Saturday, August 18, 2007

Veg Hakka Noodles

Some of the best restaurants in Pune are successful because they satisfy the three following conditions—great food, low prices and proximity to a ladies hostel or college. As someone most of whose friends included hostelites, eating out was huge. And Fergusson College road with it's many cheap eats was a hot destination. In the early 90s a Chinese restaurant, China Garden, popped up on F.C. road that satisfied all of the above conditions and then some. Situated on the corner of that nameless street between Roopali and Vaishali that meets F.C. road at an angle it was a heaven sent for gourmands. The greatest part of this restaurant was that it's front part was a restaurant and the back half, a car garage. So you could feast on some spicy chicken lollipops as you waited for your car tune up. This tiny restaurant had a seating capacity of 8 tables, provided it wasn't raining. Then it was down to only 5. If you came in a car, the food would come to your car. My favourite dish at this restaurant was pan-fried hakka noodles. A heart attack special which included vegetable hakka noodles topped with chicken manchurian. I loved this dish a lot, but as I have become more health conscious I have started eating my own, healthier version, stir-fried vegetable-hakka noodles.

2 cups whole wheat noodles / pasta (cooked and drained)
1 cup mixture of chopped vegetables (Capsicum, Carrots, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Scallion, Cabbage)
2 tsp Chili Oil
2 Green Chilis spliced
1 tsp fresh Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
Salt to taste

Heat the chili oil in a wok on medium heat
Add chilis and garlic paste and stir
Add vegetables, salt and soy sauce, stir and cover with a lid till vegetables are partially cooked
Add noodles and mix well
Cover with a lid and allow to cook in it's own steam for 3-4 min
Serve hot