Monday, December 30, 2013

Under 15 minutes hakka noodles

There are days when there is very little left over from lunch and I am either too lazy or too caught up with other things to whip up the whole roti + dal/vegetables and raita dinner. On one such days, the husband asks me, why don't you ever make hakka noodles? Well, maybe because I have never made it before, maybe because the sight of the over oily hakka noodles at the restaurants got to me and I was plain not interested in making it. But seemed like it was something that he liked. So the next supermarket visit involved picking up a packet of Chings hakka noodles and a bottle of soy and green chilli sauce each.

When I went through the procedure, I was in for a nice surprise. There was hardly anything to the recipe. And now I make it often, on my lazy days and we happily follow it up with some curd rice and complete the meal. So here is how I make Hakka Noodles in less than 15 minutes. It will take you lesser time if you don't skimp on pots and pans. I do all the cooking in the same pan which doesn't let me do parallel processing.

I make it with very little oil. You may call me a killjoy, but I like it this way. Eaten hot, you won't notice the difference.


1 cup of veg - carrots, beans, spring onions, cabbage, capsicum, chopped lengthwise
1 packet of hakka noodles
salt and pepper powder to taste
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of green chilli sauce
2 tbsp of oil


Clean and chop the vegetables lengthwise. I microwave vegetables like carrot and beans for a minute since I don't like them too raw in the noodles.

Next, in a pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and add to it the onion (i used the onion from the spring onion) and capsicum. You can add minced garlic to this if you want. On high flame, saute this well. Add to this the microwaved vegetables and stir.

In the end, sprinkle the chopped spring onion shoot from the top. To this, add the soy sauce and green chilli sauce. Mix really well. All of this is done on really high flame. Turn off the gas and remove the vegetables in a bowl.

In the same pan, heat sufficient amount of water and cook the noodles as per pack instructions. I add some oil to the water itself to prevent the noodles from sticking. Cook on high flame. It takes less than 2 minutes for them to cook. Turn off the gas when they start frothing up.

Strain it in a colander, run under some cold water to stop the cooking process and add another tsp of oil on it and mix well with your hands to prevent it from sticking. Now, in the same pan, take your prepared vegetables.

Add the strained noodles to this and toss well on high flame. Season with some salt ( the soy sauce already has enough salt and we cooked the noodles also with some salt, so go easy on it) and white pepper powder. Serve hot!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Quick Snack - Pav Bhaji

If there is one thing that I cannot do these days, it is spending time in the kitchen for too long. The weather in Mumbai simply does not let you do it.But that certainly does not mean saying no to making snacks for the evening. When you have a pav bhaji craving and know that you can down more than a plate of pav bhaji with extra pav thrown in, then you use your common sense and figure out that it is better to make it at home. Does this mean you slave away in your kitchen to make it? Hell no! You take all the short cuts possible and make a really quick pav bhaji in less than half hour.

Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves : 4


2 cups of assorted chopped vegetables
2 big Tomatoes
2 small onions
1 capsicum
2 green chillies slit
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp jeera
1 pinch hing
1 inch ginger grated
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp dhania powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste

To serve:
Toasted pav or bun
1 small onion chopped
lemon wedges
coriander leaves


Quickly chop up veggies to get you two cups of assorted vegetables - carrots, beans, peas, potato, beets. I like chopping so i chopped them up. You could use your food processor instead to speed up this process. I also added two tomatoes in the mix.
Pressure cook this for 3-4 whistles.
Now chop up two small onions and a capsicum.
In a pan, heat up some oil and throw in a tsp of cumin seeds. Add a generous pinch of hing to this. You certainly don't wanna skip that cause it is proven to be beneficial to nullify the effect of the gassy veggies that go into the bhaji. Once the flavor of the cumin starts rising, add the chopped onions and saute for two minutes. Follow it up with the capsicum and two green chilies and grated ginger. Add a generous pinch of turmeric to it and fry.

Saute for two minutes. To this add the boiled vegetables. Adjust the salt for the entire bhaji.

 Now to this add 1/2 tsp of cumin and coriander powder each. Add half a tsp of red chilli powder and a tbsp of pav bhaji masala. And top it with a generous dollop of butter.Now using a potato masher, mash the bhaji such that it becomes a homogeneous paste like mixture.
Once it is all mixed in, add half a cup of water if you need to adjust the consistency and simmer for five minutes. Adjust the salt. Maybe add some sugar if you need a tinge of sweetness.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves generously on this. Top the bhaji with some chopped onions. Serve hot with butter toasted buns or pav and a wedge of lime on the side. It gets done real fast and you can eat not one, but two or even three servings while catching your favorite tv show with a cup of tea on the side.