This article originally appeared as part of the story Good Karma in the May/June 2019 issue.
Leading the charge behind Eden Prairie’s latest culinary adventure is Raghavan Iyer, the Minneapolis chef and author, who has more than made his mark in the culinary world. Among his many accolades are two Julia Child Awards, three James Beard Awards and an Emmy Award he picked up for hosting the documentary series Asian Flavors.
As Pizza Karma’s concept creator and menu consultant, Iyer brings a unique experience to adventurous diners in a way that’s friendly and accessible. “We’re always looking for something new and exciting,” he says. “Pizza definitely makes that more accessible.”
Since its doors opened in December 2018, Pizza Karma has been warmly received by the community, and Iyer couldn’t be happier. “The suburbs are a great place that showcase and embrace the independence of owning restaurants,” he says. “It’s so important for small business owners to have that kind of community.”
For those who haven’t strayed far from traditional cheese and pepperoni, Iyer reassures anxious eaters that there’s something for everyone. For the unsure, he suggests beginning with the signature pizzas. “They’re designed to expose you to flavors you haven’t been exposed to before,” Iyer says. With offerings like lamb meatball, coconut shrimp and chicken kebab, pizzas have familiar ingredients that are flavored with spices from across the world, like cardamom and curry leaves.
Iyer wants to emphasize that Pizza Karma isn’t an Indian restaurant, rather it’s a global pizza restaurant. “It’s all about showcasing ingredients and techniques that are used across the world,” he says. As it branches out into the community, Iyer hopes that it continues to spread its goodwill and good meals. “People have really embraced us,” he says.
VOCAB TO KNOW
- Cardamom: made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family
- Harissa: a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste made with Baklouti, serrano and roasted red peppers with a blend of spices
- Okra: green seed pods that are commonly prepared cooked, pickled, raw or in salads
- Paneer: an unaged, non-melting fresh cheese, common in Indian cuisine<
- Tandoor: a cylindrical clay or metal oven used in cooking and baking