Mohinga – My 200th Post

Mohinga 19

Mohinga is a Burmese dish. My dad used to get them from Parrys (Chennai,Tamil Nadu,India).  The street vendors start their business in the late evenings. You get Burmese food in Vyasarpadi(Chennai,Tamil Nadu, India) too. If you are hesitant to eat from there, you can make your own Burmese food at home.

My relatives are in Burma. My mom learned this recipe from them. When we visited Burma, I always used to eat Mohinga for breakfast. They make it with fish and  rice noodles. But the street vendors in Chennai serve Mohinga with thick noodles.

You can also add shredded pieces of fish. I used left over chicken gravy/kulambu without chicken pieces in the recipe below (adding chicken pieces from the gravy is optional). I freeze leftover chicken gravy and thaw it before preparing Mohinga.

You can make your own chili flakes at home by dry roasting dry red chilies  and grinding them to a coarse powder.

I used Tomoshiraga Somen noodles. But you can use rice noodles or any thick noodles.

Mohinga 1

While serving the noodles; the quantity of  gravy has to be higher than the noodles. The ingredients under the garnishing list is very important. Try not to skip it.

You can also add sliced plantain stem/vazhaithandu. Saute it in oil until cooked and add it to the gravy along with the fried garlic and fried onion-ginger garlic paste.

Mohinga 21

Ingredients:

  • Channa dal – 2 tbsps
  • Canned coconut milk – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 2 cups + 1/2 cup
  • Leftover chicken gravy/kulambu – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps
  • Salt – to taste
  • Egg – 1, crack the egg into a bowl
  • Chilli flakes – to taste ( dry roast and grind 4 dry red chili’s to a coarse powder)
  • Oil – for sauteing
  • Onions – 1 cup, sliced
  • Ginger garlic paste – from 2 garlic and 1 inch piece of ginger
  • Garlic – 3 big cloves or 5 small cloves, sliced
  • Noodles – 4 oz
  • For Garnishing:
    • Chopped Cilantro
    • lemon or lime wedges
    • Sliced cabbage
    • Sliced onions
    • Boiled eggs, cut into wedges
    • Red Chili flakes

Method for making sauce:

    • Cook channa dal in water until they are very tender.
    • If the water evaporates as the dal cooks, add more water.

Mohinga 2

    • Use a dal masher and mash it into a fine paste.
    • Add little water and mash it into a lump free paste if the dal soaks up all the water.Set it aside.

Mohinga 5

      • Heat oil in a pan for sauteing. Be generous with the oil.
      • Add garlic slices and saute until they turn golden brown. Remove it onto a bowl and set it aside.

Mohinga 3

      • Add onions to the same pan and saute until the onions turn golden brown. Add ginger parlic paste to it and saute for 40 seconds. Turn off the heat and remove the onion mixture onto a bowl.

Mohinga 4

    • Add chicken gravy,coconut milk and water to the dal mixture. Mix well.

Mohinga 6

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    • Add salt to taste and little chili flakes. You can add more chili flakes while serving.

Mohinga 9

    • Turn on the heat and when small bubbles begin to form(do not let it boil); temper the egg slowly by pouring a steady thin steam of channa dal gravy(approximately 1 cup) into the egg bowl. Whisk continuously as you pour the hot liquid.

Mohinga 10

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Mohinga 12

    • Now pour the egg mixture slowly into the channa dal gravy. Stir the gravy as you add the egg mixture.

Mohinga 13

    • Turn off the heat and add more salt if required.
    • Add the fried garlic and fried onion- garlic paste to the dal mixture and stir.

Mohinga 14

Assembling the Mohinga:

    • Cook noodles by following the instructions on the box and drain them.
    • Add oil and stir the noodles to prevent them from sticking to each other.
    • Assemble all the ingredients in the garnishing list.

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    • Place some noodles in a big bowl for serving.
    • Add a bit of all the garnishing ingredients except the lime/lemon.
    • You can add chili flakes according to your taste.

Mohinga 18

    • Spoon the channa dal gravy onto the bowl. Squeeze the lime/lemon wedges and serve hot.

Mohinga 19

    • Enjoy your bowl of tasty Mohinga.

Mohinga 20

Spinach Pasta

Spinach pasta 5

My daughter does not eat greens if I make poriyal, so I try to make spinach chapathi or spinach pasta. She happily enjoys her spinach meal. You can try skipping heavy cream in the recipe but you have to reduce the amount of Serrano pepper and garlic. Heavy cream cuts down the spice level.

Spinach pasta 1

Ingredients:

  • Spinach – 1 bunch (chopped, washed and drained)
  • Oil – for sauteing
  • Garlic – 3/4 tbsp, chopped
  • Serrano pepper – 3/4 tbsp, chopped
  • Salt – to taste
  • Elbow macaroni or pasta of your choice – 2 cups
  • Heavy cream – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps
  • Parmesan cheese – for garnishing (optional)

Method:

    • Heat oil in a pan.
    • Add garlic and Serrano pepper. Saute until the garlic turns golden brown.

Spinach pasta 2

    • Add the chopped spinach and cook until the spinach wilts.
    • Add salt to taste and turn off the heat. Let the spinach cool down completely.

Spinach pasta 3

    • Cook the pasta by following the directions on the box and drain them.
    • Grind the spinach into a fine paste using very little water.
    • Return the spinach mixture to the same pan and turn on the heat.
    • When the spinach puree starts to boil, add heavy cream and salt.
    • Let it cook for a minute. Turn off the heat.
    • Toss in the cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Spinach pasta 4

 

Microwave Mac and Cheese/ Quick Mac and Cheese

Microwave Mac and Cheese

I came across this recipe from The Kitchn. I quadrupled the recipe and tried it. The result was a creamy mac and cheese. When I make comfort foods, I don’t count calories. I used whole milk. But 2% milk should be fine too.

The original recipe says to cook the pasta al dente. But I fully cooked the pasta.  I like it that way.

I love mustard. So, I added Dijon mustard as well. You can add your favorite mustard.

Below are the ingredients for single serve mac and cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Elbow macaroni – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Milk – 1/4 cup, any type of milk
  • Medium Cheddar cheese – 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Dijon mustard – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • In a microwave safe bowl; mix macaroni, water and salt.
  • Microwave in 2 minute increments and stirring each time until the pasta is al dente.
  • If the water evaporates before the pasta is cooked, add a tbsp of water to cook it.
  • Stir in milk, cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard.
  • Microwave in 30 seconds interval until the cheese melts and turns creamy. Stir each time you heat it up.
  • Do not overheat the mac and cheese after you add milk and cheese.

 

Spicy Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

I have tried many versions of mac and cheese in the past. Below is a recipe for mac and cheese that is a bit spicy.

Ingredients:

  • Elbow macaroni – 110 grams
  • Butter – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
  • Milk – 1 + 1/2 cup
  • Yellow or White Onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Paprika – 1/4 tsp
  • Large egg – 1/2 an egg beaten
  • Mild cheddar cheese – 6 oz, shredded
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder – to taste

Method:

  • Follow the directions on the box to cook the macaroni. Set it aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan.
  • Whisk in the butter and whisk till it turns thick and lump free.
  • Stir in milk, onions, bay leaf and paprika.
  • Let it simmer for 5 minutes, until the onions are cooked.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Temper the egg by adding a tbsp of the hot milk mixture to the egg. Stir the egg continuously as you temper.
  • Add two more tbsps of the milk mixture to the egg( the egg is tempered before adding it to the milk mixture to prevent the egg from curdling).
  • Add the egg mixture and cheese to the milk mixture.
  • Mix well.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture and mix well.

Macaroni

Pasta 3

This was one of my first experiments in cooking. I used pasta shells.Even my parents liked this dish. You can use any type of pasta(rotini,linguine ,angel hair pasta,macaroni….) for this recipe.The taste will differ according to the pasta.

Ingredients:

  • Rotini – 6 cups
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon -1″
  • Cloves – 4
  • Curry leaves – 9
  • Green chillies(chopped) – 1 medium
  • Ginger – 1 Tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Turmeric powder – less than 1/4 tsp
  • Tomatoes – 2 cups ( grind it to a very fine paste)
  • Salt
  • Cilantro – 4 strands

Pasta (2)

Method:

  • Cook the rotini as mentioned on the box.
  • Drain the rotini in a colander.
  • Spray some oil on the rotini to prevent them from sticking together.Mix them.
  • In a sauce pan,heat oil.Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  • Add the cinnamon,cloves,curry leaves and chopped green chillies to it.
  • Cook for 30 seconds and add the ginger pieces.
  • Cook for a minute and add the turmeric powder and tomato paste.
  • Add salt.
  • Cook till the tomato changes colour.
  • Add the rotini and cook on low flame for 4 mins,stirring in between.
  • Turn off the stove and garnish with corrinader leaves.

Atho

Noodles (4)

Atho is  Burmese cuisine. This recipe is from my mom. She learned it when our relatives visited us from Burma. Burmese food is becoming popular in Chennai. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. I used angel hair pasta. But you can use any thick noodles that holds its shape.

Ingredients :

  • Angel hair pasta – 340gms(12 Oz)
  • Chilli flakes – 2 ( dry roast red chillies in a pan and powder them.Adjust according to taste)
  • Onions – 1 cup (chopped length wise)
  • Garlic – 2 pods (chopped)
  • Cabbage – 2 cups (chopped length wise)
  • Tamarind juice – 1/4 cup water + 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • Gram flour – 2 1/2 Tbsps
  • Oil – 2 Tbsps
  • Lemon juice -1/2 a lemon
  • Cilantro – 4 or 5 strands finely chopped

Noodles (2)

Method:

  • Cook the pasta as directed on the box.
  • Drain the pasta in a colander and spray some olive oil on it immediately and mix them up so they don`t stick together.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions, cabbage and garlic separately till they turn golden brown.
  • Transfer the pasta to a wok.Add the gram flour,coriander leaves,salt,fried onions,fried cabbage,fried garlic,chilli flakes,lemon juice and tamarind juice to it.Mix well and serve.
  • The pasta is just mixed and served in the original recipe. But I like to cook it just a bit.
  • Cook the pasta on low heat for 2 mins. Stir frequently to prevent the noodles from burning at the bottom.