Indian pasta is a spicy pasta dish, consisting of cooked pasta in a sauce or gravy flavored by ingredients like cumin seeds, chili powder, coriander seed, green chilies and ginger. Various types of meats and vegetables may be included in the sauce, and coconut, fish and seafood in the coastal versions.
Ingredients and Preparation
Indianized versions of pasta dishes are also made with Italian style spaghetti, penne or shell pasta. Vermicelli noodles are also used for various Indian preparations. Flavoring ingredients such as cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, chili powder, whole black pepper, green chilies, ginger, garlic and sometimes lemon juice are used. Garam masala or hot Indian spice mix is used as per various recipes. The flavoring ingredients are cooked into a sauce such as a tomato sauce or one made with flour and broth. Lemon juice is also added in many versions. Cottage cheese is another ingredient which may be used as such or after infusing with Indian spices. South Indian versions of Indian pasta make use of coconut milk and cream in the pasta sauces.
Indian pasta typically consists of cooked pasta in a spicy sauce or curry. Various types of vegetables and ground meat may be included as well. A simple Indian pasta is made with boiled macaroni which is sautéed with turmeric, cumin, green chilies, cabbage and onions. Another popular sauce is a tomato sauce prepared by sautéing garlic and onions and then cooking with tomatoes, broth and Indian spices. Yet another version of Indian pasta sauce may include butter, flour and broth. Coastal regions have popular Indian versions such as tuna pasta, shrimp pasta and prawns pasta. Most of these seafood pasta dishes consist of a sauce made with coconut milk and Indian spices.
Indian pasta dishes are served hot, as side or main dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are often garnished with coriander leaves or grated cheese.
Popular Indian Pasta Dishes
Vermicelli Upma: This is prepared with roasted vermicelli noodles, onions, green chilies and Indian flavorings like curry leaves and ginger.
- Vegetarian Indian Pasta: Since a large percentage of the Indian population is vegetarian, many versions of this variant abound. They usually contain fresh vegetables like carrots, green beans, bell peppers, cauliflower, mushrooms and zucchini.
- Meat Pasta: Versions of meat pasta are more popular in South India, and are often made by using leftover mince meat curry. Minced meat curry or keema is mixed with sautéed onions and tomatoes to make a sauce for the pasta.
- Coconut Pasta: This version is another popular one from South India, where usage of coconut cream or milk for preparing sauces and gravies is common. The pasta sauce consists of sautéed onions and garlic, wine or broth, coconut milk, lime juice, vegetables and seasonings. Some versions may contain meats such as chicken.
- Pasta with Indian Fish or Shrimp Curry: This consists of pasta such as fettucine and a thick and rich coconut sauce flavored by ingredients like chili peppers, turmeric, coriander and fenugreek. The fish or shrimp are cooked in coconut oil with toasted spices and coconut milk. Tamarind juice is used to impart a tangy flavor to the sauce. Tuna pasta is also a popular version, made using spices like turmeric, coriander and chili powder.