Lentil Pasta

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“Indian pizzas
Are loved by many,
But a curried pasta
May sound uncanny?
Desi at heart
But an Italian poser,
Our home-made dal chawal
Just had a makeover.“
For Pasta
1 cup pasta- fusilli or penne
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups water
For Sauce
1 cup chana dal (split chick peas/lentils)
1 tomato, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 cup spinach leaves, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
1 teaspoon chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
1 green chili, sliced
2 teaspoons chana masala  (indian chick pea seasoning)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon oregano flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups of water
Salt to taste
Bring to boil the water with oil and salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and keep aside in a wet cloth.
For the sauce- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce, except the dry spices and oil, in a pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes- or approximately 8-10 whistles. Once the steam has settled, open the cooker and ensure the lentils are soft and fully cooked. (You can also cook the lentils in a regular pot, although it can take anywhere between 30-45 minutes to cook depending on the hardness of water)
Stir in the dry spices and oil and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes till no excess water remains. Remove from heat.
Stir the lentil sauce into the pasta, sprinkle some chopped onions and serve hot!