Amaranth and basil pesto with cashew nuts

For twenty rupees I got myself a relatively big bunch of amaranth leaves. No, inspiration didn’t hit me like a wave or anything to make pesto out of it. It was only because I didn’t know what else to do with leftover leaves after making upkari out of most of them. This amaranth and basil pesto though turned out to be pretty damn good – texture and taste wise. I didn’t add any cheese though, because I didn’t have any.

Ingredients:

Amaranth leaves – 2 cups chopped

Basil leaves – 1 cup

Cashew nuts – handful

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Salt to taste

Method:

Blitz all ingredients in a blender till smooth or rough paste.

amaranth basil pesto

Toss pasta in it or even as a sandwich spread.

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Coconut Masala Paste For Curries

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This is my safe base as I’d like to call it. After a day’s work, I’d like to get done with cooking for dinner in minimum time so I can unwind and rest well before a good night’s sleep. This masala really helps my cause. For a quick curry I cook vegetables or chicken¬†in this paste along with coconut milk, stock or just water. Sometimes I add chopped tomatoes and tamarind pulp for some sourness while cooking the curry.

Ingredients for the ground masala:
6 Р7 dried red chillies РI used Kashmiri because they give more colour than heat
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup grated coconut or 1/2 cup coconut pieces

Optional: peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds

Method for the masala:
1. Saute all ingredients one at a time in 1 tbsp oil or ghee.
2. Grind to a fine paste with water.
3. Use immediately or store in air tight container in the fridge.

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