“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.