Curry flavored (Masala) Red Lentil Pasta

I plan most meals for the week over the weekend, whether I stick to it or not. This is the basis for our grocery shopping. However, I have crazy cravings for not only one specific dish, but cuisines and specific tastes as well. For some reason, I wanted to have something western with a tandoori twist. For lack of a Dominos or Pizza Hut that sold Paneer Tikka pizza, I had to look up other options of quick meals to make at home to satisfy this weird (according to H) craving.

I was reminded of Indianized ready to eat or 2-min pasta packs we got in India at some point, and started digging out curry-flavored pasta recipes. There were a bunch, and I found a few quite disappointing, considering the base was a very typical Indian tomato onion gravy with cumin and coriander powder.

Then I found this gem of a sauce on Food Network recipes, and decided to throw in some veggies and make it a healthier option (for what it is worth!).

final

Ingredients

Pasta

16oz Red lentil pasta

Sauce

16oz Vegetable broth

14oz coconut milk

3 tbsp Choice of masala/ curry powder (I used pre-packaged masala that had turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder and cloves. Grinding these and adding them to the sauce should also work).

Half a stick of butter

Veggies

1 cup cauliflower and broccoli put together

1 red bell pepper

1/2 cup green peas

A small sprig of cilantro/coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper

Note: You could adjust the amount of masala according to your taste.

pasta in a pot

Method

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.
  2. Start your sauce on the side. Add vegetable broth to a pan and bring it to a simmer.
  3. To this broth, add your butter and let it melt.
  4. Add the curry powder/ masala and mix to prevent lumps from forming. Taste and adjust the masala quantity to your liking.
  5. Add the coconut milk to your broth mixture and let it thicken.
  6. In the meantime, steam the cauliflower and broccoli.
  7. Add salt and pepper to the steamed veggies.
  8. Once the sauce has thickened a bit, add chopped red peppers and green peas and let them cook for a few minutes.
  9. Add salt to taste to the sauce.
  10. Finally assemble the dish. Add the steamed veggies to your pasta and give it one good mix. Pour in the sauce on top of the pasta. Garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro).
  11. Dig in!
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