Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ellu Bella for Shankranti

The last time I checked, it was the beginning of the new year. And blink!!! a good two weeks has whizzed past and Shankranti is already here!!! A very happy Shankranti to all my friends and readers.

Makar Shankranti is one festival that is celebrated all across India in different styles and forms. This is a major Hindu festival that signifies the beginning of Spring. Shankranti is a harvest festival that is known to fall on the same date every year.

In Kannadiga homes, it is mandatory to prepare the mixture of Ellu bella (Ellu- meaning Sesame seeds and Bella meaning Jaggery). The Ellu bella is nothing but a trail mix of Jaggery, Sesame seeds, Peanuts, Dried coconut and Roasted gram. It is an amalgamation of simple and wholesome ingredients and anybody can make it. But what makes this mix really special is that, it is never made by handful or spoonful. Despite the hard work of chopping and roasting and cleaning, the Ellu bella is always made in quantities that is large enough to be shared with atleast ten houses.

Well at least that's how it used to be.

Since the ellu bella was not sold in shops back then, I remember, my mom would start preparing the ellu bella mixture a good ten days before Shankranti. She would start the process by gently grating the outer brown skin. She would carefully dice the coconut into small equal pieces. It was then followed by chopping the cubes of jaggery into small cubes. She would then toast the sesame seeds and the Roasted gram on low heat. She would then take up the messy job of roasting and cleaning the peanuts. After all this was done, she would mix up the ingredients and store it in a huge container that was as big as a bucket. 

If you think the preparation would end here, then you are wrong. My mom would stitch tiny potlis (small bags with a thread lock) to give away the ellu bella mixture in them. 

It was less of a preparation really and more about customs and rituals.

Although I live in the contemporary times, I firmly believe in keeping the tradition alive. I think deep down inside me, there still dwells an old fashioned woman.

So this time, I decided to make ellu bella from the scratch just like my mother. I could have brought the ready made mix from Bangalore. But making it from the scratch was somehow satisfying. When we started the auspicious day by consuming this home made ellu bella, I was filled with a feeling of achievement.

The highlight of Shankranti, has to be the ritual of Ellu birodu. The ritual where, young girls and married women, dressed in all finery, visit near and dear ones with the customary Shankranti offering. The shankranti Potpourri normally consists of Ellu Bella, Fresh Sugar cane, Sugar candy moulds (sakkare acchu in kannada), Bananas, Berries, flowers and turmeric-vermilion. There is a saying in Kannada "ellu Bella thindu olle maatadi" which translates to "eat the mixture of sesame and Jaggery and speak good words". In some parts of Karnataka, it is customary for newly wedded woman to give away Bananas for a period of five years to other married women from the first year of marriage. But the quantity of bananas are increased by multiples of five with each passing year. 

It was hard work and it took me a long time to make this this traditional trail mix. But the fact that I am acting as a link to the next generation is reason enough to learn and make it. For I know, that there is a small chance that Purvi will continue to learn and enjoy the traditions as much as I do.

Happy Shankranti People. May this year be filled with fun, food, peace and prosperity.

Ellu Bella recipe:
Preparation time: 3hrs
Makes- approximately 1-1/4kg

Dark Jaggery cubes or acchu bella- 300gms
Peanuts- 300gms
Whole dried coconut or copra- about 2 or 300gms
Roasted gram or hurigadale- 300gms
White Sesame seeds- 60gms


  • Dice the Jaggery cubes into small pieces and keep aside.
  • Gently grate the outer brown skin of the coconut and cut them into small pieces and keep aside.
  • Gently toast the roasted gram on low heat and set aside.
  • In the same pan, toast the sesame seeds till pale brown and keep aside. DO NOT wait for it to crackle.
  • To clean the Peanuts, roast the peanuts in a pre heated pan by sautéing continuously till they crackle. Take off the heat and allow the peanuts to cool completely.
  • Spread a tea towel on the kitchen counter and place a hand full of peanuts on the towel and bring the edges together. Using your hands, rub the peanuts between the towel and work surface so that the friction created, loosens the skin.
  • The skin will not fall off instantly. Separate the ones which have lost the skin and continue the same procedure with the rest. The peanuts should be pale brown in color without any burnt spots.
  • Take all the prepared ingredients in a large bowl and toss them well and store in airtight containers.
  • Do not throw away the grated brown skin of the coconut. It can be used in any recipe that calls for grated dry coconut.
  • Do not fry the roasted gram till brown. It should be warmed on low heat.
  • I found that using a ridged kitchen towel creates more friction and makes the peanut skins come off faster.
  • If you are not fond of consuming ellu bella in the mix form, then just pulse them in a blender to a fine powder, shape them into laddus and enjoy!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Coconut caramel ice cream

Hello friends!!! Do you still remember me? This time I have not only been absent from blogging but also from all the social networking sites in general. It's not that I don't have anything to share. On the contrary, I have quite a few posts lined up in my drafts.

This absence was quite unexpected actually. We had planned our annual vacation to Bangalore during the last week of November. But Purvi's Passport renewal got delayed and all of a sudden, we didn't know if we would be traveling. But somehow things got sorted out and Purvi's passport got renewed sooner than we expected. So we just decided to pack our bags and travel on the scheduled date. Instead of traveling straight to Bangalore, we decided to make brief stop over in Dubai to celebrate our wedding Anniversary. We managed to see all the important places in just two days. It was a little tiring but it was also a whole lot of fun. I just couldn't get enough of clicking the Burj Khalifa, the fountain and the fishes in the aquarium. The only thing that was better than all  the shopping and the sights were the wishes that we got from family and friends on FB. Your wishes and blessing came as an icing on the cake.  A big thank you for all of you for making my anniversary extra special.

After I landed in Bangalore, I got swept away with all the shopping, visiting and pampering. So you see, updating the blog, invariably took a back seat. I know it's more than a week since my wedding anniversary, But it's never too late for an ice cream treat is it? So I would like to treat you all with this coconut caramel ice cream for my anniversary. 

This magical, delicious and soft ice cream recipe came about when I decided to experiment with some left over caramel sauce and a tin of coconut cream. This experiment was a huge success and ice cream turned out to be extremely rich and delicious. The self proclaimed connoisseur of good food said it tasted like condensed milk with a tropical twist. And he couldn't stop eating it. To me, that is nothing short of a rave review. So if you are looking for new ice cream flavour, then I suggest, you give this recipe a try. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Coconut caramel ice cream recipe
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time- 25min
Freezing time- 6-7hrs

Coconut cream- 625ml
Cream- 250ml
Corn starch- 2 tsp
Milk-  2tbsp
Caramel sauce- 1/2 cup
For the caramel:
Condensed milk- 1/2 tin
Butter- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 1/4 cup
Golden syrup- 2tbsp

To make the caramel sauce:
  • Combine the Condensed milk, butter, Sugar and golden syrup in a thick bottomed pan and mix well. 
  • Allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat till the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase the heat and allow the mixture to bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to bubble for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously so that it does not burn. Remove the mixture and set aside.
For the ice cream:
  • Make a slurry by mixing the corn starch and milk and set aside.
  • Combine the coconut cream and cream in a thick bottomed pan and allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat.
  • Once the mixture comes to a gentle boil, stir in the slurry and the caramel and mix well.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for 10-15minutes more or until the mixture is thick enough to cover the back of the spoon.
  • Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  • Cover the ice cream with a cling film touching the top and then secure it with an air tight lid.
  • Freeze the ice cream for 4hrs or overnight and Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Shahi Bhutta- Royal Corn curry

This curry is my new found love. Ever since I found this curry in Mridula Baljekar's Vegetarian cooking of India, I have been hooked to this curry. This curry is so simple and and so delicious that I made it twice in ten days.

When first read the title of "shahi bhutta"in the book, my first impression was that, that this dish would involve a lot of ingredients along with a lot of soaking and grinding. But I was pleasantly surprised when I actually read the recipe. This "royal" dish, did not involve any of those complex ingredients or cooking techniques. I am always on the look out for simple recipes and this was almost God sent. 

Although the recipe in book was perfect, I could not resist making some changes. I have added a few more whole spices. I even included the rice flour paste to thicken the gravy. Despite all the changes, I must say the curry turned out pretty well. S who doesn't favor corn a lot, asked for a second helping. So if you are looking for a rich yet deceptively simple recipe for a gravy, then recipe is sure to fit the bill. 

Shahi Bhutta Recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 20min
Serves- 4

For the ground paste:
Poppy seeds- 1-1/2tsp, dry roasted
Grated dry coconut- 3tbsp
Other ingredients:
Oil- 2tbsp
Green cardamom- 2
Black cardamom- 2
Cloves- 3
Cinnamon- 1"piece
Onion- 1 med, finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste- 1tsp
Green chili- 1, finely chopped
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2tsp
Cumin seed powder- 1/2tsp
Paprika powder- 1/2tsp
Fresh or frozen corn- 450gms
Milk- 240ml
Salt to taste
Tomato- 1 large, finely chopped
Garam masala- 1/2tsp
Rice flour- 1tspn mixed with 2tbsp of water
Coriander leaves- 1tbsp to garnish


  • Grind the poppy seeds and the dry coconut along with some water to a fine paste and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and fry for a minute or until they puff up.
  • Stir in the onion and fry till they turn transcluscent. Add the ginger garlic paste and the chopped green chilies and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the turmeric and the ground ingredients and fry for two minutes. Stir in the coriander powder, cumin powder, Paprika powder and mix well. 
  • Add the corn, milk, salt and cook covered on low heat for 8-10mins or until the corn is cooked.
  • Add the rice flour paste, tomatoes and garam masala and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Restaurant style Masala Dosa

Dosa- The savory rice and lentil crepe is perhaps one of those Indian foods that is popular all over the world. A crepe with a crispy exterior and a spongy and melt in the mouth interior, which encases the mildly spiced potato and onion curry, which is then dipped in coconut chutney. To me, it is one of those ultimate breakfast dishes that can keep me going till lunch.

To me, Dosa brings back a lot of memories. The memories of my mother or my grandmother making dosas on those blackened ancestral skillets. And us girls loitered in the kitchen asking "is it ready?" every five minutes.

During my high school days we would have extra classes for Maths and Science on Saturdays. During those times, my classmates and I would visit this hotel called Sudha hotel which was just opposite school. The Dosas that were made there were delicious. Or at least I thought so. For Rs.2.50, we would get a scrumptious masala dosa. Besides that, we could watch their cooks make the dosas on griddle that was just enormous. The cook would dip a broom in a stainless steel bucket containing oil and splatter liberal amounts on the preheated griddle. He would then dip a bowl into a large vessel containing dosa batter and with experienced hands spread the batter into perfect circle. As the dosa was roasted, the cook threw a handful of the potato curry and fold the dosa twice and then place it on a plate lined with banana leaf. The dosa would then be served along with a small bowl of coconut chutney and sambar. To me, eating dosa at Sudha hotel was not only a treat to my taste buds but also a visual treat. Watching the cook, make at least ten dosas at a time, was mind boggling and unforgettable. 

I am surprised that after all these years, I still remember every small detail about that joint. The burly cook who made the dosas, to the pleasant faced manager behind the counter. To the fiber glass tables and chairs and those greasy stainless steel jugs and glasses. I am not sure if the hotel still exists. But the memory of the Sudha hotel dosas is still fresh in my mind.

Before I came across this recipe, I could make decent dosas. but they lacked the taste and texture of a South Indian hotel. And then, I came across this recipe in a TV show. The cook refused to divulge the measurements. But he had given out the ingredients. I had to experiment quite a few times to get the right taste and texture. After that, there was no looking back. I could make restaurant style dosas right at home.

Even though this is a great recipe, it took me quite some time to capture it. The images that you see, were taken during a period of one month. Yes. It took me that long. But even now, I am not completely satisfied the results. There are chances that I might repost the recipe with better pictures. 

This recipe might seem a bit long and tedious. But trust me, the taste is well worth the effort. Give my version of dosa a try and I assure you, you will not miss the Masala dosas from the restaurant ever again.

Restaurant style Masala Dosa recipe:
Preparation time: 20min+ 5-6hrs of soaking time
Fermentation time: 6-7hrs
Cooking time: 30min
Makes- Approximately 24 dosas

Sona Masuri rice- 2 cups or 240gm
Beaten rice- 2-3tbsp
Urad dal- 1 cup or 120gm
Fenugreek seeds- 1-1/2 tsp
Rice flour- 2 cups
Fine semolina or chiroti rava- 1/2 cup, dry roasted
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Oil or ghee to grease and roast the Dosas
Coconut chutney to serve

  • Wash and soak the Rice along with the beaten rice in enough water and set aside for 5-6 hrs
  • Wash and soak the urad dal along with the fenugreek seeds in enough water and keep aside 5-6hrs
  • Make a paste by mixing the rice flour and the semolina with enough water. Mix well so that there are no lumps.
  • Drain the soaked urad dal and fenugreek mixture and blend in a blender till smooth and airy by adding water little by little.
  • Drain the soaked rice and beaten rice mixture and blend in the same blender jar till smooth.
  • Combine the ground urad dal paste and the rice paste along with rice flour and semolina mixture and beat well. Set aside to ferment for atlas 5-6hrs.
  • Once the batter has fermented and risen, add the salt and sugar and mix well. 
  • If the batter is thick then add water to achieve the required consistency.
  • Heat a non stick or a cast Iron skillet. Sprinkle a little water. If it steams and sizzles then the skillet is ready to use.
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on the skillet and spread the batter with the ladle in a circular motion to make a dosa of 6-7" in diameter.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon oil or ghee around the dosa and cook on medium heat till the dosa turns brown and crisp.
  • Place a table spoon of the onion and potato curry in the centre and fold over to make a semi circle.
  • Serve immediately with coconut chutney on the side.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Tips for a perfect dosa:
  • Use your hands to mix/beat the ground pastes. Using your hands will not only ensure that batter becomes light and airy but it will also speed up the fermentation process.
  • The batter should neither be too thick or too thin. It should be just thick enough to coat the back of the ladle or spoon.
  • To avoid the batter from going stale, add the required amount of salt and a pinch of sugar only to the portion of the batter that is going to be used. The remaining batter can be refrigerated for almost a week.
  • The batter should always be at room temperature. If the batter is refrigerated, leave it in room temperature for about 20mins before you proceed.
  • To prepare the tawa or skillet, heat it till it becomes very hot. Sprinkle some water. It should evaporate quickly. Wipe the skillet with a tissue or a cloth and then rub it with potato or onion slice dipped in oil. The skillet should not be very hot when spreading the batter.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Mamidi allam pachadi- Mango ginger relish

This Mango ginger relish is our new found addiction. Ever since my neighbor and friend gave me a bowl of her freshly made, lip smacking pachadi, I have not been able to stay away from it for long. I seem to have this with idlies, dosas, rice and everything you can think of. That's how addictive this pachadi is.

Pachadi is nothing but South Indian Pickle that is used as a side dish. To put it in simple terms, Pachadi is nothing but food that is pounded in a mortar and pestle. This Andhra styled pickle is almost always spicy and the vegetables are either raw or sautéed in oil for a delicious flavour.

The mamidi allam or the Mango ginger is actually a spice that has the goodness of Ginger as well as Raw mangoes. It has the appearance of ginger but tastes like raw mangoes. However, you will be surprised to know that this rhizome is neither related to mangoes or ginger. It actually belongs to the family of turmeric. Fascinating. Isn't it??

This recipe is was given to me by Sailaja. Sailaja is a neighbor and a dear friend and a lovely soul, who also makes the best pickles and pachadis in the world. She not only gave me the recipe but also taught me the correct method to make it. How sweet is that?

This rich, dark relish which has a hint of raw mangoes can make a great last minute accompaniment to idlies, dosas, rice and even poppadoms. This pachadi is so delicious, that your tastebuds are sure to tingle. 

Mamidi allam pachadi recipe:
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 10mins
Makes- 250gms

Mamidi allam or Mango giner- 14pieces, peeled and roughly chopped
Tamarind- 50gms
Urad dal or split black gram- 2tbsp
Peanut oil- 4tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1-1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/4tsp
Red chilies- 8-10, adjust to taste
Asafetida- A pinch
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 1-1/2tbsp
Sugar- 1tsp

  • Add just enough hot water to the tamarind and let it stand for a few minutes till it is soaked and softened. Let the tamarind cool before extracting the pulp and setting aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the Split black gram and fenugreek seeds and fry till they turn brown.
  • Add the red chilies and fry till it turns crisp. Take the mixture off the heat and set aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, add the chopped mango ginger and fry for few seconds and set aside.
  • In a blender jar, grind the cooled Black gram mixture to a coarse powder.  Then, add the fried mango ginger pieces, tamarind pulp, salt, Jaggery and sugar and blend to smooth paste.
  • Transfer the ground pachadi to an airtight container. This pachadi stays fresh for up to two weeks in a refrigerator.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Boondi Laddu

It's that time of the year again!! The time of the year when your heart is filled with inexplicable cheer. A time when there is warmth and brightness everywhere. A time when everything you see seems to have a special glow. Diwali is a time for new clothes, Diyas, crackers and above all, love and laughter. Most importantly, Diwali or Deepavali is a time to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, Knowledge over ignorance and good over evil.

I know I am a little late in wishing you all a happy Diwali. But I hope that everybody had a great Diwali and I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.
Among all the Indian festivals, Deepavali has always been my favorite. There are new clothes to be worn, crackers to be burst. Making Large batches of sweets and savories and the best part is sharing them with your friends and family. The greetings, happiness and smiles. That I think is the most beautiful part of Deepavali.

When I asked Purvi what she wanted me to make for Diwali. She asked me to make Kaju Katli, benne murukku and Laddus. I knew Purvi loved Kaju katli and chaklis but I didn't know she was so fond of laddus as well. So this time, I decided to make boondi laddus among other things.

The boondi laddus also happens to be one of my favorite sweet treats. I especially love the laddus that are served in South Indian weddings. The laddus served in the Weddings are a little different because they are laced with the flavor of cloves. The cloves lend a warm spicy flavor to this sweet dish making it all the more delightful.

I had never made boondi laddus before this. So I spent a lot of time going through a lot of recipes and videos. The laddus turned out great and they almost like the ones they serve in South Indian weddings. I say "almost" because, I omitted the edible camphor. Both S and Purvi loved the Laddus and they were over within no time. 

These laddus have a relatively long shelf life. So they make a perfect edible gift for all festivities. They are a little time consuming. But the taste and the delightful expressions on your loved ones faces will make every ounce of the effort worth while.

Boondi Laddu recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 30min
Makes- Approximately 2 dozen laddus

For the batter:
Gram flour or besan- 2 cups or 480gms
Fine semolina or chiroti rava- 2tbsp
Baking powder- A pinch
Yellow food color- A pinch
Water- 200ml or as required
For the syrup:
Sugar- 2cups or 480gms
Water- 2cups
Saffron- A large pinch
Cardamom powder- 1/2tsp
Other ingredients:
Oil to deep fry
Melon seeds or charmagaz- 1tbsp
Ghee or clarified butter- 1tbsp+1tsp
Cloves- 6
Cashew nuts- 1-1/2 tbsp
Almonds- 1-1/2tbsp
Raisins- 1tbsp


For the batter:
  • Sift the gram flour along with the semolina and baking powder. Add the food color and mix well.
  • Add the water gradually and make a batter which has the consistency of dosa batter. i.e. The batter should thickly coat the back of the spoon. Mix well and set aside.
For the Sugar syrup:
  • Mix sugar and water in large pan and bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer while stirring continuously.
  • Allow the syrup to simmer till it reaches single thread consistency. That is, if you touch a drop of the syrup and stretch it between your thumb and index finger, the syrup should come away in a single thread. If this happens, then the desired consistency has reached.
  • Add the saffron and cardamom powder. Take off the heat and set aside.
To proceed:
  • Heat oil in a wok. Take a perforated ladle (boondi ladle) and place it a little above the hot oil. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the ladle and gently tap it to the sides of the wok. Tiny drops of batter will fall into the pan. Fry till the batter turns golden in colour. DO NOT allow the batter to turn crispy. Remove the boondis once the bubbles and the hissing sound is reduced.
  • Drain the fried boondi in absorbent paper and repeat the process for the rest of the batter.
  • Once the batter is used up, Transfer the fried boondi to the vessel containing Sugar syrup and mix well. 
  • Transfer the boondi and the syrup mixture to the stove and cook the mixture on a low heat for five minutes. Take off the heat and set the mixture aside for 10mins.
  • In the meantime, heat two table spoons of ghee in a separate pan and add the cloves. Once they pop, add the cashews and almonds and fry till they turn golden in color. Add the raisins and fry till they puff up. Take off the heat and add this mixture to the syrup soaked boondi.
  • Add the melon seeds and edible camphor if desired and mix well. 
  • Grease your hands with ghee and take two table spoons of the boondi mixture and shape them into balls or laddus. 
  • Store in air tight containers. The laddus tastes best within 3-4 days of making them.
  • Traditionally, gram flour of coarse texture is used to bake the gram flour batter. The semolina is added only if the flour is of fine texture. So if your gram flour coarse, then reduce the quantity of semolina or simply skip it.
  • The water required to make the batter depends on the quality of the flour. So adjust as per requirement.
  • If the batter is thick, the boondi will have tail ends and if it is thin, then the boondi will be flat. If you feel the batter is thin, then just add more flour and if you feel the batter is thick, then add a little more water.
  • Wipe the boondi ladle clean after each use.
  • Hold the Boondi ladle about 6-8 inches above the wok to get perfectly round boondis.
  • Shape the boondis into laddus while the mixture is till warm.
  • You can skip using cloves altogether. The laddus will smell and taste great with just cardamom powder.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spaghetti with nutty avocado mint pesto

This space of mine has been quite for quite sometime now. If this virtual kitchen has been quite then it hasn't been the same in my real kitchen. I have been cooking like crazy since the past few days. I even got to capture a few of them. But somehow the uploading and editing part took a back seat. It was only since the past week that I started uploading and editing the photographs. I hope to post regularly from now on.

I think my love for avocados is not a secret anymore. I just love avocados. Be it in smoothies, in sandwiches, in desserts or with tortilla chips. I simply love them.

Did you know that Avocado is an extremely unique fruit. This is because, unlike other fruits, it has more good fats than carbohydrates. Avocados are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folates, potassium, Vitamin B5 and B6. This antioxidant rich fruit are said to extremely beneficial for arthritis, and said to improve vision. It is said, that avocados are said to prevent certain kinds of cancer. It is even said that avocado extract helps to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Now, what's not to love about this wonder fruit.

The rich creamy texture of this fruit makes it easy it to incorporate in many dishes. I have myself included this fruit in sweet as well as savory dishes alike and each time they turned out delicious. This fleshy fruit can be a great substitute for cream, cheese and mayonnaise.

As mentioned earlier I have used avocados in a number of dishes. But somehow I had not tried combining it with Pasta. So I decided to make a pesto with the avocado along with some mint and the little cashew meal that was waiting to be used up. The result was simply phenomenal. The creamy pesto was filled with strong flavors of mint and there was also the zing from the lemon juice. The cashew meal added a mild sweet taste to the pesto. This dish is super simple to make and without a doubt, add a healthy boost to your plate.

Spaghetti with nutty avocado mint pesto recipe:
Preparation time: 25min
cooking time: 10min
Serves- 3-4

Spaghetti- 200gms
Salt- 1/2 tsp+1tsp
Olive oil- 1tsp+3tbsp
Onion- 1med, chopped fine
Garlic- 2 pods, peeled and finely chopped
Avocado- 1 large, halved, stoned and flesh scooped out
Juice of half a lemon
Mint leaves- a hand full
Freshly ground black pepper powder- 1/2tsp
Powdered cashewnuts- 1-1/2tbsp
Chili flakes- 1/2tsp (optional)

Pepitas- 1 tbsp, toasted and cooled.

  • Cook the spaghetti along with 1/2tsp of salt and a tsp of olive oil in enough water. Drain and reserve half cup of the stock and set aside.
  • To make the pesto, heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté till they turn brown and tender and keep aside.
  • Combine the avocado flesh along with the lemon juice, mint leaves, cashew meal, pepper powder, salt and the sautéed onion and garlic in blender jar or a mortar and pestle and grind till smooth.
  • Pour the prepared pesto over the cooked spaghetti and toss well. Add the chili flakes and pasta water only if required and mix well.
  • Garnish with toasted pepitas and serve immediately.
  • To make the cashew meal, toast about 8-10 cashew nuts in pan. Cool completely and grind in a blender to a slightly coarse powder. Store in airtight container till further use.
  • My preparation time was slightly longer because I ground the pesto in a mortar and pestle. It will not take you more than 10mins if you make the pesto in a blender.

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