Shital's-Kitchen: August 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Burnt Garlic Noodles with Bean Sprouts

Oh my!! I could slurp them all. I feel there is so much of activity and motor skills required to eat a bowl of noodles, that it makes dinner so much fun. Yes, I just love noodles!!

Like I said in my last post, Inchin's Bamboo Garden is our favorite restaurant for Indo-Chinese meals, and we do make it a point to order their vegetarian noodles. While we were there a month back, I just found out that they market their noodles and sauces too. That was interesting. Although I did not buy their sauces, I bought a pack of noodles. I would usually use Ching's Hakka Noodles from Indian grocery store, but this time wanted to try something new. What I like about Inchin's Noodles apart from taste is that they have small portions of noodles bundled together. This means I can just use as many or little as I need. :) You can use 2 bundles per person and calculate according to your family needs.

Bring water to boil. Add salt and add noodles. Boil for 3-4 minutes or till they are cooked. Strain water and pour cold tap water over the noodles to stop the coking process and to prevent noodles from getting tender and mushy. Add a tsp. of oil to prevent them from sticking.

In a wok, heat 2 tbsp. of oil. Add 2 tbsps. minced garlic. Add 4-5 dry red chillies for spice. Fry well. Add 1/2 cup sliced onions, 1/4 cup bell pepper julienne. Add 1/4 cup beans and carrots each. Saute veggies for 4-5 minutes till they are partially cooked but yet maintain their color and texture.

Add salt, pepper powder and 1 tbsp. vinegar.

Add boiled noodles. If noodles stick to one another, simple rinse them in cold water and then add them to the veggies.

Toss them well and cook for 4-5 minutes.

My new chopstick cool!! Bought these from an Asian store.

Time for taste test :)
Add salt and vinegar if needed.

Remove in a serving plate and garnish with lots of fresh bean sprouts. Just mix before eating. This would keep bean sprouts fresh and crisp.

Serve with soy sauce and spicy homemade schezwan sauce. 
That is how I like it!!

Slurp Slurp... Crunch Crunch...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vegetable Fried Rice

You all know how much Snehanshu and I enjoy Chinese food. Noodles are my favortie, whereas Snehanshu enjoys rice and appetizers. Inchin's Bamboo Garden has been our latest favorite place to dine. In-Chin which stands for India and China :) and their Indo-Chinese food is perfect for Indian palate :) By now we have tried so many dishes at Inchin's, and have never been disappointed with them. So, last weekend instead of dining at the restaurant we enjoyed delicious homemade Indo-Chinese with my healthy twist by adding lots of veggies to my noodles and rice. For appetizers we made whole wheat potstickers. Yes, potstickers are Snehanshu's favorite and I made them super healthy not just with lots of veggies but also by using whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I will post the recipes of noodles and potsticker soon.

Meanwhile, to make healthy fried rice:

Wash 1 cup rice. Boil 3 cups of water with 1 tsp. salt and add washed rice to it.
Boil rice for 10-12 minutes. You do not want to cook rice completely. I like to keep them Al Dente (slightly firm and not fully cooked) so that they complete cooking with the veggies. Drain all the water and let the rice rest.

While the rice cooks, you can prep and start sauteing veggies.
In a hot wok add 2 tbsps. oil. Add 1 tbsp minced ginger and 1 tbsp. minced garlic. Fry 1/2 cup finely chopped onions and 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper.

Add 1/4 cup finely chopped green beans and 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots. Fry for 4-5 minutes with 1 tsp. salt. Add 1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage and chopped onion greens.
(You could also add chopped mushrooms and baby corn to this recipe)

When veggies are partially cooked (I do not overcook them) add boiled rice.
Add 1 tbsp. vinegar and toss rice and veggies well. Cook for 4-5 minutes for flavors to blend well.
(sprinkle water of needed, and cover and cook)

Take a taste test for salt. 
I do not add soy sauce to the rice while cooking. Snehanshu likes to pour a bit while serving.

Simple fried rice ready to be served with some soy sauce.

Enjoy simple Vegetable Fried Rice!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Aloo, Mattar, Tamatar!

One of my favorite curries while growing up was my mom's simple Potato, peas and tomato curry. Yes, this is almost like a quick comfort food for us now. With minimum cooking time and effort, this curry is so versatile for busy weekdays, and it can be enjoyed with rotis, parathas or steamed basmati rice.

I know this dish is very simple, and you might wonder if it is actually worth putting up on my blog. Most families do have their version of a potato curry. But believe me, this post brings back my childhood memories and I am specially dedicating this recipe to my sister. I should say it is our favorite comfort food!!

With many festivals lined up, people in India avoid onion, garlic and lot of other spices. Some people fast by eating only one meal a day. Quick, easy, and delicious recipe is the key to a happy family :)

Take 1 cup of diced potatoes and 1 cup of green peas (fresh or frozen)

In a pan heat 2 tbsps. oil. Add 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds, 2 slit green chillies, 3-4 curry leaves, and pinch of asafoetida (hing)

As soon as mustard and chillies start to crackle, add diced potatoes and peas.

Add enough water to cover the veggies. Add salt to taste and 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder. Cover and cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes.

When veggies are almost cooked, add 2 roughly chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.

When tomatoes become tender, gently smash some of them to flavor the curry.

Add 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder and 2 tsp. coriander powder. Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Flavorful curry with very few ingredients is ready to serve.

Add freshly chopped cilantro and squeeze fresh lime just before serving.

Serve with hot parathas or over steamed rice.
A simple curry without onion and garlic!
Enjoy my home comfort food!