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ickleMatt 242 posts
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

Ok all you budding cooks out there I need you help!

I'm staying with a family in India and they have asked me to cook some European food for them. There are some restrictions...

It has to be vegetarian (eggs, milk and paneer (a kind of white tasteless cheese) are ok.
They don't have an oven.
They don't have most of the herbs we use in our kitcean.
I can't find pasta anywhere.

They do have loads of vegetables (including a couple I had neevr seen before) and plenty of spices [natch].

Please, please help!

Nephtys 835 posts
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Hi Matt,

If you can get your hands on eggs, flour, a rolling pin and a flat surface, you can make fresh pasta which is delicious!

It's quite an involved process though, so let me know first whether you want to go through it before I type it all out... meanwhile I'm going to think about pasta sauces within the restrictions and non-pasta possibilities!

Oh, and can you get spinach? That features in quite a lot of my pasta sauces...

good luck,


edit: and tomatoes, are they available?
EDITED_BY: Nephtys (1144254679)

everyone's unique except me

LarrySILVER Member
383 posts
Location: Hull!, United Kingdom

two words!
"Pudding" and "Yorkshire"
but maybe not in that order!!!

and dumplings!
and take some instand gravy

What're you looking at?
I assume you're being rhetorical?
What're you callin' me!?

BethMiss Whippy
1,262 posts
Location: Cornwall & Oxford

or Rissotto - not british but it is european! thats easy, i presume you have rice? or... tikka masala or balti? they were both created in the uk smile

Aim high and you'll know your limits, aim low and you'll never know how high you could have climbed.

Bubbles_SILVER Member
3,384 posts
Location: mancunian, United Kingdom

hows about an omlette?

its perfect, quick and tasty, and you can make different variations with different types of veg etc smile
EDITED_BY: liquid_bubblegum (1144255704)

Disclaimer:im not responsible for what i say or do whether it be before,during and after drinking alcoholic substances (owned by BMVC).
Creater of Jenisms(TM)
Virginity like bubble,one prick all gone.

ickleMatt 242 posts
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

Thanks folks.

Omlettes are well boring. sorry
Risotto - good idea,b ut I'm currently eating rice twice a day so I'll pass on that.
Yorkshire puddings - need an oven for that. But kudos for going for something English.
Fresh pasta - yes why not! Don't have a rolling pin, but I'm sure I'll work something out. Rather than spinich they have a sort of stinging nettle which is the same family. Yes tomatoes are available.

Neph - if you could hook me up with this you'll be a super darling smile

ickleMatt 242 posts
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

BTW any other suggestions are still welcome. I might have to cook again, or cock the pasta up wink

Neon_ShaolinGOLD Member
hehe, 'Member' huhuh
6,120 posts
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Add cream to the tomato-y pasta sauce. Add some corriander which is no doubt readily available.

Add your chosen vegetables. Mix with the fresh pasta (or layer if lasagnering is easier)

Crush some popadoms and sprinkle a generous layer over the paster. Add some slice or grate some of the white cheese over the poppadom shreds/crumbs. Allow cheese to melt slighty then serve...

"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

DrBooBRONZE Member
453 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Try Ravioli. Would probably work with paneer instead of ricotta:

For the pasta:
110g/4oz plain flour
2 eggs
For the filling:
110g/4oz spinach
1 egg, yolk only
55g/2oz ricotta
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black

1. Bring some water to the boil in a large and a small saucepan.
2. Combine the flour and eggs in a large bowl.
3. Break off a small piece of the dough. Wrap the rest in cling film.
4. Roll the dough. Repeat, again and again, until the dough is flat and thin.
5. Do the same with the rest of the pasta dough.
6. Take a small pastry cutter (or a cup or glass) and cut rounds from the flat sheets of pasta. Set pasta circles aside.
7. Drop the spinach in the small saucepan of water. Boil for 3 minutes.
8. Drain spinach and squeeze dry.
9. Place spinach in the food processor. Add the egg yolk and ricotta and blitz to mix.
10. To make the ravioli, take a pasta circle. Place a teaspoon of the ricotta mixture inside. Place a second pasta circle on top. Seal the ravioli with a little water.
11. Drop the ravioli in the boiling water. Boil for 3-5 minutes.
12. Drain the ravioli, then serve with a drizzle of olive oil or a sauce of your choice.

As for authentic "British", how about some bubble and squeak? You can add chilli and garlic to the fried up sprouts (or cabbage), onion and cooked potatoes to make it more interesting.

Or you could make a veggie stew with dumplings. I have a recipe somewhere that doesn't even use vegetarian suet, let me know if you'd like it.

Enjoy! biggrin

Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Crepes and nutella? biggrin

Or if not nutella than like jam or something. Might be nice for breakfast.

And an omlet and such would be nice too.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

Nephtys 835 posts
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

No prob! Love cooking & cooking-talk!! smile And now i get to be a super-darling as well!!!

Fresh pasta:

you will certainly have enough dough if you use 1 egg and about 100 grams of flour per person.

Put your flour & eggs in a bowl, and knead and knead and knead - it will take you at least 15 minutes to get the right consistency, and it will be messy and sticky and fun smile Fold, knead and twist the dough until you get a supple, slightly elastic ball. You might need to add more flour if it stays sticky or a bit of water if it's too dry.

Then wrap it in plastic or put it in a covered bowl for about an hour. (if you are going to make the sauce I am about to suggest - or any other sauce of course! - you can get started on that while the dough sits)

After an hour has passed, you want to start flattening your pasta. You will probably have to improvise with a glass bottle or something for a rolling pin, so you might only be able to flatten relatively small pieces at a time, also dependent on available work surface. Tear off a feasible piece of dough and re-cover or wrap the rest so it doesn't dry out. Then you roll and you roll and you roll, turning your sheet of pasta a quarter turn every now and again so you're rolling at varying angles. Ideally, it will be 1-2 mm thick.

Put each sheet aside on a clean cloth (don't pile them, they might stick together), they need to dry for 15-20 minutes before further processing.

After the 15-20 mins have passed, take the first pasta sheet, and very loosely roll it up. Now, with a very sharp knife, cut 'segments' of the roll cross-wise, like you're cutting up a rolled pancake. Each segment is a noodle once unrolled. I'd go for about tagliatelle-width (7-8 mm), or even parpadelle (2-4 cm), spaghetti is too fiddly!!!

You will now get back to your sauce-making, so dump all your noodles on a cloth again, and cover them with another cloth.

Fresh pasta only needs to be boiled VERY briefly, maybe around 2 minutes - keep tasting while it's boiling it to check progress. Make sure the sauce is ready before you start boiling the pasta because the pasta is so quick. It doesn't matter if you have to fiddle with the sauce a bit longer after you've cut the noodles, if they dry out a bit you'll just have to boil them slightly longer.

You can also dry home-made pasta if you want to have some for another day: you can hang it over a stick suspended anywhere available (in a dry space), or leave it on a clean dry cloth. When it's really completely dry, store in a closed container. It'll need to boil longe once it's been dried.

Sauce idea in next post to avoid giganticness!!! biggrin

everyone's unique except me

Nephtys 835 posts
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

And DrBoo has SO stolen my pasta-thunder, including using paneer as ricotta!! ubblol mine was far more detailed though - but probably quite patronising if you know full well what you're doing in a kitchen biggrin I'm going to continue in the same high detail just in case you don't....

sauce, to be made while pasta dough is sitting around twiddling its thumbs

for 4 people:

- 3 medium onions
- garlic to taste if available
- around 15 medium tomatoes
- seasoning
- spinach-look-alike (around a lb if this stuff shrinks the way spinach does)
- paneer
- if you can get them, some mild flavoured nuts like pine nuts, shaved almonds, or chopped up unsalted cashew nuts
- pot of boiling water
- vegetable oil

1. cut a cross in the skin on the bottom of each tomato, stick a fork in them, and put them in the boiling water for about a minute, until the skin starts to split and peel a little around the cross you cut. You can do as many of them as you want simultaneously, dependent on pot-size and fork/skewer availability. Keep the hot water, you can use it for the spinach later. You'll boil the spinach just before the pasta, but you'll probably have to pour the spinach into a colander or sieve or similar to get the spinach out of the water, so have another big pot ready to pour the water into if you also want to recycle it for the pasta.

2. leave the tomatoes to cool, and roughly chop the onions and garlic, and chuck them in a big pan (will need space in there for the tomatoes) with the vegetable oil and fry over medium heat.

3) peel the tomatoes, get rid of the skins, and roughly chop them up. By the time you're done, the onions should be glassy (not turning brown, turn the heat right down if they start doing that while your chopping tomatoes).

4) Add tomatoes to the onions, and continue to cook over medium heat in the uncovered pan (some of the liquid needs to evaporate to intensify flavour). For a real nice strong flavour they'll need around an hour - probably the time it will take you to roll out & noodle-ify your pasta, so that suits. If you have fresh basil, oregano, coriander or any other herb you think would suit, shred it and add it right after the tomatoes.

5) if you find a spare moment somewhere in the pasta making process, rougly chop the spinach

7) Get the tomato water back to the boil for the spinach around the time the tomato sauce is done. If you're not re-using the spinach water for the pasta, remember to put on water for the pasta on time as well.

6) When the pasta is all ready to be boiled, taste the tomato sauce, and add salt, pepper, sugar if the sauce is sour. Put a lid on it to keep it warm.

7) fling the spinach into boiling water for a minute or two, drain, and squeeze dry in a sieve or cloth.

8) stir spinach and crumble paneer into your tomato sauce, and put on low heat, taste for additional seasoning if necessary

9) boil pasta

10) add nuts (if you have them) to sauce at the very last moment so they don't get soft, and serve!

everyone's unique except me

DrBooBRONZE Member
453 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

 Written by: Nephtys

And DrBoo has SO stolen my pasta-thunder, including using paneer as ricotta!! ubblol

Sorry redface
You were the catalyst for the idea though. All credit to you... ubbrollsmile

Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

faith enfireBRONZE Member
wandering thru the woods of WI
3,556 posts
Location: Wisconsin, USA

some paellas are veggi
check out the cookbook too...veggi recipes there too
good luck

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

Nephtys 835 posts
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

 Written by: DrBoo

 Written by: Nephtys

And DrBoo has SO stolen my pasta-thunder, including using paneer as ricotta!! ubblol

Sorry redface
You were the catalyst for the idea though. All credit to you... ubbrollsmile

Ah, you're forgiven, so long as we both get to be superdarlings! smile

everyone's unique except me

ickleMatt 242 posts
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

I'm busily copy and pasting the instructions. Will be making it tomorrow evening (early afternoon your time) so will let you know how the pasta goes.

Superdarling kudos rating 5 to Nephtys for being the catalyst convertor and pasta instructor. Superdarling kudos rating 3 to DrBoo for the Ravioli.

Tagalatelli [sic] is my second favouite pasta (after penn) so will go for that.

I'm thinking of making extra pasta to dry and then doing an Abiaratta [sic] sauce later. They do like their chilli here.

Nephtys 835 posts
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

WOO!! I'm a five!! ubblol

Arabiatta, good idea! Yummmm smile

the cookbook to which Faithinfire refereth is here by the way:

[Old link]

best of luck, let us know how it goes!

everyone's unique except me

TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England


How much effort are you prepared to go to for yorkshire puddings?

This much?

or this much?


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Mags The JediGOLD Member
2,020 posts
Location: Cornwall, UK

Personally, with those ingredients I'd go for a vegetable quiche. Like this one:

500g/1ib 2 oz short-crust pastry
15 ml/1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion chopped
100g/4oz vegetarian cheddar cheese grated
100g/4oz tomato sliced
250ml/9 fl oz milk
3 free range eggs
fresh parsley
salt and pepper


1. Pre heat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas 5
2. Roll out the pastry to line a 9 inch metal flan case. Allow to stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Then set to one side.
4. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onions for 3 minutes then allow to cool.
5. Spread the onion over the base then cover with the sliced tomatoes.
6. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and the parsley.
7. Place the milk and eggs in a bowl and beat them together. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
8. Pour this mixture over the flan.
9. Bake for 30 minutes until set and golden.

Serve with salad or new potatoes.


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

DrBooBRONZE Member
453 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

 Written by: Mags The Jedi

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas 5

There's no oven, Mags!

Having said that, there's a lot to be said for a good pit oven. Not sure about using one for quiche though....

Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

ickleMatt 242 posts
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.

Well many thanks to all for sending me ideas.

Last night I made Arabiatta alla tagliatelle.

I didn't manage to secure palak and paneer (spinch and cheese), but made enough pasta to do that sauce another time.

Look you can see my pasta drying:
(And have a look at mySpace profile and maybe you want to be my friend?)

I loved the meal but the family loved the sauce (it was nose drippingly good) but weren't enamoured to the pasta; it was a bit too thick. Main problem was rolling it flat without the right equipment. But it was only my first try...

Nephtys: I'm looking forward to trying your sauce. And, again, many thanks for the pasta recipe it was the first non-rice meal (excluding breakfast) I have had in a month!
Superdarling smile