I’m not the type of person that cooks with a plan. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. Most of my best creations have come out of a full fridge and an empty stomach. I stand in front of the open door, the fridge’s itsy bitsy light barely illuminating its contents. Sometimes I stand there so long I cross the line between “what’s for dinner?” and “that eggplant looks vaguely like *insert random name here*’s face!” Usually, I’ll take that as an indication that it’s time to start hacking up veggies and haphazardly throw them into a pot with tomatoes and garlic…and ginger.
It’s too many different veggies to be a proper sabzi. (And sabzi is best with roti, which for the most part is completely beyond me–especially in my current haphazard state).
Maybe it can be a sauce of sorts. Kind of like….pasta sauce! For the spaghetti squash! Would you look at that? I didn’t even have to open the fridge!
Indian Spice “Pasta” (Two ways!)
- A spoonful or two each minced garlic and minced ginger
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1-2 each red, green, yellow and orange peppers (it’s ok if you don’t have all of them), sliced (or diced, if you prefer)
- A few spears of broccolette/broccolini or some broccoli florets
- A package of sliced mushrooms (white or baby bella, although I find white are usually cheaper)
- 1/2 – 3/4 of a 14 oz. can tomato puree (or 2-3 freshly diced tomatoes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Spices (see directions)
- A few good sized pinches of garam masala (NOT curry powder) OR chaat masala
- A few smaller pinches of cumin (jeera) and coriander (dhania) seed powder
- A pinch or two turmeric (haldi)
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- A squirt or two of lemon juice
→In a medium pot, saute the ginger, garlic and onion in some nonstick cooking spray over high heat.
When the onions are brown and the kitchen is smelly, add the rest of the veggies and stir until the peppers begin to pop and the broccoli/broccolini is slightly browned.
Dump in the tomato sauce and stir a few times.
Now it’s time to add the spices. You can either flavor the entire pot one way or you divide the sauce into two containers and make one with chaat masala and the other with garam masala.
Either way, you’ll want to use one of the following spice options for each batch:
1. For a spicy/sweet/sour type taste: A spoonful or two of chaat masala plus the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
2. For an earthy taste: A spoonful of garam masala, a pinch or two each cumin and coriander seed, a pinch or two of turmeric and a few sprigs of rosemary.
After you add the spices, cover and let the stuff sit, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
If you choose to separate some out to spice differently, let it sit in the fridge overnight or for a few hours to “marinate”.
Serve over spaghetti squash or regular spaghetti. (Although I highly recommend the former).
Who knows? Next time I might even be able to make a roti!