Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Madras Nalla Madras....Two for the price of One...

Anyone who knows me knows of my inordinate love for the city I called home 15 years back, if you are new to this blog, do read this (read it anyways...it is good or so I say)
One of my favorite memories was hearing Ma's stone grinder whir away in the afternoon and then there was the inherent knowledge that for the next couple days our breakfast would be crisp dosas, onion utthapams, egg dosas, spicy adai and other breakfast goodies. She always had a chutney - coconut, onion, kothamali (cilantro) and my absolute favorite the spicy madras chutney as she called it (made with Tomatoes and the tiny spicy chillies found in India...close to thai bird eye), even as a young one I absolutely adored that spicy combination with a crisp, slightly sour and light dosa...my idea of food bliss (ok to be true I am schizophrenic when it comes to food -- so you will see me going raptures over quite a few dishes and different cuisines --for eg. today it was Malay food with JL at my favorite haunt Langkawi).
Given this "shortcut" life that we live today: my dosa, Adai and utthapam batters are Shasta and they come from my friendly neighborhood Indian Store. But my tomato chutney makes up for the shortcut. Try it and I guarantee you will either love it or hate it ...

You Need: for the  mother sauce

  • 6-8 vine ripened tomatoes ( usually picked fresh from the farmer's market)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 Habanero Pepper (I used the orange one)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste, half spoon of brown sugar
Roast the Tomatoes, rough cut the onion into 4 big parts, Habanero pepper and Garlic (peel the garlic after roasting). I usually drizzle EVOO liberally and sprinkle sea salt and broil.  Keep a close watch or it will burn vs. roast -- in the case of my toaster oven takes me about 7-10 minutes. I prefer to use my smaller toaster oven for these smaller ventures. Take your magic bullet and you can whiz the mixture in your food processor along with brown sugar and the salt to taste. Add a little water to allow the mixture to process easily.

Spicy Madras Chutney
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Spring Curry Leaves
  • Hing, Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp Sambhar powder
Heat the Oil,add the hing, then the mustard seeds and the curry leaves and let them sizzle and snap for a bit. Add the "mother sauce". Now add the Sambhar powder and simmer for 5 minutes.
Warning : Habaneros have an intense heat, so if you have a low tolerance for spice use a milder chili OR use twice the amount if you  are insane like things intense.
 Pasta Ala Simple
I usually make double the quantity of the "mother sauce" and it double times as a pasta sauce for me.  Isn't that already a "fusion"...In a pinch of course, I use Trader Joe's Marinara sauce, but this sauce has much more flavor.

  • 1/2 Cup Basil
  • 1/2  Cup Mozarella Cheese
  • 1/4 Packet - TJ's whole wheat sphagetti pasta
  • 2 Cups of Mother Sauce
I sometimes add about 4-5 more crushed roasted garlic to the sauce. Cook the TJ's pasta as per instruction. Drain and then in a big wok/skillet add in the mother sauce and toss in the pasta. Add in the Basil and mozarella cheese. Eat Hot with a side of roasted vegetables.
Note: In this version I have some grilled Brat Hans chicken meatballs and added to the Pasta for some added protiens and used no cheese.

The Pasta Ala Simple recipe goes out to Ramya@ Ramya's Recipe who is hosting her first blog event " Fusion Food : Pasta"

And the Spicy Madras Chutney goes to Reva @ Karasaaram who is guest hosting  the event "Dish it Out : Tomato and Chilli. This event was concepted by Vardhini of Zesty Palette
Who says East can't meet West?
As quoted by an unknown....As long as there's pasta and Chinese food in the world, I'm okay...
And I share the same sentiments. Hope your week is shaping up exciting.


  1. Thank you for sending this truly fusion pasta to my event.

  2. Thanks Ramya & thanks for visiting !!!

  3. Please have a look at Fusion Food: Pasta event roundup and accept Proud Participant Award as a token of appreciation.