Food always tends to get regionalised. Lets say for example, the Indian curries find themselves to be made a bit to suit the European palate or the Chinese foods that tend to be Indianised so as to suit the Indian food scene.
It’s not particularly a bad thing. It’s a way culture evolve and help people adapt to different food tastes globally. Had it not been for this kind of regionalisation of food, food cultures would never have crossed over and they would be limited to their countries.
However, in all honesty, I am not overtly fond of these so-called “Food Adaptations”. I prefer my food to be authentic. I don’t like my Pizza to have cottage cheese and Indian chillies or my Rajasthani curry to have exotic broccoli or bell peppers in there. I prefer the dish to be true to itself.
However, there is one dish that I have made an exception in recent times. It’s a dish that has no origins in China but rather has been created in India. I have absolutely no clue as to how it has got its name but it is commonly known in Bombay as “The Chinese Bhel”. Chinese I presume would be owing to the use of noodles and other Chinese ingredients such as sauces in the dish but bhel – I have no idea. It’s a mystery about how the dish was created or where was it made or who made it even.
Turns out, this dish isn’t bad at all. It is simple comfort food when you feel down and need a perk up.
I have tried making my version of this Indianised Chinese dish. It pretty simple and quick to rustle up.
Fried Noodles – Indo-Chinese Style
Noodles – About 2 cups: Fried until lightly golden [You don’t need to boil them prior]
Finely sliced Spring onions bulbs: 3 to 4 nos.
Finely chopped Spring Onion greens: From 3 to 4 onions
Finely Sliced Cabbage: 1 cup
Finely julienned carrots: ½ cup
Finely julienned Green bell Peppers: ½ cup
Thinly sliced garlic cloves: 5-6 Nos.
Julienned Ginger: 1 tablespoon
Light Soy sauce: 2 teaspoons
Tomato ketchup: 2 tablespoons
Red Chilli sauce: 1 tablespoon
Honey: 1 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Vegetable oil: 2 tablespoons
Sliced red chillis: 1 teaspoon [optional]
- Heat the oil in a wok/pan.
- Add in the ginger and garlic.
- Stir until the garlic is a bit golden in colour.
- Add in the onion bulbs and sauté for a minute. You don’t need them golden.
- Add in the cabbage, carrots and bell peppers.
- Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add in all the sauces and honey. Stir well.
- Add in the fried noodles and quickly mix well so as to coat the noodles in the sauces.
- Season with salt.
- Don’t cook the dish for longer than a minute, as the noodles may turn soggy.
- Add in the Onion greens and stir again.
- Serve hot.
Note: As mentioned always, I always tend to cook by instinct. Hence, the quantities are by feel. Do the same and if you feel the need for anything to be additional, go for it. Don’t stick to the quantities always.