Serves 4 to 6
It was my turn to host the book club this month. The book we read was Jody Picoult’s ‘Leaving Time’. My children chuckle as they ask me if I have a theme in mind. They know mom is enthusiastic (goes nuts) with themes:) I loved reading about elephant behavior and the elephant sanctuary, in the book. So I added a touch of the elephant theme to the table.
One of the dishes I made was my friends’ favorite seviya upama (which reminded me of hay) with peanuts, of course….which led me to coming up with this recipe with a peanut butter and tomato sauce with tadka. Tadka is the Indian technique of tempering the spices in hot oil. Tadkas really pack a punch with all the spices releasing their flavor and health benefits in the hot oil. The peanut butter, tomato paste and spices combine to make a velvety, spice infused sauce! The dried red chilies in the tadka add a unique smokiness to the dish without adding too much heat. I added the spiral cut tender zucchini and yellow squash for a fresh summery taste and for the cool and contrasting texture. Plus, it makes a huge serving size, fit for an elephant…or me 🙂
Ingredients for the Peanutty Seviya with a tadka punch-
- About 10 ounces of seviya or angel hair pasta (5 cups cooked pasta )
- Salt and a teaspoon of oil to add to the water
For the sauce-
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 dried red chilies
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups reserved pasta cooking water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Sea salt to taste
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small yellow squash
To make the Peanutty seviya with Tadka-
- Add salt and a teaspoon of oil to the boiling water. Add the seviya or angel hair pasta and cook it al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 ½ cups of the pasta water. Set aside.
- In a separate pan, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the urad dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chilies and asafetida. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the grated garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the tomato paste and stir until the paste is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the peanut butter, stir and add the water, sea salt and brown sugar. Let it simmer for a minute.
- Stir in the seviya or angel hair pasta and the lime juice. Toss well.
- Remove from heat and serve with the spiral cut veggies.
- You can add veggies to the sauce.
- Fresh curry leaves can be added to the tempering spices too.
- This can be made with just the vegetable spirals too.
- The noodles also taste great cold. So it is a great summer potluck dish!