Spaghetti with Minced Meat – My Way!

Although I am not a great fan of pasta and macaroni, I’ve always had this distant liking towards spaghetti. I guess it probably due to the number of times Chef Vicky Ratnani on NDTV Good Times has cooked it. Though he talks non-stop, I must admit, the way he prepares and presents each of his dish, makes me drool!

This was my first attempt at spaghetti. I did not follow any recipe. I just followed my instincts and recollected some tips that I saw on TV. Trust me, its easy, quick and did turn out tasty!

Ingredients
  • 150 gms spaghetti
  • 250 gms minced meat
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into half and sliced lengthwise
  • A pinch of cumin seeds
  • A pinch of saunf
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp curd
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tbsp mutton masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • Cheese of your choice’

Method

  • Washed the meat well and marinate it with curd, turmeric powder and a little salt for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
  • Take the marinated meat, transfer it to a pressure cooker, pour 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 10 whistles. Once the pressure escapes, open the lid and allow the remaining water to evaporate on medium flame.
  • In a separate large vessel, pour 2 liters of water, add a little salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. When it comes to a boil, add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti for 7 – 10 minutes, occasionally giving it a stir. You can check if the spaghetti is cooked by taking one strand of spaghetti and throwing it on your kitchen cupboard (wooden/glass). If the spaghetti sticks to the wall of the cupboard, its cooked (Thanks you Chef Vicky for the tip!). Once its cooked, drain the water and keep it aside.
  •  In a large vok, pour some oil, when medium hot, add the cumin seeds and saunf and allow them to crackle.
  • Immediately add the onions and saute it until it turns light golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste. When it looses its raw smell, add the tomatoes. Cover the vok with a lid and allow the tomatoes to get cooked on low flame.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked well add the chilly powder, mutton masala powder, garam masala and salt. Saute for a couple of minutes and add the cooked meat. Allow the masalas to blend and infuse into meat by cooking in on low flame for 5 – 10 minutes, occasionally sauteing it. To this add the fresh coriander leaves.
  • Transfer the spaghetti to the vok and mix it well with the meat mixture and turn off the stove.
  • Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a little grated cheese over it!
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Dad’s Mutton Cutlets

There’s a reason I have named these cutlets after my dad. I have tasted several mutton cutlets in the past, but to be honest, my dad’s stands out! Talking about him… He aspired to be a chef when he was young. But God had greater plans for him. Though he didn’t make it to a kitchen of a renowned restaurant, he is the masterchef of our family! When it comes to food, my brother and I never let mom go close to the kitchen as she’s more health conscious and likes to keep her food very simple and basic (i.e. less oil, less salt, little to no cooking as she prefers vegetables more or less raw!). But dad.. He has a big heart, especially when its time to cook. He is generous with the oil and patiently cooks each of his dish to perfection! And this mutton cutlet is one of our family favorite!

Ingredients
  •  250 gms of minced meat
  • 1 tbs curd
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green chilly finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized onion finfely chopped
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Salt to taste
Method
  • Mix the meat well with curd, turmeric powder and a little bit of salt. Marinate it for an hour and pressure cook it for 15 minutes on medium flame.
  • Drain the cooked meat of all the soup completely. You can either drink it or what my dad usually does is – make a rasam out of it!
  • Cut the potato into half and pressure cook it for 2 whistles. As soon as the cooker cools down, drain the water.
  • In a bowl, mix the meat, green chilly, onions, chilly powder, coriander powder, coriander leaves and garam masala well by hand. Once this is of a nice consistency, mix the potatoes.
  • Make small portions of the mixture, pat them in the shape you want, dip it into the beaten egg and shallow fry it.
  • You can make an omelet with the left over egg!
Serving Suggestion – I personally prefer these cutlets with sambar or rasam rice. Whereas DH loves it in sandwiches!

Mutton Keema with Beans

Have you ever drooled over your co-passenger’s home cooked food while travelling in a train? I have several times. I love it the most when their food is wrapped in a banana leaf and newspaper. It simply makes me drool all the more. That moment they unwrap the food… Boy! Don’t ask me! No matter which hotel I grabbed my food packet from (be it Namma Veedu Vasantha Bhavan or even Saravana Bhavan), I just would not be able to take my eyes off my neighbor’s lemon rice and potato fry!
Well, here’s a recipe for you in replacement to your co-passengers potato fry! It tastes slurpilacious with lemon rice and chapathi! This time, I can guarantee you your co-passenger drooling over your food packet 😉

Ingredients

  • 250 gms minced meat
  • 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
  • A handful of green beans also finely chopped
  • 1 green chilly
  • 5-6 large curry leaves
  • 1 tbs curd
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tbs coriander powder
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1 tsp saunf
  • 1.5 tbs ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbs mutton masala powder (Optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup water
  • 4-5 tbs vegetable oil
  • salt to taste
Method
  • Mix the meat well with curd, turmeric powder and a little salt. Marinate it for an hour in the refrigerator. After an hour, you will notice blood settled at the bottom of your meat. Drain it completely.
  • Put the meat in a pressure cooker, pour a cup of water in it and pressure cook it for 10 whistles. Keep aside.
  • In the meanwhile, take a wok, pour the oil in it and when the oil is a little hot, put the jeera and saunf in it. Allow it to crackle a little bit (Do not let it get burnt!) and then add the chopped onions and green chilly. Saute it on medium flame until golden brown and add the beans and ginger garlic paste.
  • Once the ginger garlic paste looses it raw smell, add the tomatoes. Saute it until the tomatoes are cooked and the oil raises above it.
  • At this point, add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder and mutton masala powder. Saute it for a minute.
  • Now add the cooked meat along with its stock and allow the stock to evaporate.
  • To this add the curry leaves, salt (if necessary) and cook for 5 mins in low flame.