Friday, January 06, 2006

Veggie chowmein-Indian style

I am looking out for a nice restaurant in San Jose that serves Indo-Chinese food. But till I find one, I have to make it at home even if stir-frying is a painful process when done in an apartment and with an electric stove.

Most Indians will attest to their love for Chinese food. But the dishes we so love belong to the hakka style, developed by Chinese immigrants to the easterm part of India. It is very much spicy and tongue-tingling, not even remotely similar to real Chinese food. Chowmein is only slightly spicy from green chili sauce and of course, there is a chicken version of this that I have seen in restaurants. Here is the recipe with no visual details.

1 package hakka noodles, cooked well in advance according to package directions
1 onion, diced into large chunks
1 cup roughly chopped cabbage
1/2 a large carrot, peeled and shredded into thin strips
a tbsp of finely diced celery
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
handful of bean sprouts

2 garlic cloves pounded coarsely with or without 2 dried red chilis
salt(optional- add if the salt from soy sauce is not enough for your taste)

sauce mixture:
2 T light soy sauce
1 T green chili sauce
1 T rice vinegar

1. Toss the drained, cooked noodles with little oil. Let it cool down completely.
2. Heat a tsp of oil in a wok and add the onion and let it cook for 30 sec or so. Next add the garlic paste and saute until it smells like nicely toasted garlic. Add oil periodically in 1/2 tsp additions, if needed. Otherwise, the fumes will have you coughing for a couple of hours (as I learned the hard way).
3. Add celery, bell pepper and carrot strips. Celery is used in most indo-chinese dishes but it is optional. Stir-fry until veggies are still crunchy and add salt if required . Lastly add the cabbage.
4. Add the noodles and let it heat up. Add bean sprouts. Lastly add the sauce mixture and toss well for a minute or two.

This is traditionally served with green chili rings soaked in vinegar and also some red and green chili sauce.


  1. Hi ..welcome back! Happy New Year!

  2. Mica,welcome back and a hoping you have a wonderful year ahead!
    I love Indo-Chinese food..:)

  3. Hi there,

    Glad to see another neighbor in silicon valley, do try the Spice Hut in Fremont, they have some amazing desi chinese.

    Visit me at -

  4. What's that green sauce served with Chowmein in India? It's not green pepper served with vinegar. Almost all the Chinese places in India have that greenish spicy sauce? What is it and how do you make it?


  5. this recipe was great. i really enjoyed it.