Ragú alla bolognese- An Indian Version for the spicy soul.

Let me tell you a little secret, I am a fanatic when it comes to Italian cuisine. And a sucker for pastas in general. I have a ” PASTA FETISH”.. It’s not very different from any other fetish. I live by the motto ” I need them all”. When I’m in a supermarket,I’m checking out the new editions,stocking up on the old ones and very aptly skimming thru the “oils and vinegar” section.

People don’t quite understand my infatuation with PASTA.. They think ” oh well!! How does a fettucine differ drastically from linguine,it’s from durum wheat manh.. How different can it get”

 * gulp*

Spare me the horror.I am,but pretty sure that you and your sibling differ drastically,though you’re the same parental DNA?? * hopes to make a point there*

Any ways,the farfelles,the rigatonis,the fettucines,the tagliatelle, the pappardelle,the linguines,etc… Heaven to just hold them. Even saying their names has a certain oomph to it 😁😁

Once I have the pastas in my hand,I’m thinking of sauces to go with it. Do I do the carbonara,neopolitana,Alfredo, bolognese or the aglio olio??

And once I’ve decided that,the water’s on a rolling boil and I’m chopping away to glory. I’m a strict follower of the traditional recipes…with a few exceptions of course,to suit my tastes and lifestyle. I don’t prefer indianizing any versions,but then that is met with discerning nods telling how unspicy the dish is or how some extra ginger garlic could’ve done wonders. 

Though this dish,will get the ITALIANS putting up their hands in dismay at the mutation. I will still brave the odds and proffer to you a ” DESI” /INDIAN version. If Barbie can have an Indian version,the Ragú  must have one too.. Btw,Ragú beats barbie hands down.. * smirk*

So,for all of you,who like things in life a little extra spiced..This version is dedicated to YOU: (this Ragú holds good for 400 gms of pasta,roughly a double of the amount of mince)

Ragú alla Bolognese( Indianized):

Ingredients: 

  • Chicken or mutton mince-250 gms
  • Tomatoes chopped – 2 medium ones.
  • Onions chopped finely- 1 large one.
  • Spring onions finely chopped- half a cup.
  • Carrots chopped- 2
  • Vinegar- 1 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 tbsp
  • Red chilli paste/ red chilli powder- 1 tsp 
  • Green chillies chopped fine-1 or 2 
  • Basil chopped finely- a few leaves.
  • Mint chopped finely- a few leaves
  • Chinese salt( MSG)- a pinch [optional]
  • Some Oregano
  • Salt.
  • Oil- 2 tbsps

  

Method:

  • First,boil carrots till soft. Let it cool down. Add the carrots with basil,oregano and mint into a jar&whip it till it’s a nice paste. Keep aside.( I can see you say ” whaat?? Is she crazy?? Trust me this does wonders)
  • Take oil in a large skillet, heat it up for a few minutes. Add the sliced onions and fry till transparent.

  

  • Add the chicken mince and let it change colour.
  • Next add the carrot paste and give it 2-3 minutes in the skillet.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and swirl it around for a few minutes till you start getting faint whiffs of it
  • Add the red chilli paste,Chinese salt(if using) and salt. Swirl again.

  

  • Add the tomatoes and keep stirring continuously till the whole mixture is a mushy mass.(I know that sounds ewww…but this maximises the flavour)

  

  • Now add the vinegar. Add the green chillies & spring onions at the last. 

  

  • Add your cooked pasta and let it soak up the Ragú.. 

Your Ragú alla Bolognese in an Indian avatar is ready.. 

  

This dish is super quick and is a total favourite with the family. I used the elbow macaronis because they really capture the Ragú well in the bends.

 I tried to keep the dish as close to the original as possible,but doing the carrot purée is something wildly different. Just the purée with those herbs give the Ragú a very distinct nuttiness to it and also gives a hint of sweetness. 

You’re more than welcome to try it without the purée. Happy experimenting with flavours!! 



Saby’s Barbee Mania- Peri Peri Masala Review with a bonus Al-Faham Chicken Recipe🍗🍗

I’m not the one who has a penchant for readymade masalas. Maybe that’s because I’m brainwashed into thinking that these so called ” Shortcut masalas” are devoid of that authentic flavour and are marketed for profit purposes only.

My mum is one helluva fine lady who loves her kitchen dearly. Every morning you’re gently roused from your slumber by the lingering aroma of the experiments she conducts in her kitchen. She’s the “Einstein of Cooking” for me…

I’ve grown up seeing mum roast,flash fry,grind,crush her own secret formulas for a magical experience called ” Dining”. So,really the idea of readymade masalas is quite alien to me. Both of us crinkle up our noses,when we pass by the ” Spice section” in a supermarket. And we even have PJ’s about it 😁😁😂😂

To cut my Cacaphony short,il just tell you about this brand already.” Saby’s Barbee Mania” is purely a “Direct from home” brand. Run by ” Sarah Yunus” under the watchful eye of her mum ” Naseem auntie ” ,SBM promises to be 100% authentic,where they spare us the horror of MSG and other  preservative jazz. They use traditional stone method for grinding their masalas. They don’t use any electrical equipments,thereby ensuring that you’re not getting compromised on the factors of aroma or taste. They also promise not to use any artificial colourings and additives. The masalas come in special fresh packs and are packed individually by the mom daughter duo. This is personalisation at its very best.

I,personally made it a point to go and collect a few products from them ,when the store near home kept telling that they were out of stock from the past month or so. I was met by two beautiful ladies,who took their time to explain to me what went into my packs.

Today I’d like to concentrate solely on the peri-peri masala. I think each product deserves at least a post dedicated to it. So,without further ado… I present to you ” Peri-Peri masala”.

I know it’s really weird that there is a peri-peri masala and not The sauce. That’s what I thought first,but was intrigued to try it out.

The masala has a beautiful orangish red tone to it and has been ground coarse. You can see the little bits of ingredients in a spoonful of it.. It claims to have ” Paprika,Onion powder,garlic,yellow chilli and other herbs” 

 

The shelf lives of all their products is for 9 months.

 Here is why I enjoyed the product:

  • The packaging is spot on,I love the freshness packs. I would’ve adored the packaging more if,it could have come with its own ziplock. That way,I could use and reuse the pack.
  • The masala is devoid of colorings,preservatives,MSG or additives. It’s completely free from modern day additions,thereby adding a touch of home and authenticity.
  • The masala is ground coarse and it gives you a gist of all the goodies in it. Like in this one,I could figure that there was some basil in it.
  • They are priced a little more than the normal fare ones,but for the kinda purity they are promising.. This is good news.
  • The masala has a very distinctive taste,does a good job in giving what’s promised. It’s any day better than a lot of masalas in the same genre.

With those positives,let me show you how I enjoyed my packet of Peri-Peri. The taste is more like ” Al- Faham Chicken”.

Al- Faham using SBM Peri Peri:

Ingredients:

  • Chicken- 1 kg
  • Peri- Peri masala- 25 gms or 3 tbsps
  • Vinegar – 30 mls
  • Ginger- garlic paste- 4 tbsps
  • Sumac powder- 1 tsp
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • Onion paste- 1 tbsp
  • Yogurt- 2 tbsps
  • Black pepper powder- 1 tbsp

Method: 

  • In a bowl, add the yogurt,onion paste and sumac powder. Whisk it well and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, add the SBM Peri-Peri masala,vinegar,black pepper powder and ginger garlic paste. Mix it well and add the yogurt mix to it and mix it again. It should possess a heavy consistency,more like a runny dough.
  • Dunk the chicken in the marinade and leave it aside for a good 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  • Choose your cooking method, give it a grill on the grill pan or barbecue it on skewers.
  • Serve with khubus or pita bread.

 

 

The masala worked wonders and gave me a really lipsmacking Al – Faham Chicken. It wasn’t the actual Peri-Peri one,but I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. If you saw my previous post…” Ramadan tidbits”, then probably you’ll know that I used this masala for flavouring my chicken and used it in strict accordance to the recipe. It turned to be a total hit..

This time I thought why not add a little more and make it as close as I can to Al- Faham as it resonated a lot of similarity.

I’m really impressed with the range and I reckon that you should give it a taste.