Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hakka Noodles With Oodles Of Vegetables And Yes Its Spicy

Hakka Noodles With Oodles Of Vegetables And Yes Its Spicy

Christmas holidays have officially began for kids and we are ready for some downtime. Last Friday's  incident shook me to the roots, it hit home close and hard. Just makes you realize every living moment is precious and to hold on to folks dear tad closer. Had experienced an incident at Starbucks today that restored my faith and in many ways lifted my spirits, had stopped by my local Starbucks store to pick up gift cards for my kids teachers along with Cappuccino for myself. Had my hands full with cards, receipts, cell phone, coffee and my purse. While trying to put things in order I took my wallet out and left it on the table and walked away without realizing. Drove all the way to kids school only to have receive a call from my bank that they found my wallet and that my card was on hold until I pick it up and call them and confirm that all was OK. So the story goes a gentleman found my wallet, returned it to the store manager, she in turn looked up credit card called the 1-800 of my bank gave my information and that's how my bank contacted me. I was blown away what truly could have been a royal nightmare and a disaster turned out to be grateful experience. Just makes you realize that all is well and instills faith in goodness of humans.

This weekend was as usual running around with kids and caught up on a movie. Sunday's lunch was Hakka noodles after hoarding fresh vegetables from farmers market. Realized that when kids are involved in making of the food it's chowed down without any complaints. So cut all vegetables and kids customized their noodles and ate without complaints.
Makes for about  6-8 cups
2 carrots peeled and diced finely
2 cups of beans washed and diced fine
2 cups red onion sliced finely
2 cups cabbage shredded finely
2 cups of green onion chopped
c cups of green bell pepper chopped finely
2 tbsp garlic diced finely
2 tbsp ginger sliced finely
2 packs of Hakka noodles optionally you can substitute egg noodles
2 tbsp of olive oil
2-3 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt according to taste
1/2 cup Soyaki sauce from Trader's Joe
Optionally you can make sauce by combining 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp of rice vinegar, tbsp of brown sugar, 1/4 tbsp sesame seeds toasted, salt, 1/4 tbsp mustard sauce (optional)

1. Boil noodles as per instructions, place noodles in a bowl and toss oil till noodles are well coated and leave aside.
2. Heat wok when hot add tbsp of oil, add garlic, ginger and crushed red peppers and saute till garlic turns brown.
3. Now add onions and saute till onions turn translucent
4. Add remaining vegetables and saute for  2-3 minutes intent is to not over cook the vegetables but to have a crunch.
5. Now add sauce and add toss in cooked noodles
6. Adjust for salt and and toss noodles with green onions and remove from heat.
7. Optionally you can break and egg and toss the noodles till its well cooked.

As we come to the end of the year thankful for the year gone by and looking forward to new year, hope the coming year brings peace and happiness.
This probably will be my last post of the year, so thanks to folks who encourage/read/comment and compliment. Wishing all of you a FABULOUS Year ahead , much love - Sreelu

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Garam Garam Masala Vada Anyone ?

Garam Garam Masala Vada 
One of those day I woke up grumpy expecting the day to be the same but thanks to some kind souls, day turned out so much better and fun and I am ready to call it a day with a wide grin..
Had this post in draft for weeks glad to be posting it today ..

Life in bayarea as a first generation Indian American is a beautiful experience, I moved to US a decade and half ago, when I first came there were a handful of stores and even fewer restaurants.  Ingredients like fresh curry leaves, ground spices or fruits like Mango, Guava were so unheard or rare,  food in restaurants was so outdated and stale, homesickness was inevitable for a new bride like me. That said with the advent of dot com Bayarea experienced a major influx of Indian population and after a decade or so the evidence of Indian population is quite evident. Drive through El Camino and every complex is filled with Indian grocery stores, restaurants specializing in regional cuisine, Indian music stores etc.. etc. With influx of Indians domestic help and home-based restaurants have also mushroomed.
Few months ago had invited friends parents along with few others for dinner and asked a Indian lady cook to help with cooking, she is amazing and cooks at rocket speed and she made masala vada for appetizers. So here goes here receipe
1 cup channa dal
1 cup moong dal
1/3 rd cup rice flour
5-6 green chillies
4-5 stems Pudina
2-3 garlic pods (optional)
20-30 curry leaves
2 red onions cubed
1 tbsp of dania (corriander seeds)
2-3 tbsp of red chili powder
salt according to taste
2 cups of oil for deep frying
1. Soak channa dal and moong dal seperately in water for about 45 min to 1 hr
2.In a food processor grind 3/4 of channa dal and moong dal with very minimal water, it should have thick consistency where it can hold the shape, keep aside 1/4 of channa dal
3. Add rice flour,pudina ,garlic ,salt,chilies and chili powder and grind to a fine paste
4. Now add dhania seeds ,remaining channa dal and finely chopped curry leaves and mix well.

5.Now make them into ball the size of tt balls and keep aside
6.Heat oil in pan
7. Flatten the ball in your hand and gently drop into the hot oil, taking all care not to splatter

8. Deep fry on both sides for about 2-3 minutes until they turn golden brown
Serve hot with pudina chutney, ketchup or peanut chutney and cup of garam garam chai.
Looking forward to Christmas break ..

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