Buddha’s Feast

What Buddha would eat

What Buddha would eat?? Its all in a name

Someone and someone were debating. Vociferously. The avid listener in me yawned after 10 minutes of the bickering. The argument deviated from the original intent to a lesser one in no time. I was interested till the dispute inflamed my mind and made me think. But when it turned into a vegetarian-vs-non-vegetarian tone, I zoned out.

Brown rice feast

Brown rice feast

It started in innocence. What did God eat? Satvik someone piped. To become God, one has to feed the mind pure essential natural energy giving food, he reasoned. But Shiva ate meat, smoked the chillum and drank fermented nectar and he is God – another interjected. Sigh.

See, when you put religion, food and God, you’re bound to set some fireworks off. The main issue was never addressed and it all spiralled down to what-I-eat-is-better-than-what-you-eat.

Use fresh veggies for better flavour

Use fresh veggies for better flavour

So naturally, when I chance upon Buddha’s Feast on a menu card, I am left intrigued 🙂 The dish was as delightful and delicious as anyone would want their meal to be. So in lure of replicating it at home, I do what I always do. Google 😀

Well this is what I get – clean fresh pure vegetables in a simple slightly thick sauce, flavoured mildly with soy and chillies, ideally served with brown rice or whole grain noodles.

Add a protein

Add a protein

The Recipe:

Ingredients

2 cups of diced vegetables, like broccoli, bok choy, carrots, beans, mushrooms, baby corn water chestnuts etc
1/4 cup firm tofu or paneer, diced.
1/4 cup diced peppers
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big onion, diced
1 cup Vegetable Stock
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chile paste
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste and pepper powder
Cooked brown rice, for serving

Method

Parboil broccoli, baby corn, beans and water chestnuts. Keep aside.
In a skillet, heat oil, sauté minced garlic and diced onions till they turn pink. Now add peppers, boo chou, carrot and mushrooms. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Saute till 3/4th done. Now add the parboiled vegetables and tofu. Toss.
In a small bowl, whisk together stock, soy sauce, cornstarch, mirin, and chile paste. Place 1/2 cup mixture in a small bowl.
Add this sauce to the sautéed veggies, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper powder. Serve immediately.

Make a potful

Make a potful

Note: You can add marinated paneer or tofu is desired. Immerse the tofu in soy sauce and chili paste mixture for 30 minutes and then use as required.

Note: Add/Remove any vegetable of your choice.

Note: Adapted from here : http://www.marthastewart.com/316528/buddhas-feast-vegetable-stir-fry

For cold wintery nights

For cold wintery nights

A bowl full of this fresh stir fry vegetables and greens leaves you feeling calm, clean, light and satiated. So yea, I guess Buddha would eat this too 🙂 But what’s in a name anyway, make this to health and for that feel good factor.

Its been one amazing year for Angie and her wonderful co hosts who throw this weekly visual potluck parties. So we are all celebrating! Thanks to the growing popularity and contribution to the event, the celebrations are extended for a two week program. Though I was unable to contribute to the last week’s appetiser and drink event, I make it up with this main course! So please run over to Angie’s First-Fiesta-Friday Anniversary and check out the various mouth watering link ups.

Spicy Sesame Orange Vegetables, Chinese Style

It’s the middle of a busy week. Middle of yet another usual routine day and it is unusually quiet. Lethargy reigns the room. She sits beside me doing her homework, while I struggle to stay alert to answer her random queries which usually require superlative performance by my lackadaisical intellect. Then all of a sudden I just wanna let go. I shut the books, my abstractive answers and my mind and simply let go. I fall asleep.

The 20 minute power nap did it. It nudged my languorous senses and my long forgotten inactive taste buds to work. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of tang, a whole lot of spice and a slight crunch of vegetables… mmmm. Oh God! Have I started dreaming of food now?!
Now, that I will never be able to really tell, the only thing huge and apparent was my sudden irresistible urge to eat Chinese. Sigh…

With a wonderful recipe tucked away, patiently waiting to be tried and tested, I decided to satiate my scrumptious cravings. Vegetables coated in a spicy sweet tangy sesame orange sauce along with some burnt garlic fried rice was on the cards.

Spicy Sesame Orange Vegetables, made Chinese Style

Spicy Sesame Orange Vegetables, made Chinese Style

Burnt garlic fried rice is a fool proof dish that has never failed me till date. You can add any minced veggies of your choice, but a whole lot of garlic is mandatory. Since I like pretty lookin food, along with onion greens I decided to throw in minced red peppers. So the red and green beautifully compliment the white, and tiny minuscule dust of pepper powder adds the finishing touch!

Simple, flavorful and so light!

Simple, flavorful and so light!

Dinner that night –

Perfect meal

Perfect meal

The surprise ingredient: An orange. Its milder and sweeter than a lemon, which adds such amazing depth to the sauce, you will be stunned.

Sweet and sour

Sweet and sour

The recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup vegetables, like broccoli, babycorn, colored peppers, mushrooms.. whatever you fancy
  • 1 big onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes or as desired
  • 1+ Tbsp Chings Schezuan Chutney or Asian Hot Chili paste or 2 tsp of Sriracha
  • Zest of 1 small orange
  • Juice of 1 orange (1/3+ cup)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion greens to garnish.

Method

In a bowl, add cornstarch, water, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, red chili flakes, sriracha and orange juice and zest. Whisk everything. Keep aside.

Now heat oil in a wok, saute garlic and onions till the onions turn pink. Now add peppers and veggies along with salt. Stir fry till 3/4th done. You want a bit of crunch in your vegetables not a soggy mass. To this vegetable mix, stir in your sauce. Keep mixing till you get a boil and the sauce turns translucent and glossy. Stir in more water or orange juice if very thick. Check the seasoning. Add extra honey or salt if required. Garnish with spring onion greens and toasted sesame seeds.

Best when served warm.

Maple syrup and orange juice add so much flavor and texture

Maple syrup and orange juice add so much flavor and texture

Note: Sesame oil produces the best results, but you can make this with regular oil too.

Note: the original recipe calls for asian hot sauce or sriracha sauce, since I did not have any I used Chings Schezwan chutney(easily available in super markets). It worked very well.

Tempting Bite

Tempting Bite

Note: This sauce works very well with only tofu or paneer or mushrooms.

Note: Simple plain sticky white rice and this aromatic vegetable seals your dinner deal. 🙂

My favorite food

My favorite food

Well.. here I wake up dreaming of food in the middle of day and incorrigible hunger does nothing but fire my will to satisfy my random food fancies. Now does it happen to you too?

Purple Rice Bowl – Chinese Style

I love vegetable markets. The kind where hawkers lure you with freshest produce, holler and vie for your attention, call out with all zest and confidence to take a quick ‘dekko’ at their treasures. I love to shop here.

Purple Rice Bowl - Chinese Style

Purple Rice Bowl – Chinese Style

And in contrast we have the big uber cool fancy supermarkets which would get me all excited but mostly turned a dampner once entered. These stores are huge, catering to everything imaginable, from a match box to a television. Not to mention, groceries, produce and exotic imported vegetables and fruits. The produce particularly makes me regret coming to the stores and not going to the nearest vegetable markets. One chance view of their godowns/storehouses and the pathetic conditions in which the extra produce is stored, left me cringing for days.

Little Rice Bowls

Little Rice Bowls

But of course, supermarkets versus hawker markets is a topic of debate to which we rather not get into now.
Because now is the turn of this wonderful purply rice bowl that I quickly fixed for dinner tonight. One of the many mellifluous hawkers sold this to me in spite of profuse refusals. But he insisted on the ‘freshness and quality’. So I gave in to his selling strategy but only to pleasantly discover the truth in his words.

Scallion leaves are a must

Scallion leaves are a must

A crisp bright colored cabbage actually calls for some fresh salad. But you know my intermittent relationship with salads. So I quit thinking of raw options and ventured into my most comfortable and favorite territory. Chinese 🙂

Yes, Chinese styled rice, laced with minimal sauces, garnished with scallion leaves – made a delightful dinner!

Say it with color

Say it with color

The Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice, boiled so that each grain is separate
  • 3/4th cup purple cabbage, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tiny piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 tbsp green chili sauce – vary according to your taste
  • salt and pepper powder to taste
  • 2 tbsp scallion/spring onion leaves, minced

Method

In a wok, heat oil, stir fry ginger, garlic and onions, preferably on high, stir frying all the time. Keep the chopped cabbage ready. Once the onions turn translucent, throw in the cabbage along with salt. Stir fry and saute till 3/4th done. Try to keep the cabbage a wee bit crunchy.

Add vinegar, green chili sauce, pepper and rice. Mix well. Garnish with scallion leaves.

Serve hot with pan braised veggies or simply some Schezwan Sauce.

Subtle Flavors

Subtle Flavors

I made some pan braised veggies, but could not get pictures for the same.
Using vegetables like onion, bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, baby corn and bok choy, I saute them in oil along with loads of garlic and season them with little salt, pepper and vinegar. Thats it.
They made a perfect colorful accompaniment to my subtle flavored rice.

Purple Passion

Purple Passion

This is a handy recipe if you have:

  • left over rice
  • a ravenous stomach
  • no time
  • fussy taste buds craving something yummy all the time

And oh I forgot, a nice fresh purple cabbage is also required 😉

Vegetable Dimsums / Momos / Steamed Dumplings

Vegetable Dimsums

Vegetable Dimsums

All of 4 years, a bundle of energy, irresistibly cute and disarmingly charming, this little girl can make any man weak in the knees. Really. No exaggeration. The husband transformed into an instant hopeless fan the moment he set his eyes on her.

Little Princess

Little Princess

Dear readers, this post is dedicated to my little niece, Kaeya. A self confessed ‘MOMO’ freak. These little steamed delights are her all time absolute favorites. She invaded my mind all the while I dished up this Tibetan delicacy.

Steamed Tibetan Delight

Steamed Tibetian Delight

Miles between us, but how I wished I could send a box full of soft melt in the mouth dimsums to her. I can almost hear her shrieking with glee. I see her savoring each bite with such mindfulness that you would be satiated just looking at her 🙂
Yes, she is that magnetic.

No, it’s not her birthday or her first day of school or any special day for me to remember her.

It’s one of those days, when you just do. When you just remember someone, simply because you miss them. Don’t need a birthday or a friendship day or a valentine day to acknowledge another’s presence in our life. It’s one of those days when you simply wish they were here with you.

Garlic Red Chili Chutney/Dip

Garlic Red Chili Chutney/Dip – perfect with steaming hot momos!

I made an ingratiating red garlic chili tomato dip to serve these hot dumplings. Pounded garlic and kashmiri red chilies in a bed of tomatoes, infused with a lot of sesame oil sure adds a very winning accompaniment to the momo mania. Usually kids relish the dimsums as it is, without a dip. But Milee, my 6 year old licks this sauce more than her peers. What can I say?! She has one different palette!

Dunk it right in!

Dunk it right in!

The Recipe:

For MOMO making step by step pictures, refer here.

Ingredients

For the wrapper:

  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup plain flour/maida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
  • luke warm water to knead.

For the stuffing:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 5-6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 big onion minced
  • 1 cup grated cabbage
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 10-12 french beans, minced
  • 1 small bell pepper, minced – I used red bell pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp spring onion/scallion leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced – optional
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Method

Mix flour, salt, oil and little warm water to make a soft pliable dough. Knead for at least 2 minutes. Keep aside.

Now to make the filling:

Heat oil. Saute garlic, green chili(if using) and onions. Once almost pinkish, then add the rest of the grated minced veggies and stir fry till 3/4th done. Sprinkle soy sauce, salt and pepper. Top with scallions leaves. Mix well. Cool the mixture. Keep aside.

Stuffed with grated veggies

A peek into the stuffing

Now to make the Dimsums:

I grabbed huge handfuls of the dough. With help of more plain flour, I rolled out real thin big huge rounds. The husband likes the wrapper thin, he doesn’t like the doughy taste of the cover. So, it’s a task to thin as possible without tearing. Then I used a round cookie cutter or a steel bowl/katori, and cut out small several rounds.

On each round, place a few spoon fulls of filling, and gently close the circle encompassing the stuffing into a little pointed bag.

The making

The making

Once you have 6-7 momos ready, steam them for 5-7 minutes, ideally in a bamboo steamer(How, I wish I owned one!), but since most of us don’t have one, we improvise.
An idli maker or your khaman dhokla maker works absolutely fine in such a situation.

Steamed hot dumplings

Steamed hot dumplings

Now for the Red Chili Tomato Sauce:

Soak 10-12 kashmiri red chilies for 10 minutes. In a blender, chop up two red ripe tomatoes, add 12-15 cloves of garlic, soaked red chili and a tiny piece of ginger. With out adding any water, grind into a paste. Heat 3 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok, saute one chopped onion. Add the tomato-garlic-red chili paste. Boil well till the oil leaves the sides. Season with salt. Keeps good for at least a month, in the refrigerator.

Appetising.

Appetising.

A long chat with the very talkative, tale spinner. The phone passing many hands, the conversation abruptly ending many times, the loud chitter chatter, the mother( READ: sometimes mine, sometimes my daughter’s, sometimes my niece’s) complaining. Sisters sharing small stories and laughter – A very fitting end to a very dreamy long reminiscing day.

Vermicelli Noodles

Milee started primary 2 weeks back. With this new academic year comes brand new fundamental changes in our daily schedule. Apart from “waking up before the sun” there are more pressing matters to be dealt with. What do I put in her lunch box? The pre primary phase of her school pampered us mothers by “compulsory” providing them with snacks, but now the dream period seems to be done. They pass the batons to us, and what do we do?
We rack our puny brains to fill awesomeness(read: yumm yet healthy) in tiny tiffins so that the persnickety remains satiated and filled. Phew! A towering task.

Yet, the food must be made, the box packed, the child gratified.

Vegetable Vermicelli Noodles

Vegetable Vermicelli Noodles

Here I have this delicious sly camouflaged snack, which will fill the box as well as Mr/Miss Picky’s tummy.
Roasted semolina vermicelli is sautéed with veggies in chinese style, with minimal sauces but huge flavors from garlic and scallions leaves. A nutritious close cousin of our very dear traditional noodles.
So, I have whole grain from semolina, all great nutrients from the host of fresh vegetables in it and ofcourse yummness certified from Miss Milee. Yay! got one more dish in my what-to-give-in-her-lunch-box list!

Awesome alternative to Refined flour noodles

Awesome alternative to Refined flour noodles

I know, not all kids eat all their greens. So play around with the vegetables. Customize the recipe according to your child’s favorites. Use more of what he likes, a little lesser of what he grimaces at. Peas and Corn are a no-no for mine, but I indulge her fussines by not hounding her dish with the forbidden eats… but adding a little bit nonetheless.

Nutritious

Nutritious

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted semolina vermicelli, I used MTR’s
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp colored peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of veggies, sliced thin. I used cabbage,carrot and beans
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced length wise – use accordingly
  • 1 spoon oil
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp spring onion greens

Method

First, boil the vermicelli like how you would do it with noodles. That is in a pot of boiling water, throw in salt and little oil and put the vermicelli in. Since it is roasted, this process hardly takes time, so keep an eye. Once almost done, cover the pot with a lid. Keep aside.

In a wok, heat the oil up and like traditional noodles we proceed. Saute ginger garlic paste, green chili and onions. Then thow in the colored peppers. Saute. Once done, add the sliced veggies and salt. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Stir fry on high. Once 3/4th done, add the sauces and pepper powder. Mix well. To this add the strained vermicelli, and onion greens. Turn the flame on high, toss.

Serve hot or if you intend to pack in your little one’s box, slightly cool the mock noodles and shut tight.

Quick Tasty Bite

Quick Tasty Bite

They resemble and taste a lot like the usual fare, but this version with “sevviyan”(vermicelli) is healthier and guilt free. So pile on in those tiffin boxes and be mighty pleased when it returns empty.

Scrumptious Snack

Scrumptious Snack

Corn Rice – Chinese Style

Corn Rice - Chinese Way!

Corn Rice – Chinese Way!

Chinese is my comfort food. And so is rice. So Chinese styled Rice, with fresh succulent sweet corn thrown in, as you can guess, will be absolutely divine!

I made this for dinner the other day, and Milee and her imaginary friends(Doraemon, Ganesha and Emily) all joined in for a bite. The kid usually eats all her veggies with an exception for a few… like corn kernels and peas. A whole corn on the cob will be devoured with loads of butter and lime, but corn pearls in food is refused by the fuss-pot. So, I had to pick out the kernels from her rice and I got an extra dose of it in mine!

Scallions add amazing flavor.. so don't skip it.

I kept it simple, without adding too many sauces. Just a little bit soy and a dash of vinegar. With each bite, distinct flavors tickled the taste buds.

Colorful Melange

Colorful Melange

Simple, Quick Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 and a half cup boiled rice, each grain separate
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 big onion, minced
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • a small piece of ginger, minced
  • 3-4 green chilies, minced… vary to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped spring onion/scallions leaves
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Method

First and foremost, cool the boiled rice.
In a skillet, heat oil. Saute minced garlic, ginger, green chilies and onions. Stir fry on high. Add peppers at this stage, stir frying all the time. Then throw in the corn kernels and chopped carrot. Saute till 3/4th done. We like the crunch in the veggies. Stir in the soy and vinegar. Salt and pepper. Add rice. Mix gently.

Season with chopped scallion leaves. Lots of scallion leaves. Serve hot!

Comfort food for me.

Comfort food for me.

Paneer Chilly

Yummy Paneer Chilly

Yummy Paneer Chilly

Many a times, you will find yourself trying very hard to replicate a particular dish made by a special person. And the result is usually unsatisfying. Like my mother’s punjabi channe or my sister’s vegetable kadai or the husband’s famous Paneer Chilly.
Yes, dear foodies, the husband sometimes does enter the forbidden territory to create history. Spicy bhel, fluffy spongy yet crisp dosas, mumbai style street side sandwiches and chilly Paneer are his favorites and specialities.

He taught me this amazing Indo Chinese appetizer, where cottage cheese is sautéed in an amalgam of chinese sauces. And guess what?! This recipe bakes the cheese instead of the traditional deep frying, and it still tastes great. This melt in the mouth, extremely nutritious starter triggers your taste buds to unseen heights. I’ve tried hard, but am yet to reproduce the perfect Paneer chilly.

Now that he was back after a long hiatus, I implored him to make this especially for my blog. The highness obliged but only after ascertaining that the cook would get due credit and I would do all the menial work. Like I had a choice.

So, dear family and friends, this one’s from the husband’s treasury of prized recipes:

Onions, Bell Peppers and Cottage Cheese.. whats not to like?!!

Onions, Bell Peppers and Cottage Cheese.. whats not to like?!!

Glistening Amalgam of sauces, vegetables and paneer. Wow.

Glistening Amalgam of sauces, vegetables and paneer. Wow.

Ingredients

250 gms cottage cheese/paneer, diced into moderate sized pieces

For the marinade:

  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp green chili sauce
  • salt to taste

Other ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup big diced onions
  • 1/2 cup big diced bell peppers( use different colored ones, I had only green at the time)
  • 10 pods of garlic… shocked?… tastes divine.. really.
  • 5-6 green chilies, slit length wise
  • 2 tbsp spring onion/scallions whites, chopped
  • 2 tbsp spring onion/scallions greens, chopped
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp red or green chili sauce – your call
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3-4 tsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note: The quantity of chilies and sauces varies to your taste. If you like it hot, then liberally use the stuff, else, refrain.

Method

To bake the Paneer:
Mix the diced pieces of paneer with ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, green chili sauce and salt. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Arrange on a baking sheet or a greased baking tray and bake till golden brown at 180 degree centigrade. It takes about 15 minutes or so.

While the paneer gets baked, get going with the sauce that will coat it.

In a skillet, heat oil. Saute the garlic. Once slightly done, add green chilies,onions and spring onion whites. Fry till pink, then add bell peppers and saute on high. When the veggies are almost done, pour in your sauces. Feel free to adjust the quantity as per your taste buds.

In goes, tomato ketchup, chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add the baked brown paneer. Toss. Sprinkle the spring onion greens.

Serve hot with any fried rice/plain steaming rice or as it is.

Goes well with Noodles/Fried rice.

Goes well with Noodles/Fried rice.

Do the pictures lure you enough to try it out? Milee and me were super happy with the efforts. We devoured with such fervor, the cook looked on mighty pleased.

Bell Peppers taste divine with cottage cheese!

Bell Peppers taste divine with cottage cheese!

Note: A word of advice, please don’t omit the scallions/Spring onion greens. I know, we don’t usually stock in the fridge like chilies, and coriander but this green deserves a place in Paneer Chilly! It adds so much flavour and freshness, it criminal to forego it.

Chappathi Noodles / Indian Flatbread Noodles

Noodles made out of Chappathis

Noodles made out of Chappathis

You read it right. We are making chinese style noodles out of leftover chappathis/rotis. Raised an eyebrow. Well, dont blame you.
I had my doubts when I first heard of this Noodle with a twist from my friend, Sonal. She saw a seasoned chef preparing it with such Elan, that she quickly called to share. ‘Yumm it looks’ she says.

My raised eyebrow wouldn’t come down, chappathi noodles was unheard of. I have this Tamil version where you tear the chappathi into small bits and saute with onions and green chilies, to be eaten with cold pachadi(yoghurt flavored with spices). But to make the bread in Chinese style was a first. So I decided to dish it up to clear the fog.

Beckoning enough?

Beckoning enough?

Leftover chappathis are not hard to have. Every once in a while we do have a couple remaining after lunch. So, rummaging through the refrigerator, I find a host of colored veggies. And by now, you must be familiar with my love for fresh produce. For dinner that night, Chinese Chappathi Noodles beckoned me like no other.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 thin chappathis/rotis/Indian flat bread
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup colored peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup of veggies, sliced thin. I used cabbage,carrot, beans, broccoli, baby corn.
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced length wise – use accordingly
  • 1 spoon oil
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato ketch up
  • salt to taste
  • pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp spring onion greens

Method

To make noodles out of the flat bread, roll up the chappathis tightly into a pipe like shape, then holding it firm, using a sharp knife, cut into thin noodle like strings.

Now, in a wok, heat the oil up and like traditional noodles we proceed. Saute ginger garlic paste, green chili and onions. Then thow in the colored peppers. Saute. Once done, add the sliced veggies and salt. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Stir fry on high. Once 3/4th done, add the sauces and pepper powder. Mix well. To this add the chappathi strings, and onion greens. Turn the flame on high, toss.

Serve hot.

We were pleasantly surprised with the turn out. Quite similar to veg hakka noodles, this version gave us the satisfaction of chinese along with the health benefits of whole grain, nutritious chappathi.

A big thumbs up to Sonal for sharing this, and yea.. the fogs cleared and the picture looks bright and new.

No guilt with this one.

No guilt with this one.

The chappathi strings resemble more like flat noodles rather than the traditional one. So what about pad thai next time with chappathi? Game anyone?!

Grab a bite!

Grab a bite!

Vegetables in hot garlic soy sauce

Veggies in hot garlic

Veggies in hot garlic soy sauce

Super easy and quick, this veggie is a great combination with fried rice or noodles or even plain steamed rice. Avoid the MSG, and you have crunchy half-cooked veggies in a super smooth hot soy gravy.

Broccoli, babycorn and bell peppers, in an aromatic garlic sauce

Broccoli, babycorn and bell peppers, in an aromatic garlic sauce

I did not have cottage cheese or paneer at hand, but if you do, do toss in a few pieces and the end result is simply divine!
The husband likes paneer with his noodles and fried rice, so sometimes, I skip all the vegetables and follow the recipe with only paneer as the main ingredient. Do I need to tell you, but… we never have any leftovers for this one.

We had a perfect blend of burnt garlic fried rice with this saucy spicy vegetable:

Divine Blend

Divine Blend

Try and use the freshest produce available. Like tender babycorns and broccoli. It of course, helps with the taste but takes lesser time to cook too.

Ingredients

  • 1 big onion, chopped into big pieces
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, sliced and minced
  • 2-3 whole red chilies
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • 2 tbsp spring onion greens, chopped
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables, broccoli, mushrooms, babycorn, bell peppers, zucchini, chinese Bok choy/cabbage etc
  • optional: 7-8 cubes of cottage cheese / paneer
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil or any oil

Method

As with any chinese dish, keep all your vegetables chopped and ready.

Heat oil in a light wok, saute the garlic, green chilies and onion, along with the red chilies. Once, the onions are slightly pink, add the other vegetables, with salt and sprinkle a little water. Saute on high, till the vegetables are half done. If your greens are fresh, the sauteing will be quicker and end result tastier.

Now, add the sauces, soy, vinegar and chili sauce, along with sugar. Mix well. In a separate bowl, take 2 cups of water, add cornflour, mix till it dissolves completely. Now add this cornflour mix to the sautéed veggies. Keep stirring, notice the blurry hazy gravy turning into a shiny glossy one. Sprinkle spring onion greens, give it a boil or two. If you like your veggies fully cooked, then boil for a slightly longer time, else, take off flame.

Serve hot with any chinese style rice/noodles.

Spicy and aromatic

Spicy and aromatic

Burnt Garlic Veg Fried Rice

Chinese is my most favorite cuisine. When we were growing up, we had only two kinds of exotic food to choose from – chinese and burger/pizza junk( yea, way back, Pizzas and burgers were thought of as exotic …dont ROFL now).

Burnt Garlic Veg Fried Rice

Burnt Garlic Veg Fried Rice

Indian chinese is a modified tweaked version of the authentic. Spiced up and sauced up, the Indian version literally yells out to your palette!!

I made this wonderful aromatic fried rice with lots of minced veggies and an extra dose of burnt garlic for that amazing flavor. Teamed it with exotic veggies in a hot sauce, and the complete meal beckoned us with unabashed greed.

Colorful and Flavorful

Colorful and Flavorful

Avoid the MSG, keep it simple and healthy.

Avoid the MSG, keep it simple and healthy.

Usually I do my cutting and chopping while the onions get sautéed, but not for Chinese. Please remember to always keep your veggies chopped and ready for use before putting that wok on fire! Quick sauteing on high flame is the trick for most chinese dishes.

Since I was combining the rice with a hot soy sauce vegetable, I skipped adding sauces to the rice. This way, you get to enjoy the right flavors from the right source.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice, washed, soaked, cooked so that each grain is separate and cooled.
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced
  • 1 tiny piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2-3 green spring onions, minced
  • 1 cup thinly minced vegetables, like carrot, beans, bell peppers and peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Optional: chopped mushrooms

Method

Keep your vegetables all chopped and ready. Heat a light chinese wok, add oil. Once hot, saute the garlic till they turn golden brown. Remove half the garlic, keep aside. Now, throw in the ginger green chili, onions and the white part of spring onions. Saute all on high.

Then add your minced veggies, along with salt. Keep frying on a high flame till almost done. We like our veggies with that extra crunch and bite, so we leave it at 80% done. Add rice, along with spring onion greens, burnt garlic and pepper powder.

Mix well with gentle hands. Take care not to smash the rice.
Serve with any chinese style vegetable or paneer.

Ni Hao.

Ni Hao.

Satisfies those ravenous hunger pangs.

Satisfies those ravenous hunger pangs.


Note:
I avoided the MSG and any other extra sodium, and still the end result rocked.

Burnt Garlic kicks Taste buds!

Burnt Garlic kicks Taste buds!