Sunday, 9 September 2012

In the Kitchen with a Plate of Spicy Singapore Chicken Noodles

I have to tell you, I have an intense carnal love for noodles. Out of the blue, an image, of me twirling noodles with a fork (tried my hand at chopsticks but never mastered the art; though my mom is an expert at using these) pops into my mind and refuses to budge. There are times when I crave these thready, slurpy satisfaction so much I tend to display withdrawal symptoms if I don't get my fix!

My love began during my childhood in Kerala, when we would have yummy noodles prepared by my mum or at times eat out at a Chinese restaurant. (where they served more Indian-Chinese, I would say) I never ordered the fried rice, always the delicious Mixed Noodles which I would douse with the chilli vinegar and spicy sauce. I loved it and I pigged out. I was happy at the end of a huge bowl of those flat thready stuff! :)

To this day, a bowl of it makes me happy. When cravings hit, the easiest and quickest solution is, of course, instant noodles, of which, there is always a supply at home. (Reju’s favorite midnight meal when his tummy is full and yet shockingly hungry for absolutely no reason!) However, it isn't healthy or well… nourishing. And, that's where this yummy Singapore Chicken Noodles trumps everything. Easy to put together and just scrumptious, I may have just found a healthy way to feed my addiction! :-))

Today’s dish is so yummy that you wouldn’t want to put your forks down. A very spirited and flavourful noodle dish. I love the bold flavors and the fiery combination of noodles and curry powder. The flavors of pungent curry powder, salty notes from soy sauce and the heat from the chilli will explode in your mouth. There is nothing elegant about this dish, but there is everything downright scrumptious to it. It’s simply the best standby meal, ready in minutes with ingredients you are sure to have in your pantry.

I’d like to say a huge Hi! and welcome to everyone who’s visiting my little space for the first time. It’s great to have you all over and hope you’ll stay around for more. Maybe you’d like to get to know me better, or just browse through a few of my recipes, grab a cup of tea and enjoy. Hope you are ready to join me on my crazy roller coaster ride.

More fun news to come later, so stay tuned.


Egg Noodles - 1 pkt
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil (whichever is available) - 1 and ½ tbsp
Chicken Thigh fillets (trimmed and thinly sliced) - 500 to 600 gms (refer notes)
Vegetables - julienned (refer notes)
Big Onion (halved and thinly sliced) - 1 (medium)
Shallots (finely sliced) - 4 to 5
Green chillies (slit lengthwise) - 1 to 2 (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Ginger (finely sliced or chopped) - 1 small piece
Garlic (crushed) - 3 cloves
Spring onion - 2 to 3 sticks (leaves separated)
Curry powder - 1 tbsp (refer notes)
Chicken stock - 2 to 3 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1 to 2 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 1 tsp
Pepper (freshly ground) – ¼ tsp
Salt - to taste (if necessary)


Cook the noodles as per instructions on the packet. Drain and keep aside. Cook the frozen peas in boiling water for a few minutes. Run under cold water to retain the fresh green colour and set aside.

Cook the chicken in the pressure cooker for upto 1 whistle. Switch off flame and open immediately. (refer notes) Cut the cooked chicken into thick strips. Keep aside.

Heat a wok over a high heat. Add a little oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes till moisture has evaporated and chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

Into the same wok, pour in some more oil (if necessary) and add the green chillies, big onions, shallots, spring onion bulbs, garlic and ginger and sauté till onions soften. Throw in the bell peppers, carrots, peas and sprouts. Add the veggies one by one, according to the time it takes for it to cook. Make sure you cook each vegetable a little, like a couple of stirrings before you add the next. Once the veggies are done, add the soy sauce, sugar and cooked chicken into the wok and stir fry 2 minutes or until heated through. Now add the cooked noodles along with the curry powder and pepper and toss till combined well. Check for salt and add if necessary. (don’t overdo the salt because the curry powder and soy sauce may have enough) Gently toss or sauté the noodles to avoid noodles from breaking. Pour in the chicken stock and stir fry on high heat for a few minutes till moisture has evaporated completely and the noodles turn glossy. Add chopped spring onion leaves and toss. Switch off heat and serve hot.


1. It is not necessary you use only chicken thigh fillets for this dish. Feel free to use any cut of chicken that is available in your refrigerator. If you are using chicken on the bone, make sure you remove all bones.

2. Veggies used in the dish are: Carrot - 1, Frozen Green Peas - 3/4 cup, Red or Green Pepper/Capsicum (seeded, deveined and thinly sliced) - 1, Bean Sprouts - 3/4 cup.

3. Curry powder is a blend of up to 20 different herbs and spices, including the commonly used: cardamom, chillies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mace, nutmeg, pepper, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, saffron, tamarind and turmeric. (which gives curry its characteristic golden color) In Indian cooking curry powder is freshly ground each day (making it far more flavorful and pungent than the mixes sold in the store) and comes in "standard" and "hot" versions.

Storage and Availability: Curry powder quickly loses its pungency. It will keep for 2 months in an airtight container. It is available all through the year in any supermarket.

4. You do not need to cook the chicken in a pressure cooker. You can always do it directly in the wok while sautéing the chicken pieces and toss till cooked through.

5. For best results, make sure you use good quality egg noodles.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

An Emotional High: Chicken 65 - Southern Style Fried Chicken

I had a quiet and lovely birthday yesterday which was well spent with Reju. It's such a blessing these days that workplaces have become so flexible that they can connect from anywhere in the world and still work! Awesome. So, Reju decided to work from home yesterday and I was overjoyed to have him around. We also had a yummy dinner at a restaurant called the "Four Seasons" quite close to home. We gobbled up some authentic Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani which is the restaurant's signature dish. It definitely was one of the best Mutton Biriyanis we ever had. I have to say a dish with a lot of finesse. Totally satisfied my love for Biriyani!

I was so overwhelmed by all the calls and text messages I received on my birthday, made me feel extremely special. Thanks a ton everyone.

I was watching "Love Bites With Joey", a new culinary show hosted by supermodel Joey Mathew who hails from Kerala. Though I don't really follow her show very regularly, I happened to stumble upon one of the episodes where she was cooking up a lovely Southern spread for family and friends. One particular dish caught my eye and that was Joey's version of Chicken 65 - Southern Style Fried Chicken.

Being a Foodie my element is Food and so do not ask how an irresistible dish like this can send me into day dreams of munching onto well roasted chicken. It just happens! Within a few seconds of watching the show, I had imagined what tonight's dinner would be. Thank you Joey.

This dish is simple and tasty - the type we will often enjoy on a weeknight, quick to prepare but full of flavor. The pressure cooker takes care of most of the cooking, where it is cooked with a variety of spices and aromatics and then roasted to bring out maximum aroma and flavor.

A good chicken dish once in a while is something I adore. Chicken is versatile, tastes wonderfully juicy if cooked to perfection and can be used in soups, salads or as a whole dish.

A medley of roasted chicken and spices aromatized with the ever flavorful coconut oil, to me it comes close to heaven! Of course this dish is very popular and there are so many different versions of it. This recipe however is slightly different from the ones I have tasted earlier and has a lovely rustic flavor attached.

Chicken cooked in it's own juices and roasted to perfection, it truly is Delicious!


Chicken (with bone; cut into large pieces) - 1 kg (refer notes)
Big onion - 1 (large)
Ginger - 1 medium size chunk
Garlic - 4 cloves
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Curd - 400 gms (refer notes)
Water - 2 tbsp
Coconut oil - just enough to shallow fry the chicken pieces (refer notes)


Grind together onion, garlic and ginger in a blender into a fine paste. (refer notes) Keep aside.

Make a marinade base by mixing together the curd, ground onion mixture, red chilli powder, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and pepper powder.

Make light gashes on the chicken pieces and soak them in the marinade for 20 to 30 minutes. (overnight marination is the best)

Take a pressure cooker with water (refer notes) and arrange the chicken pieces in it. Cover and pressure cook till the first whistle comes through. Remove from heat and let the chicken cook in the residual steam for a few minutes.

Open the lid of the pressure cooker and check if chicken is cooked. Reduce any gravy that is left in the cooker till the chicken is dry.

Heat oil in a pan. Arrange the semi-cooked chicken pieces on the pan and roast (refer notes) on medium to high heat till it browns evenly all over. Remember this is simple shallow frying and roasting and hence do not overdo the oil because this will make it too greasy and unappealing.


1. You can use any cut of chicken and cut according to desired size. (breast, thigh, with bone etc...) I love using chicken on the bone because I think it is plump, tasty and juicy.

2. You can also use yoghurt instead of curd, whichever is available. If you are using yoghurt, lightly beat it before preparing the marinade.

3. You can use any refined oil also to fry up the chicken pieces. But of course like I always say, coconut oil enhances flavor. The quantity of coconut oil can be adjusted according to your liking. If you are using a good quality non-stick pan, you can use less oil and the frying would be just fine. For the very health conscious, grilling this moistly marinated chicken would be a good option.

4. If you find that your onion, garlic and ginger need a little moisture to initiate the grinding or blending process, add a little curd into it.

5. Water can be added into the pressure cooker if you are frying the chicken in about half an hour after marination. If you decide to marinate your chicken pieces overnight, it is not necessary to add any water while cooking it in the pressure cooker.

6. Fry the semi-cooked chicken in batches of 4 to 5 pieces (adjust according to size of pan) to ensure even browning of all the chicken pieces.

We enjoyed this dish very much where all the brilliant flavors come together and harmonize so well. The light crispy crust and succulent chicken offer a feast for the eyes and the flavors of the spices, aromatics and coconut oil highlights the tastebuds so exquisitely. Thumbs up from my man too, he enjoyed the delicious flavors of the dish.

Enjoy and bon appetite!

Recipe Courtesy: Love Bites With Joey, NDTV Good Times
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