Can you believe spaghetti asked me to cook her as an Indian style pasta?

…..I promise, I was not high ; )

It was one of those lazy days when you feel like cooking nothing more than tossing some spaghetti in an easy sauce. I was switching TV channels while swirling the spaghetti on my fork and almost forcefully into my mouth, as I was so bored of eating spaghetti in the same chunky tomato sauce. Rather distastefully I gobbled my food and gave a nose frown to my plate. Probably it was my imagination but I almost felt like that the spaghetti spoke back to me from the plate “I am bored swimming in the Italian pool, give me some new waters”. I did not think of doing a fusion Italian Indian style pasta that time but may be that thought was somewhere there in my Idea Cooking brain buffer. Anyway, I looked back up from the plate and gathered it surely must be my imagination.

Another fine evening in New York, it was one of those days when you walk so much while shopping that you almost burn calories for an entire week. Finally, I was craving for an extra-large American size meal. I ended up in one of those typical New York cafes, on the menu I came across a Spaghetti pasta in a Chipotle sauce. My instant reaction was, “Oh my god, this is just what I was looking for – spicy, hot and stuffing”. Well, as my plate was served, I still remember the fabulous taste, the spicy chipotle sauce gave the usually subtle Italian sauce a run for its money. As a result my idea cooking brain popped another idea – If a spicy Chipotle can do it, why not a savory Indian sauce?

Idea cooking spaghetti in an Indian shahi paneer curry

Finally, back home I experimented yet another fusion recipe, an Indian style masala pasta called Shahi Spaghetti. Essentially, shahi means royal, these shahi Indian sauces are onion and tomatoes base sauces cooked with thick cream, cashews and warm spices. Therefore, they are characterized by their creamy, aromatic and slightly sweet taste. In this Italian Indian style pasta recipe I have experimented cooking the slim Italian guest in a rich Indian curry Shahi Paneer (Royal Cottage Cheese). The spaghetti comfortably welcomed itself to this Indian sauce, as Shahi sauces are akin to Italian sauces in its creamy texture, making it a unique savory masala pasta. Also, the cottage cheese paneer will make sure you won’t miss your cheese on your pasta plate.

I also threw in some juicy peppers and asparagus for a crunchy note to this creamy plate. On top I added some parmesan cheese and basil, perfectly blending with the Indian Shahi Paneer Sauce. One thing is for sure, Spaghetti in its make-over of Indian style pasta isn’t missing Italy much ; )

Ingredients

(Serves 2)

Shahi Spaghetti - Indian style pasta by Honey Buzzard
Shahi Spaghetti ingredients

For Shahi Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Gravy

2 table spoon ghee (clarified butter)
½ tea spoon jeera (cumin) powder
1-2 garlic cloves, fine chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
¼ cinnamon powder
¼ tea spoon red chili powder
6-7 cashews, pre-soaked in water
Salt to taste
2-3 table spoon cooking cream
100 grams paneer (cottage cheese), cut into long thin pieces

For Shahi Spaghetti

100 grams spaghetti, boiled with salt and drained
3-4 table spoon olive oil
½ red bell pepper, chopped in thin long pieces
6-7 baby asparagus, chopped in long pieces
10-12 basil leaves, fine chopped
5-6 table spoons parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

For Shahi Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Gravy

In a medium size pan, heat clarified butter

Add cumin powder, add garlic and sauté for a min

Now add onions, cook until pink tone (2-3 mins)

Then add tomatoes and salt, cook until the water starts drying (3-4 mins)

Finally add cinnamon powder, red chili powder and cashews, cook for another 1 min

Turn the burner off, and let the mixture cool down

Now transfer the mixture to a blender and fine blend to a gravy

Transfer the gravy back to the pan and cook for 1-2 mins

Add cream and additional hot water if you prefer a thinner sauce

Finally, add cottage cheese, and keep aside

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For Spaghetti

In a medium size wide pan, heat olive oil

Add red bell peppers and asparagus, stir for 1 min

Now add boiled spaghetti, toss for 1-2 mins

Finally add basil and toss a couple of more times

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Serving

Serve spaghetti in a plate, pour the shahi panner sauce on top and around

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top

Add some coarse black pepper and basil leaves on top

Shahi Spaghetti - Indian style pasta by Honey Buzzard
Shahi Spaghetti – Indian style pasta by Honey Buzzard

Recipe by Shikha Singh

shikha
Author

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