Tag: Easy lunch box ideas

Schezwan Noodles | Indo Chinese Street Food

Schezwan Noodles?? Makes you drool, right?!! We Indians love our ‘desi’ Indo-Chinese….we may pretend to apprecite the gourmet, Asian-style spreads at the most sought after restaurants…but you’ll find us literally stuffing our faces with these street style noodles…or fried rice and some cornflour laden, soy sauce soaked manchurian gravies more often than not😍😍😍😂 and I am no different, I am in love with our ‘desi’ Chinese which is absolutely no where close to the authentic cuisine but what the heck?! It’s just too yummy to part with….and it’s one of my favourite things in the whole wide world 🤗 There! I said it!

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So, having said that…what would you expect from me if I have a few packets of Hakka noodles sitting in my pantry and one hungry husband on a weekend ….with no plans to step out because the man ain’t in the mood to drive 😩 I make some street vendor style Schezwan Noodles…spicy….loaded with veggies…full of flavours and absolutely lip-smacking good😍😍😍 besides, it gets done in about 30 minutes…what’s not to love👌🏼

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Actually, it’s better than your favourite take-out as this is healthier because of the veggies and I’ve added very little oil. Spicese, yes…added a whole lot of spices while making it as we prefer it to be hot! 😁 So, if you’ve been a person who starts sneezing and coughing at the first bite of anything spicy…tone this recipe down a couple of notches and you’ll survive 😉 I have used my homemade Schezwan sauce here and I did serve this with some quick Schezwan paneer….basically, everything was Schezwan 😑🤔 how’d that happen?!

Vegetarian lo mein recipe Chow-mien recipe How to make street style Schezwan noodles Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari photography Vegan noodle recipe Schezwan noodle recipe

Enough said! Start cooking…pronto!

Schezwan Noodles | Indo Chinese Street Food

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 2

Spicy, delicious and easy to make vegetarian take-out in just 30 minutes!!

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of Hakka Noodles (boiled as per the instructions on the package)
  • 1+1/2 cups julienned carrots
  • 1 cup julienned cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned capsicum
  • 1 cup finely sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion whites
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion greens
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Schezwan sauce
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp noodle Masala (Indian grocery stores carry it, else skip it and add black pepper powder)
  • 3 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 nos. whole red chillies
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup (optional)

Instructions

  1. In the wok, heat oil until nice and hot.
  2. Then add the ginger, garlic, whole red chilies and spring onion whites.
  3. Sauté these on high flame until the garlic turns golden.
  4. Then add all the veggies along with salt and noodle Masala (black pepper).
  5. Keep mixing well and sautéing on high flame for the next 2-3 minutes.
  6. Next, add the sauces - Schezwan, soy, chilly.
  7. Add vinegar and ketchup too.
  8. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
  9. Now tip in the boiled noodles (ensure that the noodles are al-dentè).
  10. Use tongs to mix the veggies with the noodles and be gentle.
  11. You don't want to break any of those gorgeous noodles.
  12. Once everything is looking good, add the spring onion greens and give them a last mix.
  13. That's it, serve them piping hot!

Notes

You can add any veggies if your choice. Add proteins of your choice...like shredded chicken or some sautéed prawns if you like seafood.

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Doesn’t that make you drool?! 😃 …you should make some👆🏼 I usually pair this with some sautéed veggies and obviously, a glass of chilled Coke!! Heheh!!

Love,

Shreya💖

Pin it here for later!?

Vegetable Lo-Mein spicy and Vegan Meals under 30 mins Asian noodle recipe Polkapuffs

Sindhi Kadhi and Karare Aloo and a lazy lunch scene

Weekends are for slow starts… we truly believe that! Nothing makes me rush through my weekends…I simply choose not to get fussed and bothered about much. I pretty much hit the snooze button on Fridays…say around noon 😜 and try to finish all my commitments before Friday..😜 Trust me, no one can even catch me on the cell! Besides, it’s just the two of us….the boons of being a couple with no kids ….no responsibilities! I mean, we love kids…but I guess this works for us better👌🏼

Karare Aloo recipe UP style Aloo ki bhujia recipe Sindhi kadhi recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari recipes

So when I decide to cook on a weekend…that’s if I do plan on cooking on weekends..I look for comfort food apart from being quick and absolutely fuss-free. Yes, I am not a kitchen person when I am on the snooze-mode. More of a couch potato…..who literally loves her potatoes 😍 Hence, I will share a very delicious recipe from my Mom’s kitchen of Aloo ki Bhujia or as my hubby chooses to call it, Karare Aloo 👌 (No onion no garlic). Such basic ingredients with absolutely stunning flavours. I can practically live on this! This recipe is typically a U.P. Style of preparation…but one can find variants of the same being made across India.

Karare Aloo recipe UP style Aloo ki bhujia recipe Sindhi kadhi recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari recipes

Sindhi Kadhi….again a personal favourite since childhood, I can have it by the gallon! Give me some steamed rice …a bit of my Mom’s Karare Aloo along with a few ladlefuls of her lip smacking, tangy Sindhi Kadhi…and I’ll probably love you forever! 😂…yeah…my love sounds cheap…but it’s really difficult to make a teeny space in my heart…..so it’s not a bad deal actually!

Karare Aloo recipe UP style Aloo ki bhujia recipe Sindhi kadhi recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari recipes

Look how luscious this kadhi looks….a roasted chickpea flour base is given lots of flavour using tamarind pulp, some whole seeds and dried red chillies add to the punch…..the best part it again had no garlic ….onion, yes, but that is a must for the sweet aRoma that it gives to the kadhi (curry).

A side of some home style onion and tomato salad with lots of lemon juice and a dash of salt along with a glass full of chilled Masala Chaas (not in the pictures above…as I’d already chugged that down while I shot for this post 😉) completes this meal!

Let’s start with the Karare Aloo…

Yield : serves 2

Equipments: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups/ spoons, a spatula.

Ingredients:

3 nos. large potatoes (peeled, washed and cubed)

4 tbsp mustard oil (this tastes best in mustard but feel free to use any oil of your choice)

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1/2 tsp paanch phoran (mixed seeds) 

salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp each of red chilli pwd, coriander powder, cumin pwd

1/2 tsp amchoor pwd (dry mango pwd)

Method:

Heat mustard oil until it starts smoking** in a heavy bottomed wok. Turn off the flame. Let the smoke subside. Turn on the flame again. Add hing and the paanch phoran. Let these crackle a bit. Add the cubed potatoes. Stir them around in the oil. Add salt and turmeric. Sauté for 5 mins.

Add all the other dry spices except amchoor powder. Mix well and let the potatoes cook on low flame. Stir them about occasionally. Let them gently crisp up.

I try not to cover the wok when I am making dry version of any veggies. So here too, I haven’t covered the wok with the lid. The potatoes took about 20 mins to cook out completely. They took another 10-12 minutes of cook time to crisp up on low flame and look like what they do! Add the amchoor powder in the end once the potatoes have crisped up.

You can add Garam Masala too in the end along with the amchoor powder but I avoid that in the summers.

**(Use any other oil in the usual way you heat it for everyday use, only mustard oil needs to be heated really well).

These potatoes are best enjoyed piping hot…from the wok to the plate kind of thing…☺☺

On to the Sindhi Kadhi….just the way my Mom makes it.. disclaimer….it may not be authentic but this is how we have been eating it all these years..if any one out there knows a different or a more authentic version, do let us know and we’d  love to try it out too☺️ and probably even publish the same with recipe credits on PolkaPuffs!

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipments: a wok, measuring cups/ spoons, a lid, a ladle.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chick pea flour (Besan)

water as needed

3 tbsp refined oil

1/2 cup sliced, fried onion

1/2 cup sliced, fried potatoes

1/4 cup sliced, fried okra (bhindi)

salt to taste

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

4 tbsp fresh tamarind pulp

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp each methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) and jeera seeds (cumins seeds)

a sprig of curry leaves

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

2-3 nos. whole dry chillies ( I used ber mirch, the fat, round ones)

Method:

Heat oil in the wok, once it’s hot, add the hing, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, whole red chillies and the curry leaves. Once these begin to crackle, add the Besan (chick pea flour) and keep stirring it continuously on low as it may stick at the bottom and burn.

This needs to be roasted with the oil and the other ingredients for a good 6-8 minutes or until the Besan changes it’s colour and gives out an earthy aroma.

Karare Aloo recipe UP style Aloo ki bhujia recipe Sindhi kadhi recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari recipes

But be careful to keep this on low flame and stir it constantly. Once it has been roasted, add water as per the consistency you’d like to have for this while serving with rice. I added about 1+3/4 cup as this kadhi thickens a lot as it cooks out. Also, season with salt, red chilli pwd and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cover with a lid and let it come to a boil, that will take about 6-7 mins on medium flame.

Open the lid, add the fried veggies and also the tamarind pulp. Add more water if the kadhi has reduced a lot (I added another 1/4 cup at this stage). Cover once again with the lid and let it cook for a further 10 minutes on low flame.

This is what it looks like once ready. Rich colour and an amazing aroma…mmmm…yum!

IMG_6970

That’s it, turn off the flame and serve it piping hot!

Karare Aloo recipe UP style Aloo ki bhujia recipe Sindhi kadhi recipe Polkapuffs recipes Shreya Tiwari recipes

Meals like these are so so good! Go ahead…do try this out and let us know how you liked it☺

Love,

Shreya💗

Sindhi Kadhi | Gluten free Veggie and Chick pea Flour Indian Curry

 

 

Banana Muffins|Banana Bread

Those bananas sitting in my fruit basket were turning darker every passing minute in this heat….and yes, I had wrapped the bunch head with cling wrap…but it won’t work with the soaring temperatures! Sigh!! 😔

Where do these overripe bananas end up usually..in the BIN. Yes…they do, don’t pretend otherwise. We’ve all done that….though we promise ever to do it again out of the guilt over wasted food, we still do! Else, banana milkshake happens…well that’s very common and usually better for kids…too many calories for my hubby & me😝

In the past too, I’ve shared a couple of recipes to finish off these overripe bananas. Being summers almost everywhere, you can try my 2 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream. It’s so yummy and gets done in a breeze…😛slllluurrppp! Or if you are willing to bake something vegan, try these awesome Butterscotch flavoured Banana Breakfast Bars which uses wholewheat flour.

So thought of making an Old Fashioned Banana Bread or Banana Muffin. The beast thing is one recipe takes care of both options!

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Look at that texture….perfectly moist, crumbly and absolutely melt in the mouth. That’s why I love a Banana Bread so much, it’s easy to make and easier to eat 😛 This too happens to be great for a grab-and-go breakfast.

Before we go on to the recipe, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when baking a Banana Bread/ Muffins- make sure that the bananas are really overripe. They must be literally falling apart if handled roughly. If they are even slightly firm, they won’t blend well with the batter and the resulting bread/ muffins will lack the actual flavour of bananas and could turn out very dry too. Make sure you don’t over mix the batter and do not let it sit for too long once it’s ready.

Most importantly, know your oven well. As every oven works slightly differently, you need to understand the temperature best suited to bake the bread/ muffin well. They may turn dry if over baked. They could easily remain uncooked from the centre and turn brown on the top and bottom if baked at a very high temperature. The recipe below will say the temperature that works best for my oven.

If you don’t have cupcake liners ready…it’s not an issue. As you see here, in the pictures, I didn’t have any liners too…ran out of the ones I usually use so I improvised…something I had seen on Pinterest. Just use parchment/ butter paper and cut out large squares, they need not be absolutely perfect. Line your muffin tray with these squares and spoon in the batter as usual. They look really rustic…and get the job done!

Oh, by the way… I made a ring cake along with a few muffins…why?! Don’t ask me that…I simply felt like it..🤗

Yield: one small ring cake and 8-9 medium sized muffins.

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, potato masher, a wired whisk, a cooling rack, cake mould (ring or round/ square), muffin tray, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

3 nos. overripe bananas

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup Demerara sugar (brown sugar)

3/4 cup castor sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence/ extract

1 pinch nutmeg pwd (optional)

1 nos egg

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp baking powder

2 cups APF (Maida)

if you like, you can add Choco chips/ blueberries/ raisins/ pecans/ walnuts, etc as per your preference.

Method:

Line your muffin tray with the liners. Grease and dust your cake mould if making a bread. Set them aside. Preheat the oven @180’c for 10 mins.

Mash bananas using the potato masher in a large bowl. Add the softened butter & milk to it. Whisk it well, add the egg, nutmeg pwd,  both the sugars & vanilla extract and whisk once again until the sugar is dissolved. Took me about 5-6 mins.

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Next, add the baking powder & APF (you can sieve these once seperately before mixing with the batter). Fold them with the wet ingredients. But do not over mix.

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Fill the muffin tray with the batter and or the cake mould as shown below.

Banana Bread bread Eggless banana bread recipe How to make banana bread Banana muffins recipe Breakfast muffins recipe Polkapuffs recipes Banana Bread bread Eggless banana bread recipe How to make banana bread Banana muffins recipe Breakfast muffins recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Bake the muffins at 170’c for approximately 20-22 mins. If baking a bread, then bake it at 170’c for approximately 30-35 mins or a skewer entered in the center of the bread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If not, then bake for a further 5-7 mins @160’c. (Refer the pointers given above).

Once done, cool them on the cooling rack for 15-20 mins before you unmould the bread. This bread / these muffins keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

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Happy Baking folks!!

Love,

Shreya💕

Adapted from All She Cooks.

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