48. Mum’s buitoni

May 16, 2012mayurisjikoni

Mother’s day

        My mum didn’t know how to make pasta at all. She probably had never heard of pasta, spaghetti, etc when she was growing up in the village of Koyali near Vadodara. But how she managed to make this pasta dish for us still baffles me. I remember reading the instructions for cooking the pasta for her but the rest she did on her own. There is nothing italian about this dish yet it was the yummiest pasta I’ve ever had. My mum would make this dish for my brother, sister and me on most Saturdays. Come to think of it, it was probably her way of treating us to something special as every Saturday my dad and her would go to watch an Indian movie and we would be left at home with our grandmother. There is no name for this dish so I take the liberty of naming it mum’s buitoni. Buitoni because at that time that was the only brand of pasta we could buy from Uchumi. There was no Nakumatt then and no endless companies making or selling pasta in Kenya. My mum would always say ‘ Tonight,I am making buitoni for you’. We would leisurely eat the pasta and make a mess too. Each macaroni would become a ring for our little fingers. Now those rings wouldn’t fit any of our fingers! I make this dish now and then but it never tastes the way my mum made it.
       When she went to London, this buitoni was made to include my cousins too. All have tasted her dish and asked for more umpteen of times. The only person who now makes this recipe is my sister and me. However, it  doesn’t taste like mum’s.The main ingredient missing is her love and we miss her so dearly. So Nimesh, next time I make it for you, just eat it. Its the nearest thing you will ever get.





Yields 4 servings

2 cups macaroni
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oil

For the sauce :
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups fresh tomato puree
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp chilli paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander cumin powder
1 tsp sugar (optional)

  1. Boil 4 cups of water in a pan. When its boiling, add the macaroni, salt and oil. Cook till it is just done. Usually the cooking time is indicated on the packet.
  2. To prepare the sauce, heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a pan.
  3. Add to it mustard and cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the onions.
  4. Stir fry the onions till they are light pink in colour. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger paste. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the turmeric, chilli and coriander cumin powder. Mix.
  6. Add the tomato puree and sugar. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat.
  7. Add the macaroni including the water in which the macaroni was boiled.
  8. Simmer the pasta for 5 minutes over low heat.
  9. Serve piping hot on its own or with bread.
  • For the recipe of coriander cumin powder refer to the recipe Nunu’s biryani or buy ready made.
  • If you use canned tomatoes then you may have to increase the amount of sugar.
  • It tastes pretty good even the next day if you don’t mind eating soft pasta.
You may want to check out the following:
vaghareli rotli


mum’s soup


mum’s maida na parotha
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  • Shubee

    May 18, 2012 at 1:24 am

    mmmm…making my mouth water!

  • Sapna

    June 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Brought back memories. Missing you mum.

  • Mayuri's jikoni

    June 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Try out it both of you. Never know mum may have left the magic ingredient with either of you.

  • Give Me Some Spice

    March 10, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    The pasta looks delicious. I think our mums used the most natural products and served us freshly made food and it always tasted lovely. And of course they made it with lots of love too.

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