It was one of those mornings, when you wake up dreaming of eating something spicy.It had been drizzling all night, a cold drift in the air, strongly felt on waking up, the kind of weekend that makes you want to get back into bed again. The soft morning light played gently on the carpet, while the craving for something spicy to eat kicked in. Necessity is the mother of all invention they say, and so it was with my Kheema Noodles. Rummaging through my pantry, looking for innovative ideas, I spotted a pack of Wheat Noodles, I had bought from an Asian market, a few months ago, somehow it had taken a back seat until this morning. In my freezer, I found a small tray of chicken thighs sitting lonely and sad, amidst packs of frozen veggies. It was a light bulb moment ! What if I combine the two & come up with something spicy, I thought.
It was still too early in the morning to make a rice dish out of it, I wanted something light, which would fit into a brunch menu, yet something I can fix quickly, coz all I wanted to do was have a hot bowl of spicy something for brunch.Thus was born my instant “Kheema ” Noodles. When you are hungry, you can attack the meat with a vengeance, thus the chicken thighs morphed into shredded chicken or “Kheema” as it is called in India. I remember as a kid , a dear family friend, an Aunt would bring this each time she visited us and the minute she opened the hot pack, the aroma that wafted around the room, still stirs delicious memories, and am proud to say, I recreated the magic in my home today.It’s amazing how some of your favorite recipes come to life from latent memory banks, exactly when you need them.
Sometimes you remember the taste, though at that point I was too young to remember what ingredients went into the recipe, the taste still remained crystal clear, so I worked my way backwards, thinking about all the ingredients that could have gone into making the recipe a success.Thus was born, my own recipe for “Kheema” Noodles, works very well with Semiya or Vermicelli too, since I was running short of the supply, I substituted with these Chinese Wheat Noodles instead, the taste turned out excellent.Here goes the recipe….
Wheat Noodles – 1 packet
Minced meat / Chicken / Kheema – 3 thigh pieces (finely minced)
Onion- 1 (sliced fine)
Tomato – 1 (cubed)
Green chillies 4-5 (slit lengthwise)
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
Mint leaves 6-7
Cilantro /Coriander leaves – 1/2 bunch ( chopped fine)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Water 4-5 cups
Lime – 1 (Squeeze the juice, at the end )
1.In a thick bottomed vessel , add the water & bring it to a boil.When the water boils, gently add in the Wheat noodles little by little, cover with lid after stirring it once gently and allow it to cook for 4 minutes.At this point you can add a drop or two of oil into the water with the Noodles, so they don’t get sticky.Remove from flame, drain the water through a colander , fluff it & set aside.
2.Meanwhile in a wok, heat some oil, saute the green chillies, Onions , when the Onions turn golden brown add the diced tomatoes & stir, cover with lid until tomatoes turn mushy and soft.
3.To this add the ginger garlic paste & stir a little, until the raw smell disappears, add all the spice powder’s, one by one while continuing to stir.
4.To the above add the cut & cleaned minced meat/chicken/Kheema, allow it to cook in it’s own steam.Do not add any water as the chicken liberates water when cooked, this would allow the spices to be absorbed well into the minced meat.
5.Add the Mint & Cilantro/Coriander leaves and stir.This adds to the flavor of the dish
6.Now add the Wheat Noodles that has been drained off it’s water, to the above mix, stir gently the mix, while adding salt to taste.
7.Squeeze some Lime juice for that extra tang, after the Noodles is cooked for a few minutes, remove from fire & serve hot.
The spices will certainly chase the cold away, making you feel happy and warm once again.Enjoy your “Kheema” Noodles!