Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup


Teja main hoon, mark idhar hai. The most memorable dialogue from what was possibly one of the funniest films to come out of Bombay and one that steered clear of the usual Bollywood formula. Never before had a Hindi movie so brilliantly paid homage to the fine art of buffoonery. One rarely sees a movie anymore where each of the characters has a perfectly measured role that lends so well to the movie; right from Tiku Talsania’s jittery inspector to Shakti Kapoor’s “Crime Master Gogo”. I remember the movie had opened at the newly redone West End theatre on Main Street, Camp, in 1994 and a small group of 24 of my closest friends had gone to see it, first day, first show style. I had been robbed before of what little pocket money I had by Bollywood’s lame attempts at being funny and I didn’t expect anything more from this one. But as soon as I saw Amir Khan pedal his bike in the dream sequence, it felt promising. Andaz Apna Apna was an instant classic, and the kind that I watched over and over till the VHS tape was too scratched to play any more. Watching really great Bollywood movie, an extremely rare event, is a thoroughly satisfying event in itself (especially, having watched the other atrocities this public was part of for the better part of their careers). However the trend set by the movie continued into the night. Right after the movie our small group of two-dozen made it to the Chinese Room on East Street, two blocks away. A great evening should always end with great food. And at that point, there was no place in camp, which could beat the place that brought Chinese food to Pune. The movie high was transferred to a foodie high instantly as a long table was populated with various combinations of manchurians, spring rolls, soups, fried rice and chopsueys. As the night ended the victorious got on their scooters and returned to their respective quarters, hearts filled with content and bellies filled with assorted meats.

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup Carrots chopped
  • ½ cup Mushrooms sliced
  • ½ cup Green Peas
  • ½ cup Corn
  • ¼ cup Spring Onion
  • ¼ cup Green Beans julienne cut
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp crushed Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Ginger finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Oil
  • 5 Vegan / Vegetarian Bullion Cubes (adjust according to flavour)
  • 8 cups Water
Method
  1. Heat a large pot and add sesame seed oil to it
  2. Add garlic, ginger and chilli flakes while oil is still cool
  3. Once the garlic/ginger begin to splatter, add vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, peas, corn, beans, spring onion) and sauté
  4. Add water and bullion cubes and allow it to cook on high for 15 min and then reduce heat to medium for another 15 minutes
  5. Add Lemon juice and chili oil, stir and turn heat off
  6. Serve hot