One pot dishes – Chicken mince with spaghetti, spinach and peas

One pot dishes – Chicken mince with spaghetti, spinach and peas

A few notes and tips on this dish

  1. This is a one pot dish. One pot dishes are wholesome but even more it is a great way to get rid of the little stuff that’s hanging around in your refrigerator and grocery cupboards.

  2. For a one pot meal you need one strong non vegetarian component. In this case I have used chicken mince. You could find any other substitute in terms of meat and this dish will work as well. However, cooking timings may wary a bit. I would avoid using processed meats such as sausages as they won’t add much flavour to the dish.

  3. Don’t be afraid when you see a recipe that says five green chilies and two and a half teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper. Always look at the total quantity of ingredients and figure out how hot a dish would be. Some people look at the number of chilies and turn a page; bad idea you just lost a great dish.

  4. One pot dishes are a great way to get your children to eat meat with a whole bunch of vegetables. When adding vegetables to a one pot dish use a combination of a hardy vegetable and a leafy one. I used peas and spinach which is a great combination. This is not a fixed rule you could also use two hardy vegetables like cauliflower and carrots. Work the combination out in your head. Remember that vegetables have distinct flavours that enhance even a predominantly non vegetarian dish.

  5. This dish has spaghetti, peas and spinach which when cooked along with the meat absorbs the flavours of the meat stock. This enhances the taste of the vegetables, especially for those who can’t handle anything green in their plate.

  6. Since you are using spaghetti in this dish, avoid the temptation to use potatoes or you will end up with too much starch in your dish.

  7. Spaghetti can easy be broken into equal pieces. Take the packet and simply hold it against your kitchen counter edge at the spot you want the spaghetti to break; then press down. Alternatively you can add the spaghetti whole. I chose to break them into four equal pieces for easy cooking.

  8. Use large onions for this dish. Onions have a sweet taste when cooked and keep a dish nice and moist.

  9. This dish does has three spices, don’t over spice your dishes, let the ingredients speak for themselves

  10. Don’t confuse spice with pungency. A dish may be ‘spicy’ but not necessarily hot!


Chicken Mince – 500 grams

Onions – two, very large and finely chopped

Tomatoes – two, very large and finely chopped

Spinach – 50 grams

Peas – 100 grams

Spaghetti or any pasta – 100 grams

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves – four large sprigs or one handful (yup, one hand full and don’t compromise)

Green chilies – four to five

Ginger and garlic paste – one and a half teaspoon

Turmeric – half a teaspoon

Pepper powder – freshly and coarsely ground – two and a half teaspoons

Salt to taste

Oil as required


In a pan heat oil and add cumin. When then cumin browns a bit add the curry leaves and the chilies and let it sauté. Now add the chopped onions and let this brown a bit. To this add the tomatoes and let this mixture cook for a good five minutes, stirring constantly. Add the ginger and garlic paste along with the turmeric and pepper powder. Cook this for about a minute. You need to allow the spices to marry with the mixture. At this time add about a tea spoon of salt which you can adjust later if you need more.

Now add in the mince and cook this for a while. If you are using red meat then allow the mixture to fry so that the meat has a dark brown colour which will add to the overall colour of the dish. If you’re using chicken mince then just give this a good stir and add the spaghetti with a glass of water.  If you need more water add it. Remember that the dish is supposed to be dry, what ever water you add will be absorbed when the dish is done, so don’t pour too much water at first. When the spaghetti is half cooked add in the peas and cook for another five minutes. If using frozen peas then drop it in for a minute only. Finally add the finely sliced spinach, stir and turn off the gas. Your dish is done.

You can serve this with ‘kadak pav’ the India version of a French baguette.

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