Say chinese.. and the first thing that comes to mind is noodles and manchurian. Chinese food is so popular in India that it is served at all places right from road side bandiwallas (read carts) to sheek restaurants. We Indians also have the distinction of totally “Indianising” Chinese food, adding our own masalas to it. Part of the credit goes to the FMCG companies that introduced the quick noodles concept in India and part to the chefs who succeeded in indiansing Chinese food. The repercussions… demand for Chinese food from both kids and adults alike :D. It is always a good feeling to make all this stuff at home. So I have come up with my own way of making noodles at home. I, ofcourse, use noodle packs like Maggi and top ramen, but I make it in my own way to give it a personalised and healthy touch. I also make sure to buy wheat based noodles. Wheat based are always better than the regular white ones. So here comes my way of making healthy and tasty stir fried noodles at home.
The ingredients you require are:
Maggi noodles or any noodles of your choice : 1 pack
Ginger : 1 inch piece grated or cut into match stick shape
Garlic : 3-4 pods peeled and sliced
Green chillies : 3-4 sliced
Onion : 1 medium size cut into rings and the rings seperated
Carrot : 1 medium sized peeled and grated or cut into thin strips
Beans : 2 or 3 finely chopped
Mushrooms : 2 or 2 chopped
Cabbage : small piece grated
Capsicum : 1 medium sized sliced
Spring onions : Cut into 1″ pieces as shown in the picture
(All the veggies are optional. You can use whatever veggies are available in your fridge If you plan to use more kinds of veggies, just use lesser quanities. I used carrots and spring onions.)
Taste maker/masala maker pack (optional)
Sauces : Tomato sauce , soya sauce according to your choice
Salt and chilli powder according to taste
Oil for cooking
(Chinese people normally use peanut/groundnut oil as they like the nutty flavour. You can use whichever oil you want.)
A few pointers before starting to make the noodles:
Since all the ingredients have to be cooked on high heat, it is a good option to use a heavy bottomed pan or a kadhai. Non-stick pan might not really work because the pan may not reach the required temperature. We need to get the oil to smoking point before we start making the noodles.
It is also important to get all the ingredients chopped and ready before we start making the noodles since the pan will be on high heat and we would need to work quickly so that all the flavours of all the ingredients should get sealed properly.
It is a good idea to chop all the ingredients into more or less of the same size as that helps all the veggies cook evenly.
Here is how to make stir fried noodles
Bring water to boil in a heavy bottomed vessel or pan. Add some salt to it. Now add the noodles from the pack. Allow to cook stirring continuously. Do not cook the noodles till they get soft completely as we would further cook the noodles later.
Remove the noodles from heat al-dante or when they are still a little hard and have a little bite to them. Run the noodles under cold water. Drain. Add some oil to the noodles and mix well. This will prevent the noodles from sticking with each other. Keep aside.
Heat oil to smoking point in a wok. Once the oil is sufficiently hot, add the aromatics ie, ginger, garlic and green chillies one after the other. Now add the onions and keep stirring. You can also add the white part of the spring onions if you are using them.
Now add the veggies one after the other and keep stirring to avoid burning. Add the green part of the spring onions.
Add salt,chilli powder and taste maker.
If you want to substitute the taste maker with sauces like tomato sauce and soya sauce, you can do that at this stage. Just add the sauces at this stage and mix well.
Stir the mixture well. To this add the cooked noodles. Mix well to make sure that all the ingredients mix with each other.
Stir for 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with coriander and serve hot with sauces of your choice.
The procedure might sound lengthy and complicated but it is really simple once you start making it.
Egg noodles: To make egg noodles, just add scrambled eggs just before adding noodles to the mixture.
Break one or two eggs in a bowl. Add salt, whisk well and scramble in a pan. Add to the noodle mixture. Mix well and serve hot.