I am a big foodie and we enjoy different flavors in vegetarian dishes from around the world. Of all, my family does lean more towards Italian food apart from the traditional Indian food we make at home. The thought of creating a fusion of Italian and Indian dishes is like having to taste the best of both worlds. I’ve had spinach alfredo pasta in many of the local restaurants but was curious to create something more specific to Indian flavors. One of the quickest and more satisfying way to eat spinach in Indian dishes is by having it as Dal palak. In order for my family to enjoy the usual flavors in a totally unique way was to fuse the Dal Palak with pasta. I made the Dal Palak just the way I used to make it and blended it in to a smooth creamy sauce and tossed it with mult-grain pasta and garnished with cilantro. It was absolutely divine and very satisfying without the guilt of loaded cheese.
Multi grain pasta –2 cups
Palak (Spinach) — 1 bunch
Massor Dal (Red Lentil) —1/2 cup
Potato –2 (remove skin and cut in to bite size chunks)
Garlic –3 medium pods (finely chopped)
Onion –1 (finely chopped)
Tomato –2 (finely chopped)
Jeera (Cumin seeds) –1 tsp
Coriander powder –1 1/2 Tbsp
Cumin powder –1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder –1/4 tsp
Chilli powder –1 Tbsp
Garam masala powder –1 tsp
Salt — to taste
Butter –1 Tbsp
Recipe for Dal Palak (Spinach and Lentil Sauce)
1. In the bottom of a pressure cooker, melt butter and add jeera. When it splutters add garlic and fry for a min. Now add onions and fry till they turn translucent. Add tomatoes and fry till they turn soft.
2. Wash and cut spinach coarsely. Add lentil and spinach to the onion-tomato mixture. Add all the dry powders (turmeric, coriander, cumin, chilli, garam masala) and salt. Add potato chunks, lentil, spinach and 2 cups of water. Pressure cook them for 10 mins. Let it cool completely. Dal palak is ready. This gravy can be had with rice or roti.
Recipe for Penne Pasta with the sauce
1. Grind the dal palak prepared from step 2 in to a smooth creamy sauce. Keep aside.
2. Cook pasta as per the cooking instructions in the box. Drain the pasta. In a big bowl, toss pasta with the spinach sauce and mix well. Chilli sauce can be added for spiciness, if desired. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!!!
Sautee garlic, onions in butter tempered with jeera.
Add tomato and fry till they are soft, add all the dry powders.
Now add cubed potatoes, masoor dal and spinach. Add water and pressure cook for 10 mins.
Let it cool completely.
Puree the dal palak until smooth and toss with cooked penne pasta. Enjoy!!!
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