Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hakka Noodles

Serves 4

Indo chinese food is one of my favorites. It is Chinese seasonings adapted to Indian tastes. It originated from Calcutta. It has become a very popular cuisine among young Indian population and hence available on the streets on push carts and vans. Although, it is called Chinese food but is very different than real Chinese cuisine. Here is a recipe of noodles that my mom used to make when we were growing up. In those days there were only one type of noodles available in the market.

8oz./ 225gms Egg Noodles
2 tbsp+1 1/2 tsp Salt
2+3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Red Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, cut into matchsticks
4 oz. Baby Corn, about half a can
1 cup Cabbage, shredded
1 medium Green Bell Pepper, julienned
2 bunch Scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Red Chili Sauce
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Bring some water to boil in a stockpot and add 2 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp oil to it. Add the noodles and cook as per the directions on the packet. When done, which will be about 4 minutes, drain the water. Noodles should not be too mushy or too under cooked. Leave it in the colander and add about 1 tbsp Oil to it so that noodles are well separated and do not stick together.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large wok. Add ginger and garlic to it and cook for 1 minute and then add the onions and carrots. Cook for 2 minutes on medium high heat. Then gradually add the baby corn, cabbage and the bell pepper. Cook the vegetables for 5-7 minutes. They should be slightly tender and not too mushy.

Now add half of the scallions, soy sauce, red chili sauce and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook on medium high heat for 3 minutes and then add the noodles. Use a pasta spoon to stir in the noodles. Let everything cook together for 3 minutes. Sprinkle some scallions on the top and serve hot alongwith some more soy sauce and red chili sauce.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Carrot Halwa (Gajar Ka Halwa)

Serves 6-8

Happy Holi to all my readers and friends. Holi is a Hindu festival, which is celebrated in spring. It is celebrated on two days. A large bonfire is lit on the eve of Holi and it signifies the good over evil. On the day of Holi, people throw colors on each other and eat sweets. So today I am sharing the recipe of one of my favourite desserts, which is Gajar Ka Halwa.

2 lbs Carrots, peeled and grated
5 1/2 cups Milk
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Khoya (optional)
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Cashewnuts
1/4 cup Pistachios
1/4 cups Almonds
3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
6 pods Green Cardamom, slightly pounded

Heat a large, heavy bottomed and wide pan. Add grated carrots and milk to it and cook on medium heat, stirring a few times till the milk evaporates, about 40 minutes.
Add the sugar and cook till the mixture dries a little. Add the Khoya if available.
Heat the ghee in a small skillet and fry the chopped nuts till they turn a little brown in color. Pour this mix over the carrot and milk mixture and cook till the ghee separates a little. Now add the green cardamoms and serve it warm.