Masala pasta

“What’s for lunch?” my Mom asked me on Skype.  No doubt, she was wondering why I was chatting with her on a weekend instead of feeding her son-in-law.

“Masala pasta”, I said brightly.  My brother V, who was visiting India, grimaced beside her.

“How did you make it?” my Mom asked.

“Well, I boiled the pasta”, I began, when V interrupted “In plain water?”

V can be a little puritanical about cooking.  So I began again “I boiled water, added a little salt, and after it dissolved, I added penne pasta”.

V nodded approvingly.  “Yes, that’s the way to do it.”

“Then as the pasta was boiling, I ground some onion, ginger and green chillies in a mixer..” I stopped.  V’s face had contorted and he seemed to be in a lot of anguish. “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” he spluttered. “Green chillies in pasta?”  He seemed shocked.

Oh, so this was just his puritanical tastes kicking in.  I could see why he looked so upset.

“Then I had some ragu sauce”,  I continued, “so I mixed that also in and fried all this in oil.  Then I drained the pasta and poured into a bowl, and I poured this masala over it”.

“You can’t call this pasta”, V protested.  “It’s some kind of upma, pasta upma maybe.”

“Upma” reminded me – I did add some boiled peas too.  That didn’t seem like such a great idea, in hindsight.  Then I remembered reading a recipe where someone also added vegetables to the pasta.  I wondered whether I should mention this to V.  Maybe safer not to.

“Well, all I added extra was ginger and green chillies”, I said.  “How does that make it not pasta?”

V had a sudden thought. “I hope you did not add cheese as well to this concoction?”

“No, I did not”, I said indignantly.  Cheese with ginger?  Even I couldn’t have stomached that.

“Do you have a picture?” my Mom interrupted.

“Yes”, I said, and showed her.

“Looks good to me”, she declared.  “How did it taste?”

“Oh, I loved it! I will make it every weekend now!”

I should have stopped at that.  It was bad enough to add green chilli and ginger and still call it pasta.  You’d think I would be quite satisfied with my attempt at Indo-Italian fusion cuisine 😉  But no, I had to try and outdo myself.

So the other day, I opened the refrigerator and found I had a cup of leftover pav bhaji. (I like to blend my bhaji into a paste).  I also found a bowl of excess boiled pasta leftover from the previous evening’s pasta salad.

No prizes for guessing what my lunch was 😀

If you are curious, it tasted wonderful !  The next time I make pav bhaji, I am going to make sure I reserve some bhaji.  Pasta bhaji makes for a great lunch!

But I don’t see V eating it any time soon.

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41 thoughts on “Masala pasta

  1. Too bad I cannot taste your pasta but the photo itself looks so delectable that my five year old, who wandered into the room as I was reading this, exclaimed, “PASTA!” in that high-pitched, wide-eyed way of his. Need I say, pasta is his favorite food?

    Lekhni: Thanks! I am a novice at food photography but despite my efforts, this photo seems to have actually turned out well 🙂 I am glad your son liked it!

  2. I’ve been trying to think of an easy way to cook tasty spagetti (or macaroni – those are the two types I have in my kitchen right now). Any suggestions?

    Lekhni: I find some NY Times recipes to be very good. There is pasta with eggplant and bread crumbs or pasta with chickpeas and tomatoes (this one’s more like a salad).

    I made the “pav bhaji pasta” by mixing the bhaji with elbow macaroni. You can use macaroni anywhere – in soups, salads, whatever. I make a salad of tomatoes, cucumber,lettuce,shredded carrots and so on and add boiled macaroni and dressing to it. Tastes great! (You can also add boiled chickpeas to this).

    I think the eggplant one might go well with spaghetti too..there is always the option of making just about any tomato-based sauce for the spaghetti 😀

  3. Hahahaha, late news :p

    We do this all the time. Pasta, vegetables- beans, green chillies, peas, onions, tomatoes, green peppers. And then we also add sambar podi or Rasam podi. Hahahaha, it tastes awesome, let me tell you. So what we do is, divide the pasta equally, make one serving like this, and another, the usual cheesy one, the bland Italian way. And finish with thayir sadam(that is if the cheese one doesn’t fill you totally)

    Lekhni: You horrify me – pasta with curd rice 😮 And hey, bland pasta with cheese is American, NOT Italian. Or Ameritalian, if you prefer. The authentic versions taste much better to our palates.

  4. Wah Wah. Looks delicious atleast and I would definitely wanna taste it. Mom back home would never let me make pasta at home and me going to Tokyo isn’t gonna happen soon – so maybe i might drop into your place to taste is sometime in future – is that ok? 😛 😀
    btw, bro n mommy dont read your blog? 😉

    Lekhni: You are welcome. And yes, they do read my blog, but you think I’d let a little thing like that stop me ? 😉 Anyway, they don’t read it anywhere as frequently as I wish they would 😦

  5. It either is really tasty or you have an awesome camera!

    Never been a pasta fan, for bland food isn’t palatable by my standards. This seems very promising though! I’m tired of the macaroni and cheese they serve at work, gonna try this with some garam masala!

    Lekhni: It was quite tasty. I do have a great little camera, but I didn’t know its features included making my pasta tastier 😉

    Mac and cheese is bland. But as I was saying to gradwolf, pasta needn’t be bland at all, it’s only here that it is..

  6. You should try different pasta sauces. Ragu is not the better among the lot. Check if you get Colavita or Bertolli or perhaps Walnut Acres (organic). They are very good. You can cook it in Olive oil and add some Basil. It tastes great. My wife makes it every week. Sometimes we have it with breadsticks and it tastes great too. As for the pasta itself I love Strozzapreti. Whole foods has the best!
    I have been asking my wife to write her recipe column in my blog, but she is stalling it. I will have to persuade more!

    Lekhni: Thanks for the tips! I usually make my own sauces (and dial down the garlic). My sauces turn out okay but nothing like V’s versions – he makes, for one thing, a fantastic alfredo sauce!
    Your wife, I can see, really needs to start a food blog!

  7. That’s cool 😀 Got to learn these leftover tricks 😛 Pasta without cheese sauce is not that much fun 🙂

    Lekhni: Maybe you should experiment with adding cheese sauce to pav bhaji masala then 😉

  8. Well, I didn’t know that you could cook-up things on your own, being a Non Recipe-d Indian. No harm’s intended! 🙂
    Nonetheless, despereration drives you to excellence, sometimes. Have you ever wondered, that, we add masala to everything nowadays. E.G., take nimbupani or coke. Dosa or Uttapam. Have not seen a masala idli though! Or worse still, masala wine!

    Lekhni: I have heard of masala idli 😀 Masala wine, not yet, but give it time!

  9. Whenever I open my fridge, I see uncooked vegetables, fruit, bread and salsa, with some chutneys I have made and forgotten. There are also some cookies, a packet of atta (to be used when my niece visits next and offers to make parathas) and some pickled gherkins and capers and stuffed olives etc. YOUR fridge on the other hand has food. I need to do something different clearly.. :-/

    Lekhni: I see food because I often end up making more than I can eat! But I wish they’d make refrigerators that can cook. That way, we can always open the refrigerator and find food 😉

  10. Late I am no? But super!?!? I’m going to use this recipe for my cooking blog. With some changes. My husband is like V, very painful types! But I like this. And super pics also! 🙂

    Oh the third sentence was supposed to be: Can I use this recipe with due credit?

    Lekhni: Yes, of course you can use the recipe or link to it 🙂

  11. Oh. my.

    Oh my my my.
    Much appreciation of your dedication to experimentation.

    Lekhni: Nothing to compare with yours, though! I bet you’ve tried pasta with hummus 😉

  12. hey your pasta looks damn delicious! 🙂 And i will definitely try your bhaji-pasta! am sure will love it! and hey i can take cheese with anything, so for me cheese and garlic go well together! 🙂 🙂

    Lekhni: Thanks! Let me know if you liked the bhaji-pasta! (with cheese?)

  13. Have you tried the “bachelor’s last resort ready to eat pasta” available in markets? Its Yuck!!!!

    Lekhni: No, I haven’t. Isn’t pasta practically ready to eat by itself? Especially if adding store bought sauce ?

  14. Sounds just like the kind of thing I’d do. And the picture looks so delicious I’ve got to try it now. perhaps I will try it in sambar for my family!

    Lekhni: Sambhar pasta? Hmm.. that’s an intriguing idea! How would you do that – add just a little sambar to the pasta, and exclude the dal in the sambar? Hey, if Adithya can add sambar powder to the pasta and love it, why not add sambar itself? 😛

  15. The masala pasta sounds good, but I have serious doubts about the pav bhaji pasta!
    Kamini.

    Lekhni: I can see that you are not going to try the kadhi pasta and sambar pasta any time soon 😛

  16. I always make sure to add a 1/2 tsp of chilli powder to any pasta sauce that I’m augmenting with veggies, though I haven’t experimented with sambar or rasam powders. Hey, I have a packet of too cuminy Iyengar Rasam powder sitting unused in my pantry- I know where to finish it off now.
    Rasappodi pasta and Rasapastafarians, here we come! All hail to his Noodliness!

    Lekhni: Rasapastafarians! That’s a good one 😀 Can I join too?

  17. WOW ! That picture is awesome and I’m sure it tasted heavenly! I’m hungry now..

    And your post also reminds me of a movie I watched online called “Sambar Salsa” where a south indian guy falls in love with a mexican and she tries to put salsa in the sambar his mom cooks 😀 Phunny!

    Lekhni: That looks like an interesting movie ! What would happen if one added salsa to sambar? Will it become jalapeno rasam? 😉

  18. I’m very much like V in my food habits. I dont like experiments in food. and I dont like taking the risk in trying out new dishes. Although ur masala pasta does look tasty.

    Lekhni: V loves to experiment in cooking new dishes (i.e. dishes he has never tried before) 🙂 He just doesn’t approve of unorthodox dishes 😦

  19. Looks yummy. I try fusing ingredients all the time and mostly, they work! The pasta looks yummy!

    Btw, you have an award waiting for you on my blog!

    Lekhni: Thanks for the award, I am honored 🙂

  20. Ah, this is too good. When I was a kid, I tried pongal pizza once – my cousin and I put pongal on homemade cheese pizza. Very interesting, it was.

    Lekhni: Hmm..pongal pizza.. Interesting is the word 😀

  21. I am waiting for the “paryushan” to get over so that i can try it out!! and ofcourse, with cheese! 🙂 🙂

    Lekhni: With cheese? Tell me how that goes 🙂

  22. Noooooo. I am with V here. Although I have tried curry porridge once with an interesting outcome.

    Lekhni: What’s curry porridge? Sounds interesting 🙂

  23. That looks yummmm…:) I’m sure it tasted so too! 🙂

    way better than the cake i once made…we ended up eating it like it was semi-burnt cookies 😀 😀 😀

    Lekhni: You should have just called it “grilled sweet sandwich” or something – I mean, why let people know it was supposed to be cake ? 😉

  24. You just got an award. Check it out here. And do keep writing. Btw, do your recipes taste as good as they look? 😛

    Lekhni: Thanks for the award, honored 🙂 And yes, my recipes do taste good – though I have no idea why. Just put it down to beginner’s luck 🙂

  25. Hey!!! no fair! I add vegetables to my pasta all the time!

    Lekhni: You do? I do love my pasta salad with carrots and cucumber and lettuce, but have never tried masala pasta with cooked veggies..

  26. Why call it bhaji-pasta when you could just call it bhasta!!? 😀
    I would side with your bro though. I simply cannot imagine Indianising the pasta, but the pic looks … ummm…. how shall I put it? interesting! So I’ll hold back comments on that! 😉
    Commenting is a little non-intuitive here. I need to click on the post-title (and not on the “37 comments”) in order to comment! Anyway, enjoyed the post.

    Lekhni: On the non-intuitive commenting, I have noticed that one has to do that in IE 😦 (This doesn’t happen with Firefox, if that helps). I suspect it’s a bug in the theme.

    “Bhasta” is a great idea 🙂 I should get a bumper sticker – “Bhasta or bust” 🙂

  27. Pingback: Makeover of the LeftOver « Colors And Lights

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