Keema Pasta…the last post of this year…and what a fabulous year it has been…on a personal level almost everything that I set out to do this year has been done and dusted…lots of new experiences…fun, love, laughter, lessons, learnings and blessings…all thanks to the One above, family and friends.
For the blog, some of the things that I planned to do have been done – some old posts rewritten, some old pictures replaced, the pictures are turning out slightly better than before, almost all of the picture recipe indices have been separated, the new collage compilation shows 51 posts (including a few old posts which were separated and few old pictures which were replaced) which is not bad considering the length and number of times I went missing again this year J…the blog has more than 325,000 views, facebook has more than 1,800 likes…so I guess even the blog has had a blessed year – and all thanks to you J
We have just come back from a short vacation (head over to fb for a few snaps) and are headed out again for another short vacation (you can imagine my happy dancing feet!!)…will now see you back here in the second week of January…have a fabulous last day of 2014 and a blessed 2015…cheers!!J
So now, back to the last post of 2014…Keema Pasta or Keema Macaroni…Indian style Pasta in Indian style Bolognese sauce…so what do I mean by Indian style pasta?? Well, there are two kinds of Indian Pastas – WAIT!! Don’t go rolling your eyes at me just yet!! Wait and hear me out…sooo, two kinds – the first kind is the actual Indian Pasta, when we treat our dough like a fresh pasta dough and do our original authentic dishes like Dal Dhokli (read up on this one or wait for me to a do a version soon) and the second kind is where we take Macaroni ( yes, it is always Macaroni since it was the first pasta to reach our shores) and dress it up in an Indian avatar…I, along with millions of others, have grown up eating Macaroni cooked in a pressure cooker to be eaten like pulao or a curry side dish with roti (my mom got me to start eating peas by making macaroni and peas curry)…or given a South Indian tempering and served for breakfast like upma…or drenched in ketchup and the all-essential green peas…all delicious if you don’t turn up your snooty nose at them J
No pressure cooker involved in the recipe below but there can be if you want, after all nothing says Indian like a good old pressure cooker J…lots of Indian spices and pasta cooked the “well cooked” Indian way…
Keema Pasta/Keema Macaroni
- Meat mince, 250 gm (I used beef, you could use mutton/goat or even lamb or chicken – adjust cooking times to the kind of meat you are using, if using chicken – ensure you use mince from thigh portion and not the breast)
- Pasta, 150 gms ( Ideally made with macaroni but any short to medium length tube shaped pasta would do)
- Onions, finely chopped, 2 large
- Tomatoes, pureed, 4-5 medium ( roughly chop and blitz in a blender)
- Packaged Tomato Puree, 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
- Garlic paste, 2 tsp
- Ginger paste, 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp
- Cumin powder, 1 ½ tsp
- Coriander powder, 1 ½ tsp
- Red chili powder, 1 tsp or to taste (for heat, or use Cayenne Pepper)
- Kashmiri red chili powder, 2 tsp (for colour, or use Paprika)
- Garam Masala powder, ½ tsp
- Salt, to taste
- Sugar, about ½ tsp (optional)
- Stock of your choice or water, 250 ml (I used beef stock)
- Oil, 2tbsp
- Coriander leaves, finely chopped, a handful
In case I wasn’t clear with the preamble!!…First things first, in Indian pasta dishes, pasta is cooked a little beyond “al dente”, to what we call “well cooked”…so keep this in mind when you get to the pasta stage in the recipe…now that doesn’t mean a gooey mess but just a couple of minutes beyond the time specified on the packet to make it softer. Though if you must, you can cook it al dente if you want (am guessing if you are trying this Indian pasta recipe, you are anyway not much of a purist, so do try and go beyond the “al dente” stage!!J )
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed deep pan. Add cumin seeds and when they start spluttering add in the onions.
Fry the onions till golden brown on low heat. Add in the garlic paste and let it cook for a minute or two.
Add in the turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, red chili powder and kashmiri red chili powder. Mix well with the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes – stir continuously and don’t let the spices burn.
Increase the heat to high and tip in the mince. Stir and keep breaking up the mince till it is well browned.
Add in the salt, sugar, ginger paste, fresh and packaged tomato puree. Stir and mix well and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add in the stock/water and let the mix come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 40- 45 minutes. Stir intermittently to ensure the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After simmering the sauce should look thick and moist.
(Taste and adjust seasonings as well as consistency – simmer uncovered if too saucy, add some pasta water if too thick.)
Now while the sauce is about to be done, start with the pasta. Add salt to a pan of boiling water and cook the pasta according to your liking – “al dente” according to the packet instructions or “well cooked”.
Once the pasta is ready, drain it well in a colander.
Add the pasta and coriander leaves to the pan with the mince sauce. Give it all a good stir, coating the pasta well in the mince sauce.
Load up and dig in!!