza crust -- and top it with their favorite curries.
Although they were making their Indian-style pizzas at home for at least two years, they didn't start developing a true pizza-style crust for restaurant sale until last year. They spent four months refining the pizza dough they're using now, as well as their eight sauces -- each distinctly different -- before opening the shop in February.
Their toppings include 17 vegetables and fresh herbs, three flavors of marinated paneer (a fresh Indian cheese) and three kinds of marinated chicken. The chicken is the only non-vegetarian ingredient offered.
"Everything is flavorful here. Nothing is bland," says Dipali, but that doesn't mean everything's spicy hot. The sauces are complex but generally mild, and customers who want more spice can request free added ginger, garlic and green chili when they order.
The sauces make the biggest difference in flavor, the women say. The house special sauce is a homemade tomato sauce, much like traditional pizza sauce. Tikka sauce is made with onion, tomato and Indian spices. Makhani sauce is buttery and made with cashews. Manchurian is Chinese-inspired. Garlic-herb is creamy, like alfredo. Spinach is self-explanatory. Pav Bhaji is a mixed vegetable curry. And roasted eggplant is like baba ganoush with Indian spices.
I tasted three pizzas -- Spicy Veggie Treat with the house special sauce, Chili Paneer with Manchurian sauce, and Chicken Tikka with tikka sauce -- and enjoyed them all. The flavor combinations aren't traditional pizza flavors, but they're definitely tasty and will be familiar to anyone who's ever had Indian food.
With their many different sauces, cheeses and fresh vegetable toppings, the pizzas are especially colorful and attractive. And the crusts -- usually the hardest thing to get right -- are very good.
Small (10-inch pizzas) are $6.99-$7.99; large (14-inch) pies are $11.99 and $13.99.
Dipali and Krishna, respectively, are married to brothers Rikesh and Vrijesh Patel, who founded the popular Neehee's Indian Vegetarian Street Food restaurant in the same shopping strip as Curry on Crust. The brothers' cousin, Mona, previously owned several Dunkin' Donut franchises and now works for the U.S. Postal Service in downtown Detroit.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Curry on Crust was designed mostly for carry-out, but it also has seating for dine-in guests. (45490 Ford Road; 734-354-8700 and www.curryoncrust.com)