Pesto chutney pasta and Miracle berry

It has been a crazy few weeks. After weaning Sunny boy I had/have postpartum depression issues. As if it is not enough, my weight seem to go haywire! I had never had a problem with my weight. Not that I was ever skinny, I love food, and I have good fitness levels and my weight has always been constant. But now I feel pressured to act.I do not believe in crash dieting and things that can prove to be problematic in the long run. But I have decided to to stick to two simple things. Number one- go sugar free, as strictly as possible. Then the second one, go for a drink of water when ever the craving to eat something strikes. A compulsive grazer that I am, I am always foraging the refrigerator or the pantry.So to get away from the habit, I am going to drink water when ever I feel like eating something. Rest of my diet is going to remain the same. Honey did loose a few pounds when he started on the sugar free diet. But he quickly exited the diet as well. I need to see how long I can stick to it. Hope to see encouraging results in the next few weeks.

We also had a tasting party the other day for Miracle Berry.It was indeed a unique experience. It is a berry that is native to Africa. The mberry version of it process the berry into tablet form and then the taster places the tablet on the tongue and allow the tablet to melt before consuming food.
We tried a bunch of things lemon, strawberry, cheese, pineapple, bitter gourd, hot chillies.Wow! it was a great experience. The tablet itself tasted like a berry. Loved it. But the surprising factor was the lemon. Lemon tasted like orange just as sweet, may be sweeter. Strawberry tasted wildly sweet. Everything tasted sweet. The chillies tasted sweet with just a hint of pungency and then the bitter gourd started sort of  mildly  bitter but then end flatly sweet. Cheese was not salty at all. We ended up wondering what it was all about. Boy how could this happen. I do not think I am going to miss sugar at all.

Coming back to the pasta, a generous bunch of basil was one of my finds the other week at the pick-your-own-farm. After the usual Caprese salad I still had way more basil than I could think of finishing, so here comes Pesto chutney yet another  Kannadised creation in my kitchen.

For the Pesto

Fresh Basil leaves 2 cups packed
Almonds toasted 2 tbsp
Tamarind 1" piece
Garlic 1 clove
Green chillies 2
Extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp

Salt & black pepper to taste

For the pasta
Pasta (any shape but I used whole wheat Rotini) 2 cups
Zucchini 1
Grape tomatoes 1 pint
Mushrooms 4-5 medium
Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
Parmesan cheese grated 2tbsp

  • Combine everything under the pesto and blend it in a food processor. Add a little water to get the mixture going. Once the mixture is smooth and well combined the pesto is ready. Remove it into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
  • For the pasta, heat oil in a sauce pan. Throw in the chopped mushrooms. After about 3-4 minutes, throw in the chopped zucchini. Saute till the vegetables are crisp tender. Throw the tomatoes in at the  last minute and turn off the heat.
  • Cook pasta according to the package instruction. Once the pasta is drained, toss it with the vegetables and about 3-4 tbsp of the pesto. 
  • Mix everything together and stir in the cheese. Add more pesto if the mixture lacks punch. Add a little bit of the pasta-cooking water if the mixture is too dry.
  • Serve immediately.


Torviewtoronto said...

deliciously done looks wonderful

Hari Chandana P said...

Wow.. Looks super delicious and tempting.. thanks for the wonderful recipe :)
Indian Cuisine

Unknown said...

Pesto sounds delicious Smitha, I am sure my daughter would love this recipe. I have all the ingredients in my reach :-)

Sudhir R said...

Keep posted of your success. We are struggling with weight without ofcourse not going on diet.

This dish looks inviting, fresh and well composed too.

Akila said...

what a yummy dish...

Event: Dish Name Starts With N till August 31st


Spice up the Curry said...

pasta looks mouthwatering

radha said...

This looks so good. And colourful too.

Rachana said...

Adding tamarind to the pesto is really interesting. Loved this indo-italian pasta.