Something that I love about being a #PataksMom is that I am encouraged to push the comfort zone of my weeknight meal planning. Not only do we try authentic Indian dishes, but we are also challenged to find ways to mix a taste of India into our everyday meals. This is another meal that I am so glad I thought of putting together; Hubs and I both loved it… Chels of course stuck with plain spaghetti noodles and parmesan cheese.
Another thing that I love about being a #PataksMom is that it feeds my loves of geography & travel. I love finding out about where in India a particular flavour originated. This sauce is made from a traditional Balti recipe, and my friend, Wikipedia gave me some more info:
The Balti is an ethnic group of Tibetan with some Dardic admixture, who live in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. In addition, smaller populations also exist in Ladakh, a region of Jammu & Kashmir, India; others are scattered in Pakistan’s major urban centres of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad/Rawalpindi.
More than you needed to know to make dinner? Maybe. All you really need to know is that this cooking sauce, mixed with a big handful of spinach and some meatballs made a fantastic topping to a bowl of spaghetti, and also would have been comfy alongside some mashed potatoes.
While eating dinner, hubs and I had a discussion on what Indian, or Indian-inspired films we had seen. We came up with The Jungle Book, Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi and The Namesake… all of which were movies we really, really enjoyed and we then decided to let dinner inspire our evening’s entertainment. Netflix has a wide variety of Bollywood features, but I didn’t find anything on there right now that really interested me; I wanted a comedy, but not a cutesy one… and that’s what I found in Delhi Belly. It is a dark comedy full of potty humour and totally different from the dramatic Indian films I’ve seen. If you didn’t know, Delhi Belly is a slang term for, let’s say, travellers stomach issues, or the consequence of eating dodgy street meat. Since this is such a lovely meal, I don’t want to spoil it with crude humour, however if you are looking for something fun and different, give it a go.
With that, here’s the quick and simple recipe (and I promise, NO Delhi Belly!)
Balti Tomato & Cumin Meatballs with Spaghetti
- 1 jar Pataks Tomato & Cumin Cooking Sauce
- 20 meatballs, your own or store bought. If frozen, no need to thaw.
- 1 large handful of washed and dried baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 box (1/2 lb or so) spaghetti, cooked as box directs.
Place meatballs, sauce and spinach in saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then turn a bit lower while the spaghetti cooks. I used homemade meatballs (precooked) that I had frozen and by the time the spaghetti was done the sauce had thawed them and they were hot. Garnish with some chopped parsley or cilantro if you’d like.
Disclosure: I am part of the Patak’s Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
While writing this post, I thought a lot about my friend Elle Newmark. Her second novel, The Sandalwood Tree was released just before she passed away in 2011. The Sandalwood Tree, a piece of historical fiction, was set in war-torn India and Elle had travelled India extensively while researching for the book and shared so much with myself and our small ‘posse’ of online & offline friends.
Elle, you are missed.