Making pasta Indian-style is something that I resisted for the longest ever time. Some things are best left untampered, I thought, like pasta, which is best made Italian-style. Indian spices just wouldn’t go with pasta, I told myself.
Yesterday, though, something changed. I had had a packet of rice fusilli pasta lying around in my kitchen unused, and I decided to make a very Indian pasta stir-fry for dinner. I probably wanted to check whether the dish I came up with would strengthen my pre-conceived notions or demolish them.
I went all out, with lemon, coriander, chaat masala, chana masala, red chilli and turmeric powder. The end result was delish – in fact, so delish that I think this is going to be a regular at our table now onwards. I now understand why Indian-style pasta is such a favourite among bloggers, among adults and kids alike.
Here is how I made the pasta stir-fry.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
- 250 grams pasta (I used Mamy’s rice pasta, fusilli shaped)
- Salt, to taste
- 2 fingers of butter (I used Amul garlic butter)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons chana masala (I used Everest)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon chaat masala
- A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
- Lemon juice, to taste
- A small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely choppedz
- 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
- About 8 beans, strings removed and chopped finely
- A fistful of shelled green peas
- 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup or to taste (I used Heinz)
- Take the pasta in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add just enough water to submerge the pasta, a little salt and a tablespoon of oil. Set the pan, uncovered, on a high flame. When the water reaches boiling point, turn down the flame to medium. Cook till the pasta is al dente. Do not overcook the pasta, otherwise the dish will turn into a soggy, tasteless mess.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente, place a colander in the sink and transfer all the contents of the pan to it. Run cold water over the pasta, to stop further cooking. Set the colander aside and let all the water drain out.
- Heat the 2 fingers of butter in the same pan you used earlier. Add the chopped onion, carrot, peas and beans. Turn the flame down to medium, and add the turmeric powder and salt and red chilli powder to taste. Cook till the vegetables are cooked, but not overly so. Sprinkle a little water as and when needed and stir intermittently, to ensure that the vegetables do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- When the veggies are cooked just right, add the cooked pasta, along with the slit green chillies, chaat masala and chana masala. Mix well.
- Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the masalas disappears. Keep stirring intermittently, to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir gently, making sure the pasta doesn’t break.
- When the pasta is done, switch off the gas. Add the chopped coriander, lemon juice to taste and tomato ketchup. Mix well.
- Serve hot.
- You could add in some chopped garlic along with the veggies too. I avoided that because I was using garlic butter.
- You could use garam masala instead of chana masala, too. I like the flavour of chana masala better than garam masala, so I used the former.
- Add in any other vegetables that you want to. I added the vegetables that I had handy in my refrigerator.
- You could use plain, salted butter in place of garlic butter, too. Garlic butter gives the dish a lovely flavour, though, so I would highly recommend using it.
- We like a slight tang in our food, but if you don’t, skip the lemon juice.
Have you, too, like me, hesitated over making pasta the Indian way? Please don’t! It is definitely tasty – I can vouch for that. Do try out this recipe to start with, and let me know how you liked it!
How do you make Indian-style pasta at home? Do share!