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Showing posts with label indo chinese cuisine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indo chinese cuisine. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Schezwan Matar Chaat ( A Crazy Indo-Chinese Fusion experiment )

Stick to a desi palate ? Or try some Chinese 'chatka' for a change (does not matter even if it is for the 500th time). One of the perennial dilemmas that I face everytime I venture out for some street food is to make up my mind. Walking down one of those lanes is sheer torture for me with the tongue tickling panipuris, chaats, pav-bhajis and dahi vadas trying to lure me with their tantalizing appearance even as the sinful aromas drifting from a nearby Chinese stall has my mind in the throes of what can only be described as a 'culinary orgasm'. Often I end up ordering both. Only to regret wasting food. That is if I am lucky enough to escape the obligatory tummy-ache.

It was during yet another bout of such a dilemma on an idle winter afternoon that I thought of marrying two of my all time favorites so that I could enjoy both at the same time. "Only an idle brain can come up with something so insane ", retorted the husband as he promptly dismissed the idea. "Hah ! Wait till I execute my idea. You will be asking for seconds", replied back the incensed rebel (aka me). Though the first trial did not go as well as I had expected, a little bit of perseverance paid off. It was no longer a toss between the two. Instead I had the perfect amalgamation of two of my favorite street foods.

A simple ragda chaat is infused with the flavors of Schezwan egg noodles. Minus the noodles bit of course. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1 cup yellow peas (soaked overnight)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 large capsicum
  • 1 small carrot 
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced cabbage
  • 5-6 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • chopped green chillis 
  • 3-4 tsp Schezwan sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 2 pinch garam masala
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnishing
  • fried papad for garnishing 

Preparation - Wash and cook the yellow peas with 2 cups water, the potato, turmeric and salt to taste. Remove from flame after 2-3 whistles. The peas should be thoroughly cooked without turning mushy.

Drain the excess water. Peel the potato, roughly mash it up and add it to the cooked peas.

Cut the capsicum and carrot into long slices.

Cooking - Heat a wok. Add 2 tsp oil.

Add the finely chopped garlic and green chilis. Once the garlic is fragrant, add all the veggies and saute on high for 2-3 minutes so that they do not lose their crispiness. 

Add the sugar, schezwan sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar. Toss for 1 minute.

Add the boiled peas and potato along with a generous sprinkle of water. Adjust the salt.

Cook for 2-3 mins. Sprinkle garam masala and mix in. (If it looks too dry at this point, sprinkle some more water. The yellow peas tend to absorb a lot of water)

Around the same time, scramble the eggs in another skillet.

Transfer the schezwan chaat to the serving bowls/plates. Top with the scrambled eggs, sliced onions, more green chili (optional), crushed papad and cilantro.

Serve immediately.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vegetable Manchurian

Vegetable Manchurian happened to be one of my favorites dishes during the college years. I could have it for evening snacks, then again for dinner and if there was still some leftover ( quite miraculously !! ), it would go into the making of my breakfast the next day. Such was my fascination with this delicious Chinese recipe that there was seldom a week when I did not have it. But as they say 'Too much of a good thing is bad'. I lost my appetite for this yummy dish soon after and it was years before I went anywhere near it. I distinctly remember avoiding it at wedding banquets and office parties where it happened to be one of the popular starters for the vegetarian crowd.

But when I came across it recently while browsing for popular Indo-Chinese recipes. Memories came flooding back and I could not resist trying it out at home. While the ones served at restaurants are good, I just wanted to relive the fun that I used to have when making it with my Mom. And btw, it also happens to be one of my brother's favorite. Here this one is for you Bro. Happy Raksha Bandhan !!!!!!!!

Read on for the easy recipe -

Preparation Time - 45-55 mins

Ingredients -

For the balls -

2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
2/3 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped capsicum
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions (i used both the white and green portions)
1/2 cup finely chopped french beans
2-3 green finely chopped chilis
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1/3 tsp chilli powder ( skip this if the green chilis are hot ..mine had very less heat )
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For the sauce -

3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 finely chopped green chilis
3 tsp soya sauce
3-4 tsp vinegar
2 tsp chili sauce
2 tsp tomato ketchup
1 1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sugar
2 pinch garam masala ( only if you like the Punjabi-fied version )
salt to taste
3 tsp vegetable oil ( if you have sesame oil, use it )
2 tsp spring onion greens for garnishing

Preparation - Take all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt and keep aside for 1 hour. After 1 hour, all the veggies would have left water. Thoroughly squeeze out this excess water.

Add all purpose flour ( 2 1/2 tbsp at first ), cornflour, red chili powder and more salt (if required) to the mixing bowl. Mix everything together. Try to form the balls (use a tablespoon as the measure to get balls of uniform size). If they seem crumbly, then add more all purpose flour.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Once it reaches the right temperature, place one ball as a test first. [If it does not rise quickly to the surface, the oil is cold and the balls will absorb too much oil. If it turns dark too soon, the oil is overheated. If it starts to break, then it needs more binding agent.]

Once the first ball turns out fine, then add 4-5 of the balls at a time. Do not crowd the vessel as it will cause the oil temperature to plummet . Fry on medium flame till golden brown.

Remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process for the remaining vegetable balls.

Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a separate wok. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and green chillis. Fry on medium high, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add soya sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar and chili sauce to the wok along with the sugar and fry for 1 minute.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1 cup cold water. Add to the wok. Adjust salt. Keep stirring till the sauce thickens.

Add the fried vegetable balls to the wok and toss to coat them evenly. Sprinkle garam masala if using. Turn up the heat for 2 mins. Remove from the flame leaving behind a little gravy (do not worry, it will get absorbed).

Note - Add more water and increase the quantity of sauces used if you need more gravy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Schezuan-Style Prawns Fried Rice

Life is all about choices. What we wear, who are friends are, the career decisions that we make, these are some of the important decisions where we would like to have complete freedom of choosing. With too many things on our mind, we often forgo some of the smaller pleasures of life. Hardly a surprise since we are reminded day in and day out to focus on the big picture.

Food happens to be vital part of our lives and we all admit that we would love to eat a fresh and piping hot meal every single day. However with deadlines snapping at our heels, traffic snarls eating into our time and the overpowering need to spend quality time with our loved ones, cooking up a 'real' meal takes a backseat. And we find our choices limited to ordering pizza from the neighborhood joint or just heating up leftover. After all, when it involves slogging an extra hour or two over that all important presentation which is going to give you an edge over your peers, would you trade it for the delights of 'rajma-chawal'? This is a no-brainer.

But fret no more as our foodie-buddy is here. Yep, that is how I choose to refer to Foodpanda India, the leading food delivery website. 'Fuss-free, fast and definitely fun' is what they claim to be. And boy, they do live up to the word. 

Just log in to their page, choose city, locality and you are good to go. For example, click here to view the city page for Delhi. If you stay in some other city (and they do deliver at more than 20 cities for that matter), replace 'delhi' in the URL with the name of your city, hit 'enter' and voila, all the restaurant names appear on your screen. Details like cuisine type, minimum order amount and delivery time are also provided to help you narrow down a particular restaurant. 

And if you are one of those smartphone yielding types, here is where you can download their cool app. (scroll to the bottom of this post for the QR code)

Coming back to today's recipe, it is a simple schezuan style prawns fried rice. Most of you might have already guessed by my ramblings that I am in the mood for lazy one-pot meals these days. Fried rice happens to fit the bill perfectly. Some leftover rice thrown in with a bit of this and a bit of that, and a nice hot meal is ready. 

Read on for the easy breezy recipe - 

Preparation Time - 10-15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup cooked rice 
  • 1/3 cup tiny freshwater prawns (if you are using big ones, chop them up)
  • 1 1/2 tsp schezuan sauce ( I used Delmonte brand, it is quite good )
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 5-6 garlic flakes (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp chopped spring onions ( whites only )
  • 1 small onion (optional)(finely sliced)
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • few drops vinegar

Preparation - Wash the prawn and mariante with salt and vinegar.

Cooking - Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add the prawns and fry till they are pink all over. Remove and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil to the same wok. Toss in the onion and garlic flakes. Fry till the garlic turns slightly golden.

Add the schezuan sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce, chili flakes along with 2-3 tsp water. Cook for a minute before adding the rice.

Throw in the prawns, check for salt and toss everything on a high flame for 2-3 mins. Finally add the spring onions just before turning off the flame.

Serve hot.

Note - Check the illustration for ordering from Foodpanda -

Scan the QR code shown below for downloading the Foodpanda App -

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chilli Fish

Just like many of the improvised indo-chinese recipes that have become the mainstay of our menus, Chili fish is another quick and interesting recipe that can multitask as both as a side-dish cum starters. Nothing new about this recipe, as I remember having it way back in 95'-96'. It had caught the imagination of the Oriya masses at that time and hardly any marriage/reception that we attended was complete without a serving of this delicacy.

But like all good things, it suffered an overkill and that is the reason I had been avoiding it for so long. But with the onset of summer, curries are taking a backseat. So, in addition to the plain fish fry (using only salt and turmeric) , maccha besara bhaja ( using garlic-green chilli-mustard sauce/paste ) and masala dia maccha bhaja ( ginger-garlic-onion-coriander-garam masala paste ), I decided to add it to our meals on a one off basis. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

4 pieces of Rohu fish ( or 200 gm )
1 medium sized onion
1 medium sized capsicum
2-3 green chillis
2-3 red chillis
4-5 tsp oil
2 pinch turmeric
salt to taste

For the sauce -

1 1/2 tsp corn flour
1-2 tsp vinegar
1-2 dark soy sauce
3 tsp tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
2-3 tsp water

Preparation - Wash the fish pieces and pat them dry. Add the turmeric and salt. Rub all over the fish and marinate for 10 minutes.

Cut the onion and capsicum into medium sized chunks. Slit the green chillis and deseed them.

Take all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Mix well.

Cooking - Heat a non-stick frying pan. Add 2 tsp oil.

Add the fish pieces and cook on both sides to a light brown (reddish) color. Remove from pan and allow to cool down. Cut into small pieces.

Heat the remaining oil in wok. Add the red and green chillis. Follow with the capsicum and onion chunks after 1 minute. Saute for 2 minutes.

Add the sauce and turn up the flame to HIGH. Cook for 2 minutes or till the sauce dries up a bit.

Add the fried fish and mix well to coat the pieces with the sauce. Fry for 1-2 minutes before switching off the flame.

Serve hot as a side dish. ( If using boneless/fillets, this can also be served as a starter. )

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Paneer - Mushroom Schezwan

This is an easy and quick vegetarian side dish that I prepared sometime back. Somehow I never got around to posting it. But this week I am not doing much cooking and so while looking to post some recipe this one popped up from the drafts. This one suits my lazy mood perfectly as it requires very less cooking time. It is the cleaning and chopping of the veggies and mushroom that takes the major chunk so if you buy some chopped veggies one can actually get this ready in less that 10 minutes.

The veggies, panner and mushroom make it one nutrition packed dish and with all those lovely colors even the kids find it difficult to resist. One can also add assorted peppers for making it more appetizing. But make sure that you cook the veggies till a little tender (for kids) as opposed to leaving it quite crunchy while serving it to guests. Also go easy on the schezwan sauce in case of the former. Read on for the recipe:

For marinate :
 Button mushrooms ( 200 gm), Paneer cubes ( 200 gm), Capsicum ( 1 medium ), carrot ( 1 medium), french beans ( 10-12 nos ), onion ( 1 medium ), spring onions whites ( 3 tbsp, cut into strips), schezwan sauce ( 2-3 tsp), soya sauce ( 1/2 tsp ), finely cut garlic ( 1 tsp ), pepper powder ( 1/4 tsp), salt, tomato sauce ( 1 tsp ), cornflour ( 1 tsp), sugar ( 1/2 - 1 tsp ), oil ( 3 tsp ), spring onion greens for the garnishing.

Preparation: Clean the mushrooms and cut each into 4 parts. Blanch and keep aside. ( Put in hot water for
2 mins, remove and run under cold water.

Put the panner pieces in boiling water (salted) for 2 mins. Drain and keep aside.

Cut the capsicum, carrot, french beans and onion into long strips.

Take the schezwan sauce, soya sauce, pepper powder, tomato sauce, cornflour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add 2-3 tbsp water along with a little salt. Mix well.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a frying pan.

Add garlic pieces and fry for 5-10 seconds.

Add the onions first and fry till till translucent. Next add spring onion whites, french beans and carrots. Fry for 1-2 mins on medium to high flame.

Next add the mushroom and peppers and fry for 3 minutes on a HIGH flame.

Add the contents of the mixing bowl, stir well and fry the veggies for 1-2 minutes on medium flame.

Finally add the paneer and fry for another one minute or so. (Fry less if you want a little amount of sauce to remain but if you prefer it completely dry increase the flame and cook for 1-2 minutes longer)

Garnish with finely chopped spring onion greens. Serve hot with rice or as a starter. ( If using as starter, cut the mushrooms into 2 instead of 4 halves, and keep it a little crunchy )

Monday, February 10, 2014

Schezwan Noodles

Yes, You guessed it right. I am on a Schewan spree these days. Even since I learnt to make the sauce at home ( will post recipe very soon ), I have been trying out with every possible permutation and combination. So over the last 2-3 weeks, we have had schezwan chicken, schezwan rice, schezwan noodles, schezwan paneer and even a schezwan dosa. Seems like I cannot get oven this yummy flavor at least till I finish the last batch of sauce that I had prepared. Till then, please bear with my latest obsession.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients - 225 gm noodles, 3 cups of mixed vegetables (carrot, bell pepper, onions, french beans),  2-3 tsp schezwan sauce, 1 tsp tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp vinegar, 1/3 light soy sauce, 4 tsp oil, salt to taste, spring onions for final garnish, 10-12 fried/boiled chicken pieces (optional), 1 scrambled egg (optional).

Preparation - Finely chop all the veggies and combine them.

Dilute the schezwan sauce with 2-3 tsp water and add a little salt.
Keep aside.

Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add noodle to it and cook till it is done yet a bit firm. (About 3-4 mins)

Drain off the water and transfer noodles to a plate. Add 1 tsp oil and lightly toss with hands to coat evenly.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wide wok. Add all the veggies and saute on high for 2-3 minutes so that they do not lose their crispiness. ( Add the chicken and scrambled egg at this stage )

Add the schezwan sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar; and fry for 1 minute.

Add the noodles, sprinkle salt and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Do not stir too much or the noodles might break. Switch off flame and add the spring onions.

Serve hot.

Note - If preparing a chicken noodles recipe, cut down the quantity of veggies to about 1 cup and double/treble the chicken quantity.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Schezwan Chicken Recipe

Another Indo-Chinese fusion recipe from my kitchen . Read on:

For marinate :
 Boneless chicken pieces ( 30a0 gm ), egg white( 1 no ), cornflour ( 1 tsp ), maida ( 1 tsp ), vinegar ( 1/2 tsp), soya sauce ( 1 tsp ), fish sauce ( 1/3 tsp), finely cut garlic ( 1 tsp, heaped ), salt.

For the saute : Capsicum ( 1 small ), carrot ( 1/2 of a small ), onion ( 1 small ), spring onions ( 1 tbsp, finely chopped), schezwan sauce ( 2-3 tsp), fish sauce ( 1 tsp ), soya sauce ( 1/2 tsp ), finely cut garlic ( 1 tsp ), pepper powder ( 1/4 tsp), salt, tomato sauce ( 1 tsp ), cornflour ( 1 tsp), oil ( 3 tsp ).

For deep frying : oil .

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for marination in a large bowl. Keep aside for 2 hours.

Cut the capsicum, carrot and onion into long strips.

Cooking: Heat sufficient oil in wok for deep frying the chicken.

Add the chicken pieces in small batches. Lower the flame. Fry for 3-4 mins.
Remove from wok and keep aside.

Mix the cornflour with 4-5 tbsp water so that no lumps remain.

Heat 3 tsp of oil in a wok. Add the schezwan sauce. Saute for 2 mins.

Add the cornstarch paste and stir till it starts thickening.

Add the fried chicken along with tomato sauce, soya sauce, fish sauce and garlic. Fry on high flame for 2-3 mins.

Add all the vegetables. Sprinkle pepper powder and a pinch of salt. Toss it well. (Add a few teaspoons of water if it is too dry or sticking to the pan )

Serve hot as an appetizer or even a side dish.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chinese Samosa

These days I am happily vacationing in Orissa (Bhubaneshwar to be precise). While the last few days rain had been playing truant ( and forcing us indoors ), the clouds have cleared up this morning and we have been treated to a gorgeous blue sky. It is the right time ( of the year ) for a foodie like me to give in to my weakness(ES) and indulge my taste buds.

While in Orissa I prefer to avoid fried stuff and relish simple meals. I do this in order to save on the calories which I later splurge on the amazing variety of sweets available here. But I could not resist myself from sampling these delicious Chinese samosas from Chappan Bhog . Yeah, you heard it right. It is named 'Chinese samosa'. (Well that's a term coined by the fast food industry that thrives on innovation and the first mover always gets to grab the lion's share of the market pie). Chappan Bhog is a restaurant that serves  'no onion no garlic' fare and is famous for the amazing repertorie of sweets that it stocks.

More on the samosas. It is clearly a case of the packaging being better than the product. These are samosas that have noodles (or chowmein as it is called here ) as the stuffing. While the outer layer was nice and crispy, the noodles were a little too sweet for my taste. I think they would do good to add more chillis to the stuffing. And pairing it up with a nice chutney would really raise the bar.

Have a sneak peek at the stuffing inside these beauties. Guess it looks a little dry ( I would prefer bigger chunks of the vegetables & paneer ):

I will be trying the ones available on the street sides 'thelas' or joints next. Have heard nice things about them. Hope they are better.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chilli Chicken

Cooking Time Required: 20-25 mins
Cost of Preparation: 45-50 Rupees

For marinate :
Boneless chicken pieces ( 250 gm ), egg ( 1 no ), cornflour ( 1 tsp ), maida ( 1 tsp ), soya sauce ( 1 tsp ), ajinomoto ( 1/5 tsp ), finely cut garlic ( 1 tsp, heaped ), salt.

For the saute : Capsicum ( 1 large ), white onion ( 1 large ), red chillis ( 5-6 nos ), chilli vinegar ( 1 tsp ), soya sauce ( 1 tsp ), finely cut garlic ( 1 tsp ), pepper powder ( 1/4 tsp), salt, tomato sauce ( 1 tsp ), oil ( 3-4 tsp ).

For deep frying : oil .

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for marination in a large bowl. Keep aside for 2 hours.

Cut the capsicum and onion into medium/big sized chunks.

Cooking: Heat sufficient oil in wok for deep frying the chicken.

Add the chicken pieces in small batches. Lower the flame. Fry for 3-4 mins.
Remove from wok and keep aside.

Heat 3-4 tsp of oil in a wok. Add the garlic pieces and red chillis . Saute for 30 secs.

Add the fried chicken, capsicum and onion. Fry on high flame for 2 mins.

Sprinkle chilli vinegar, soya sauce, tomato sauce, pepper powder and a pinch of salt. Toss it well. (Add a few teaspoons of water if it is too dry or sticking to the pan )

Serve hot as an appetizer or even a side dish.

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