Ghee and Curry Leaf Pasta Recipe

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on January 26, 2012

In my last post  I showed you how to make home made ghee. In this post, I share how to use all that delicious ghee – pasta with curry leaf and ghee! I am a pasta lover and a ghee lover, and this is the recipe I created to get my pasta fix and ghee fix all in one recipe.

There is a big difference between making pasta with butter and pasta with ghee. Ghee will give the dish a rich, nutty flavor that butter wont. However, if you don’t have ghee but want to try this recipe, use half butter and half oil instead of the ghee; it wont taste the same as ghee, but it will still be delicious!

This ghee and curry leaf pasta is very mild tasting, and easy to make. Children will love this dish. It also makes a great office lunch to pack, with some steamed vegetables tossed in. For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste when tempering the mustard seeds.

You can use any tadka (the whole spices you add to the ghee) items you like – cumin seeds, fennel seeds, green chilis, urad dal, will all taste great.

When I was shooting this dish, I wanted a natural, rustic looking background to offset the colorful bowls with pasta. I didnt have anything large enough that will make a convincing background. So heres what I did..

I have a shabby chic table I picked up at an antique store in Spokane, WA. I’ve enjoyed using it in many of my food photos  like my thanksgiving tofu skin roulade, or in the photos of my dal fry mix in a jar. For these pasta photos, I flipped the table and set it behind my bowl of pasta. This created the natural looking background I wanted.

Ghee and Curry Leaf Pasta

Serves about 4

1 lb dry pasta such as linguine, macaroni, spaghetti or bow tie
3 tablespoons liquid ghee
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/8th teaspoon asafoetida
8 curry leaves
salt

Bring plenty of water to boil in a large pot. Add a generous amount of salt to it. Add the pasta and stir. Cook uncovered, till the pasta is al dente (still has a bite to it; is cooked, but not completely soft), about 8 minutes.

Drain the pasta and set aside.

In the same pot or a large wok (non stick is best), heat the ghee, and add mustard seeds. (For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste at this point). When they pop, add asafoetida and curry leaves, and stir 30 seconds or till the curry leaves are fragrant.

Add pasta and salt, and toss well. Serve warm.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments

comments

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Balraj Bhasin January 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

What a great idea. Sounds fabulous!
Did you consider a little crunch?
Some toasted coconut slivers or peanuts, crushed perhaps.
Just musing.

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

a little crunch is a great idea! id love peanuts in this recipe, or roasted cashews or urad dal!

[Reply]

Reply

2 Viswa January 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

i would have never guess that arrangement for your photo :) You have an eye for styling food. :)

[Reply]

Reply

3 manasi January 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

Wow, Pasta with a desi touch…… Looks great, bet the curry leaves take it to a whole new level!
Also noted how tall ur camera tripod is! Wow! So far up, which lens do u use to get such awesome close ups? Please make this a regular with ur posts, it will be of enormous help to people like me.

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I used a 50mm prime lens

[Reply]

Reply

4 Rosa January 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

A lovely dish! A great background.

Cheers,

Rosa

[Reply]

Reply

5 Ritesh January 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

I’ve always been a fan Sala, like so many others who come to your blog. I always call it spa for the eyes- its stories like this one(about the background) that make your blog so special. And you are an awesome photographer(but you already knew that). I was wondering do you also use flash in the pictures or is it just natural lighting (’cause your pictures are always filled with light)?

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I never use flash (i dont even own one!). Its always natural light. If I dont have enough natural light, I put my camera on a tripod and reduce the shutter speed to get more light.

[Reply]

Deepa Reply:

What do you do in the wintertime when the sun sets so early? :( That’s my biggest problem taking pictures in the winter.

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

winters are not easy. I try to shoot before the sun sets, and if I dont have enough light, I’ll put my camera on a tripod, and use a lower shutter speed to allow more light in.

Reply

6 Kankana January 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I and the husband love eating pasta and we eat it at least once a week. We like it light and refreshing which means I usually make it either with lemon sauce , garlic sauce or max pesto. This recipe is sooo unique and I can’t wait to give this a try.

[Reply]

Corners and Moments Reply:

This sounds great too !!!

[Reply]

Reply

7 Lubna Karim January 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

That’s what Sala is all about…she can even turn the table to many food appetizing…..great yaar….pasta ghee and curry leaf sounds completely yum…..Very gratifying recipe…

[Reply]

Reply

8 Deepa January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

omg… what a divinely simple dish. I’m originally from Chennai and I used to eat ghee-rice all the time as a kid growing up.. this would be such a fun spin on that!!! Thank you for the idea. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! gorgeous pictures too. :)

[Reply]

Reply

9 sreelu January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Seriously Sala curry leaf and ghee pasta what is not to like, I am having a bad case of flu and lost appetite yet this post is making me crave food .nice tutorial .

[Reply]

Reply

10 Pallavi January 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Thank you ! I have always wondered about the light source in your pictures,now I know ! If I am not wrong you don’t use any photo-editing software….??
I try your techniques at home.I love the way you use WHITE & Light !
Thanks,
P

[Reply]

Reply

11 Anu January 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Very nice. Looks tempting. Love your bowls too :) ))

[Reply]

Reply

12 Vijitha January 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Wow, there must be one heavenly smell in the air – the smell of toasted curry leaves in ghee. I am sure the pasta would have tasted super yum. I make whole wheat penne with urad dhal spice mix (like the ones we keep as pooranam for karam kozhukattais), I add that to cooked pasta, like crumble it and do the tadka with mustards, curry leaves and dry red chilly. Actually I am making this often as my son loves it. Will serve your ghee version for him sometime this week. I am sure he will love it

[Reply]

Reply

13 Sonia January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Lovely n easy pasta. Ghee is new to add in pasta. Should I say all pics are just lovely. Pasta looks so tempting in first pic.

[Reply]

Reply

14 Anna @ The Guiltless Life January 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I love your photos just as much as I love your recipes. Thanks for this – for both the photos and the recipe and the tips! Looks like a really perfect comfort food pasta dish!

[Reply]

Reply

15 shabs January 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Wow!what a BG!And a very nice picture!And thanks alot for the tip! I have been hunting all around for this kind of wooden stuff, never found anywhere. Do u know where I can find them apart from the antiqueshops. I was quite exited to see two antique shops nearby when I first discovered them, But I never saw them open:(. I also want to ask you, Do you take your picture by keeping the camera that far as in the pic (tripod)?? Or do u keep them closer to food? I hope you got my question.

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

for wooden surfaces and backgrounds, keep an eye out in antique shops, i’ve also found then just walking along the street!, Etsy is worth a try, or just buy some plywood and pain it to make your own background.

I keep the camera that far from the food, because I’m using a 50m prime lens. How far you place the camera depends on what lens you are using and how close you want to get to the food.

[Reply]

Reply

16 Corners and Moments January 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I am not a big fan of ghee (because of its smell !) but I am very tempted to try this out – perhaps with butter. Curry leaf idea sounds splendid !!

[Reply]

Reply

17 chinmayie @ love food eat January 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Interesting! I really enjoy fusion food but never really went this bold :)
But like you I like ghee, I like pasta so I will definitely enjoy it!

[Reply]

Reply

18 Abi January 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

hi Sala,

Best wishes for this New Year. and thank u for sharing this tips to get wooden rustic background.

Jus want to check with u…if you are serving something for dinner. do u cook them ahead to photograph them when there is sunlight?

Coz most of the time I cook only dinner and I’m not sure whether to use artificial light or to pre-cook the meal, so that I can photograph them in natural light.

Tnx

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I never photograph at night, because I dont use artificial lighting. So yes, if im posting about something I made for dinner, I will make it ahead. So your options are either make ahead and shoot in sunlight or buy some lowel ego lights to shoot at night.

[Reply]

Reply

19 Rebecca January 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Oh my gosh! This looks incredible! You’re so smart for bringing those classic Indian flavors to a pasta dish. Not sure I ever would have thought of that but it sure sounds like the best wintry comfort food right about now :) .

[Reply]

Reply

20 Shabitha Karthikeyan January 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

That’s a wonderful dish !!! No words about the pictures..The pic explaining how you took the picture is useful tip for everyone !!!

[Reply]

Reply

21 Cool Lassie January 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

That is a great dish, Sala! I totally love your “shabby” table. It has a lot of character..if I can say such a thing about a table.

[Reply]

Reply

22 Chandana January 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

Great recipe .. lovely picture ..you are indeed very talented.

[Reply]

Reply

23 nags January 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

what an idea! :)

[Reply]

Reply

24 Divya Vikram January 28, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Bowls of goodness. Love your photography setup!

[Reply]

Reply

25 Colleen Mahal @ A Curry of a Life January 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm

What a wonderful article and recipe. I love how you included the how-to for the photograph. Thanks for sharing that fun behind-the-scenes info.

[Reply]

Reply

26 sudha January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

hi Sala
love love love ur twist to a pasta…i usedto think i was the only one who loved such tweaks!! :) ..im glad im in ur company!!!!!!!

[Reply]

Reply

27 Pinky January 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Hi Sala.

Lovely pics and who would have thought of addig ghee to pasta, i have been a silent reader of ur blog from past some time and love ur photography……..too good.

[Reply]

Reply

28 Kum January 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Thanks for posting so many vegan recipes. It’s so easy to thrive on a plant-based diet in united states. Plant-bases diet is supposed to be better for our health and the environment…

[Reply]

Reply

29 The Cozy Herbivore February 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Yum! I love simple pasta dishes, and ghee is just the most divine thing ever, isn’t it? What an inspired combination. Love the photography behind-the-scenes as well! Keep up the great work…

[Reply]

Reply

30 Jane H. Johansen @ Nord Vegan February 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Wow, that looks SO delicious! Love your pictures!

[Reply]

Reply

31 Kiran February 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hi – I have to share this desi-pasta story: The first time I stayed at my now-in-laws’ house, I thought I’d make pasta for them, something a little new and interesting. I somehow managed to track down farfalle pasta in this small town, and I made a garlicky olive-and-tomato sauce. My in-laws and my now-husband and I ate, and I kept the leftover pasta and sauce in the fridge. The next day, my now-father-in-law came out at tea time with an “Indian-pasta” snack he’d cooked up: Leftover pasta fried til crispy with cumin seeds, red chilli, and salt. Delicious! :) This post totally reminded me of that snack…..perhaps I should create that “Rajasthani Farfalle” recipe for my blog – LOL.

[Reply]

Reply

32 Anamika February 7, 2012 at 3:00 am

Hi Sala, loved your photography and thanks for sharing it too!! I am learning about it still and your tips are really helpful…. Nice fusion of ghee, curry leaves with pasta, loved it!!

[Reply]

Reply

33 Blessedmama February 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

This sounds simple and easy. I like that it’s child-friendly, too.

[Reply]

Reply

34 Aaron February 11, 2012 at 1:43 am

Wow, love the recipe and can’t wait to try it. Simple and yet tasty I bet! What I love just as much is your inventiveness with the photos compositions, and letting us into your marketing secrets like using a table on its side for a backdrop. Nice one Sala!

[Reply]

Reply

35 7.2 Alkaline Lover February 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

Hi, thank you for sharing this simple and easy to make recipe. Worth giving a try. Is there a good substitute though for asafoetida? Thanks again!

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

No :( just leave out the asafoetida.

[Reply]

7.2 Alkaline Lover Reply:

This recipe is wonderful indeed even without the asafoetida. I’m just curious of how it’s gonna taste like with the asafoetida added. So to satisfy my curious taste buds i’ll try to get my hands on some over the weekend :) . On top of that, i’m not really good when it comes to cooking but i was able to pull this one off with the help of the recipe you’ve shared. So i must say, your website is worth sharing to others. Have a great day!

[Reply]

Reply

36 mustardseed February 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love your photographs. Thanks for the helpful tips! This is such a delicious recipe..ghee and curry leaves…,my mouth is watering just thinking about taste in my mouth.

[Reply]

Reply

37 The Mistress of Spices June 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

This sounds like an amazing recipe! And thanks for breaking down the photography here…some amazing tips!

[Reply]

Reply

38 Preeti November 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Love the recipe and the photos Sala…
I had a question – did you learn photography or are you a self-taught enthusiast?

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Thanks! I am self taught :)

[Reply]

Reply

Leave a Comment

Comment using OpenID

Page 1 of 11

Previous post:

Next post: