We all face certain days when you are not in a mood to cook and husband / family wish to eat (rather expect) something spicy, street style. Though I rarely decline any request to cook, it was one such day when I just couldn’t gather myself to cook. Plainly lazy, happy with whatever was left in the fridge I had made up my mind post lunch hours that today I need a break of sorts.
However, as we approached evening, my husband casually inquired, What’s for dinner? and I responded we have plenty of food left in fridge, we should be good. “But I am in the mood for some Chinese” .. responded my husband! I was just thinking oh Chinese food means all the chopping, sauce preparation, boiling of noodles etc and too many vessels post cooking to clean. I responded back with, I will definitely make it tomorrow for lunch. (I usually don’t prefer cooking elaborate things for dinner).
After much discussions, I pulled myself together, took a peak into my fridge that didn’t have much veggies especially cabbage. Also I found out I have no noodles at home.. ha ! Now I could gladly throw my hands up and abort the mission!! But then found a small 40 gms packet of spaghetti and thought this would be much healthier choice for the street food Chinese that I was about to cook. Since then I have been using spaghetti (durum wheat) for all my Chinese preparations (noodles based).
Since I was lazy to make a separate gravy dish to go along with the noodles I thought of making the noodles with a bit of gravy by adding sauces (more like what was available in the fridge). End result – Fantastic! Plates wiped clean.
Kept in mind what I always do when cooking at home. Reduce the oil content, avoid deep frying to a major extent, add a lot of veggies to make it colourful and nutritious and avoid preservatives. I don’t use vinegar in my cooking. Soy sauce is also majorly avoided.
PS – Narayan has happily posed for the photograph with a forkful of noodles .. err… spaghetti.
Recipe for Spaghetti Stir Fry in Indo Chinese sauce.
Serves 3 persons
Time taken – 15 mins to prep & 15 mins to cook
- Spaghetti – 40 gms
- Palak / Spinach leaves – ½ cup finely shredded
- Boiled corn – 1 cup
- Capsicum – 1 nos. cut lengthwise or cubes as u prefer
- Spring onions – 5 bulbs finely sliced plus 1 nos. green stalks finely chopped
For the sauce –
- Garlic – 5 cloves
- Ginger – 1 tsp chopped
- Red Chilly / Jalapeno – 1 no. finely chopped
- Schezwan Sauce – 2 tblsp
- Sugar – 1 pinch
- Tomato Ketchup – 1 to 2 tsp
- Red chilly sauce – 3 tsps
- 1 tblsp til / sesame oil
- Salt as per taste
- In a kadhai or wok, take some oil around 1-2 tsp and saute the veggies like palak (spinach), corn, capsicum, spring onions and keep aside. Ensure the veggies are crunchy not mushy. We need some bite in food.
- In another vessel, boil some water, add 1 tsp of salt and add the spaghetti and let it cook till al dante. (Never over cook the pasta)
- Drain the water or reserve some water (a very useful tip by Chef Jamie Oliver which I practice to make glossy sauces is to use the starch water of the cooked pasta / noodles). Add a tsp of oil on the pasta to prevent it from sticking.
- In the kadhai / wok, add the oil, garlic, ginger, red chilly and stir well. Add the schezwan sauce, sugar, ketchup, red chilly sauce and some salt and stir well for a minute or two. Add the veggies and throw in the cooked spaghetti. Add some of the pasta water. Toss everything nicely.
- Add finely chopped spring onions greens and give it a good stir.
- Switch off the gas. Garnish with some finely chopped spring onions and Serve it hot.
- This can usually be eaten without any accompaniment as it has all the flavours of a gravy too. Don’t add too much water though to make it runny. Just ensure its not dry either like noodles. This is made on one of those days when you are in no mood to cook or go out but crave for some street side spicy Chinese food.
- If you don’t have any veggies, maybe a capsicum or corn will do or just make the sauce and stir the spaghetti. Would taste better than instant noodles any day as they are loaded with preservatives.
- I prefer adding durum wheat spaghetti instead of maida / APF noodles. Trust me, you won’t miss the noodles.
- People who prefer spicy food, can put a tsp of chilly oil over it and stir well before eating.
- You can add soy sauce and a bit of vinegar if you like it. I have avoided the same.
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