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March 09, 2008

Peas Pesto

I really love the use of fresh herbs in Italian food. My dad grows a heap of herbs and I find it hard to bring myself to buy them now.

I also love fresh peas, but they not always easy to find in the market because only 95% of peas are sold frozen. Shell your peas just before you use them. Peas are a legume and suit Kapha and Pita, but in this recipe the almonds and olive oil should make them suitable for Vata too.

I have been experimenting with wholemeal pasta-which I don't love. It takes hours to cook and even then it takes a bit too much jaw work to get through. But I'm keen on avoiding white flour so I'm working on making my own wholemeal pasta using atta flour, much finer and less fibrous. In the meantime here's the sauce. It takes some forethought to prepare the ingredients.

Ingredients (for about six people)

1 cup almonds
1/2 kg peas in the pod
1 cup mint leaves
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Salt and pepper
Olive oil


Soak the almond over night or for a good few hours, the longer the easier to peel. Get comfy, you can sit in the garden or play some music or do it with a good friend or with a cup of tea... and start peeling your almonds and shelling your peas. This takes some time but is a wonderful sadhana.

Dry roast the almonds in a pan or in the oven on a low heat. Steam the peas for 7 or 8 minutes till just tender. Roast the cumin seeds for just a moment. Put all ingredients in the blender and whiz to desired consistency. Some like it crunchy, some like it smooth.

Stir through fresh hot pasta and serve. I like it with a vegie that is not green, like roasted carrots.

Add more olive oil for Vata and less for Kapha. Kapha may also appreciate less almonds, a pinch of chili and some extra black pepper

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