Desi Style Pasta

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Pasta made with Indian masalas, and of course cheese, that delightful ingredient that we Indians just can’t do without. And tomato sauce too. This desi style pasta is mom’s recipe. You can make it spicy if you wish by adding more chilly powder or just keep it medium spicy, and that tastes great too.

It’s a great one dish meal with ice cream for dessert in these hot summer months. You can also eat it with toast, but please, please, do eat your pasta piping hot, because it’s no fun eating cold pasta.

Infact, now that the rains are here, you may wish to sit by the window or outdoors, with a delicious bowl of pasta and a fantastic book to read, or if you like to stay indoors, then you could eat it while watching your favourite television programme.

Here’s the recipe

Desi Style Pasta

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

250 gms shell pasta

3 tablespoons oil + 1 tablespoon oil

100 gms green beans chopped into small pieces

1 medium carrot chopped into small pieces

1 medium potato chopped into small pieces

2 medium tomatoes chopped into small pieces

1 medium capsicum cut into thin strips

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon chilly powder

salt to taste + a pinch of salt

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Garnish

3/4 cup grated cheese

Method

1 Put a large vessel filled with three quarters water to boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Put the pasta into the boiling water. Add a tablespoon of oil and let it cook till the pasta is soft. Drain the water and keep the pasta aside.

2 While the pasta is cooking in boiling water, heat the oil in a large pan. Into the hot oil, add the chopped green beans, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Fry for 1 minute. Now add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chilly powder and salt to taste into the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup water, cover and let cook on a slow flame. Keep checking often to see if vegetables are cooked. When the vegetables are almost cooked add the capsicum pieces and cook for 2 more minutes.

3 To the cooked vegetables add the pasta and mix gently. Let cook for 3 minutes, then add tomato sauce and stir gently. Remove from heat, put in a serving bowl and garnish with cheese.

Serve hot.

Aloo Poha

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Aloo Poha or Flattened Rice With Potatoes And Spices is the breakfast dish for Indians. It is light and yet very tasty, and you’ll find carts selling this bright yellow dish sprinkled with coriander and grated fresh coconut and sometimes pomegranate seeds at every street corner.

This recipe here, is my mom, Rohini’s. And I promise you it turns out delicious.

Aloo Poha
Flattened rice with potatoes.

Serves 3 -4

Ingredients

10 fresh curry leaves

3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

4 medium sized onions

3 medium sized potatoes

A nice pinch asafoetida

1 level teaspoon turmeric powder plus 1/2 teaspoon

1 level teaspoon salt plus 1/2 teaspoon

6 tablespoons oil

300 gms poha or flattened rice

1 teaspoon sugar or sugar to taste

1 lemon cut into quarters

Garnish

Some chopped coriander

Some grated fresh coconut (optional)

Some pomegranate seeds (optional)

Method

1 Chop the onions and potatoes into small pieces. Keep half the chopped onions aside.

2 Take a kadhai or deep bottomed pan, put the oil to heat. Put the cumin and mustard seeds and fry them for a second. Add the fresh curry leaves. When they start to sputter, add half the chopped onions. Then add the chopped potatoes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, add 1 teaspoon of salt, give the pan a good stir, splash a little water into the pan and then cover and let cook. Add a little water on the lid of the pan while cooking the onion and potato spice mix.

3 Meanwhile, very lightly wash the poha in a colander. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt to the poha and sprinkle the sugar onto it.

4 Check to see if the onion potato mix is cooked. When done, remove the pan from the fire, add the poha and stir gently to mix. Put it back on the fire, let it heat for 2 minutes.

Serve hot garnished with the remaining chopped onions, chopped coriander, grated fresh coconut, and lemon quarters.