Category: Indo Chinese

Sichuan Sauce

I love love love this sauce… I can have it as a side dish. Back in Kolkata, Momos are one of the popular street foods and they are served along with this sauce. We went out to eat Chinese food and saw the next table being served some Dimsums while our desert arrived. Since then the steamed beauties have been haunting me. Made Mushroom Suimai to go along with Sichuan Sauce. Kids gorged on Suimai by dipping in Tomato Ketchup while Abbas and I drenched our sore throats in Hot Sichuan Sauce. Yummm…

I followed recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor’s

Red chillies – 10-12
Oil – 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves – 10, finely chopped
Green chillies – 2, finely chopped
Spring onions – 2, finely chopped
Ginger – 1″, grated
Vegetable stock or water – 1/2 cup
Celery Stalk – 2-3″, finely chopped (I skipped this)
Tomato Ketchup – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Whitw Vinegar – 2 tsp
Spring onion greens – 2 stalks, finely chopped

1. Boil red chillies in a cup of water for 5-7 mins. Drain, cool and grind to a fine paste.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, green chillies, spring onions and ginger. Saute for one minute. Add red chilli paste and continue to saute for a few more seconds.
3. Add vegetable stock, celery, tomato ketchup and salt to taste and stir well to mix.
4. Add vinegar and spring onion greens. Simmer for one minute and then take the pan off heat.
5. Cool and store preferably in the refrigerator. It will keep for about one month.

PS: Recipe for Momo to follow….


Methi Fried Rice

This post was lying in my draft section for ages and today I finally it is gonna see the light of day! I love greens and always try to include them in our food. Abbas is not fond of greens featuring in a stand alone dish. So I sneak them in curries / pooris / paranthas / rice. This was one such attempt where I made mixed fried rice sprinkled with generous amount of fenugreek leaves.

Off to the recipe:

Basmati rice – 2 cups
Chopped veggies (carrot, beans, capsicum, onions) – 1 cup
Shrimps – 15-20, deshelled, deveined and cleaned (optional)
Shredded chicken pieces – 15-20 (optional)
Eggs – 2 (optional for vegetarians, but I don’t like my fried rice w/o eggs)
Fenugreek leaves – 1/2 cup
Soya Sauce – 1 tbsp
Maggi Cube – 1
Pepper powder – to tase
Salt – to taste
Oil – 3 tbsp
White vinegar – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp

1. Wash and soak rice in sufficient water for 30 mins.
2. Boil 4 cups water in a vessel. Add soaked rice, salt, few drops of oil and vinegar. Let it cook. Keep checking to make sure the rice doesn’t get fully cooked. Remove from flame when the rice is ‘almost’ cooked. Drain the water away. Spread rice on a flat surface. Do not cover it. Keep aside.
3. Stir in 1 tsp each of sugar and salt in about 2 cups of water. Soak the fenugreek leaves in this solution for about 15 mins. Strain the water and tightly squeeze out extra water. Saute the leaves in a tsp of oil for about 2-3 mins. Keep aside.
4. In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Add eggs, salt. Scramble the eggs and keep aside.
5. In the same pan, add 1 tsp of oil, fry chicken pieces and shrimp with some salt. Remove and keep aside till the rice cools down.
6. In the same pan take rest of the oil, add all the veggies.
7. Once the veggies are sauted, add soya sauce, shrimp, chicken, scrambled eggs, chopped mint and coriander leaves and rice. Sprinkle maggi cube powder. Mix well.
8. Check salt at this stage. If less, add a bit more of soya sauce or maggi cube (both are salty and mix well with rice instead of raw salt) and mix.

Chilly Chicken

One of the widely spread Indo-Chinese dishes and liked by most! I am lost for words today and hence let’s straight away dive into the recipe. This is inspired from Chaitrali’s ‘I-m-not-a-Chef’.
Boneless chicken – 1 cup (cut into bitesize pieces)
For marination:
Egg – 1
Cornflour – 1/4 tbsp
Dark soya sauce – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – to taste
Salt – to taste
For the sauce:
Garlic – 8-10 cloves, finely chopped
Onion – 1 medium sized, finely chopped or diced
Capsicum – 1 medium sized, finely chopped or diced
Red chilli sauce – 1/2 tbsp
Green chilli sauce – 1/2 tbsp
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Cornflour – 1 tsp
Chicken / Vegetable Stock – 1/2 cup (I used Maggi Cube dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
Green chillies – 2-3, finely chopped (as per spice tolerance, increase or decrease)
Salt and sugar as required.
1. Marinate the chicken pieces with egg, pepper powder, salt, soya sauce and keep aside for 15 mins.
2. Deep fry in oil till golden brown and keep aside.
3. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic and saute for a while.
4. Then add green chillies and continue to saute.
5. Add onions and capsicum and continue to saute. Add all green chilli sauce, red chilli sauce and soya sauce and combine.
6. Add the fried chicken pieces and toss well. Add chicken stock.
7. Mix a tsp of cornflour in a little water and add.
8. Add salt and sugar and combine.
If you are serving this for a getogether, keep the fried chicken pieces and the sauce ready. Combine just before serving.

Indo-Chinese noodles

This dish makes an appearance atleast once in a month on our table. Abbas and I both don’t eat rotis or chapathis for lunch or dinner. For rice patrons like us, absence of rice means an incomplete meal. But when we crave for a change once in a while, we go for Noodles. Kids love it too and the quantity of consumption would be more than compared to rice. My Amma would always tell us siblings that you have two different stomachs in there. One for your favourite food which always has space to accomodate and the other for your non-favourites which always claims to be full!

Hakka Noodles – 1 packet
Veegies – 1 cup, sliced to thin long juliennes(Carrot, Beans, cabbage (par boiled), capsium, spring onions)
Onion – 1 medium, sliced
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Green chilli sauce – as per taste
Maggi cube – 1
Salt – to taste
Pepper powder – to taste
Scrambled eggs – 2 (optional)
Oil – tbsp

1. Cook noodles as per instructions on the packet. After draining water, spread it on wide plates and let them cool completely.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and saute for 2 mins.
3. Now add all the veggies and saute for another 2-3 mins. Add rest of the ingredients and noodles and toss them well so that all sauces and veggies are uniformly mixed with noodles.

1. I generally don’t add tastemaker while making instant noodles for kids. I use all those stocked up tastemaker sachets while making noodles. You may add Maggi cubes instead.
2. Since soya souce and tastemaker / cubes have salt in it, be careful while adding extra salt.

Chicken Manchurian

I’ve been working in night shifts continuously for the last couple of months. Initial days had taken my health on a toll. I would pop in Saridon after Saridon every alternate day due to lack of sleep. Mondays and Tuesdays would be kinda OK. With Wednesday’s onset I would drag myself hard to reach Saturday. There were days when I had no interest to cook whatsoever but then simply HAD to. The outcome from my kitchen those days had to tolerate the tied eyebrows, wrinkled noses, disgusting looks and forced consumption for the sake of survival. Abbas, being in Bangalore, would come to Chennai on alternate weekends. His visits earned me nasty comments which were not unfair (honestly) considering the kind of fare I was presenting them with. When Ma finally declared one day that ‘Seema, you have forgotten how to cook. You would soon need to hire a cook!’, that hit the ego of the cook in me. Since that day, even though I was strained and drained after coming home in the morning, I would put my 100% in cooking to earn compliments as before. When my sincere efforts didn’t bear fruits, I assigned myslef to Root Cause Analysis. Root Cause of the disaster was these spice powders I had recently bought which would spoil anything and everything that I cooked. When I filled my masala dabbas with new masalas, I was Sooo back in the game! Well, why am I discussing all this instead of talking about Chicken Manchurian???. That’s because this is the first dish that brought me my first compliment after that phase. All thanks to Sailu for the marvellous recipe. Abbas told me after having this that it was even better than any other restaurant’s version that he had ever had! The recipe is simply foolproof. I have cooked this several times after that and it has turned out great everytime Yipppeee.

1/4 kg boneless chicken, cut into fine pieces
6-7 tbsps spring onion whites
3-4 tbsps spring onion greens
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic (I used garlic paste)
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger (I used ginger paste)
2 tsps soya sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tsps vinegar
1 tbsp corn flour + 5 tbsps chicken stock or water (I mixed Maggi’s Chicken Stock podwer in water and microwaved on high for 30 secs)
1/2 tsp brown sugar (I omitted this as I didn’t have at hand)
2 tbsps tomato sauce
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd (preferably Kashmiri)
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil (I used sunflower oil)
oil for deep frying

For marinade: (marinate chicken with below ingredients for at least 15 mts or 1 hr)
1/4 tsp pepper pwd
1 egg white
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsps ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
2-3 tbsps corn flour
1-2 tbsps of water, if required

1 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, make small balls of the marinated chicken and carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook on low medium flame and towards the end of the cooking process increase flame to high and deep fry to a golden brown shade. Drain with a slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper. Keep aside.

2 Heat a heavy bottomed vessel, add oil, add the chopped garlic and saute on high flame for about 30 secs. Add the chopped ginger and green chillis and saute for a few more secs. Add the spring onion whites and saute for 3 mts on high flame.

3 Reduce to medium heat and add the brown sugar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and vinegar. Combine well and cook for 2 mts. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock or water and cook for a mt. Add the deep fried chicken balls and cook for 4 mts. Adjust salt, if necessary.

4 Add the cornflour water and cook, tossing the contents, for 4-5 mts. You will find that it becomes thick due to cornflour.

5 Add the chopped spring onion greens and combine. Garnish with more spring onion greens. Serve hot as a starter/appetizer.