Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Del Monte Oceans Apart Pasta -From Italy to Malaysia Char Kuay TeowStyle Farfalle Pasta

                                                                     "Pass"ta aao na...

Literally jumping seven seas.
Pasta with an oriental flavour.
I am not obsessed,but ever since I returned from my Malaysian Holiday, I am being really daring with my food. 
Those of you who follow Baketitude regularly,would know about my love for sea food. 
However,as my boys -hubby dear and sweet child are mildly allergic to fish,I have to settle for desi Indian chicken ,mutton etc. 
This trip to KL and Penang was a liberation in more ways than one.
Since I was alone,I could eat all the sea food I wanted without cribs about smell and upturned noses facing me.

So I tried the juiciest prawns and crab and mussels and oyster and scallops. But ,it had to end there when I came back to Amchi Mumbai.
 I saw frozen prawns in my neighbourhood store, I picked up one packet to try out some flavours at home, and what I ended up googling was the Malaysian Char Kuay Teow.
No sign of cockles or ginormous mung bean sprouts here though. So close and no cigar.

There was this world famous Char Kuay Teow stall in Georgetown,Penang where we had lunch. And our Tour guide effortlessly warfing down the super spicy dish with his plastic chopsticks. I have never been able to sprout my moong beans to get such fat sprouts, and he very nonchalantly said that these were small.

This hot dish was handled by a tiny lady using fresh flat noodles, duck eggs and bloody cockles with the huge prawns. All alone while conducting an angry diatribe directed to her blue t shirted husband.

This was served on banana leaf topped plastic plates and with pink forks with a nutmeg drink special to Penang to cool us off.
I am a Punjaban . I like my music loud and my food super spicy. 
So I was ok with the prawns.
I still can't get over the prawns. Soft and sweet and crunchy and juicy.
Not dry and rubbery like you get here.
I tried sprouting the mound dal or mung beans, but my sprouts were nowhere near what we had in Georgetown,so I decided to skip them altogether.  And bloody cockles were nowhere to be seen in the frozen section.
So it was just me and my prawns.

And when the Del Monte contest appeared on Indiblogger ,I knew without doubt what I had to make.

For the 

Del Monte Oceans Apart Pasta -From Italy to Malaysia Char Kuay Style Farfalle Pasta

You need

125 gms Prawns-I found medium,but jumbo prawns would taste best
100 gms Farfalle pasta - or any other Del Monte Pasta
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped celery 
1 tbsp vegetable oil- I used saffola 
1 egg 
2 tbsp red chilli paste ( made by blending dry Kashmiri red chillies soaked in hot water. Check out how to, here.)
1 tsp ready mix manchurian powder-I used Chings Manchurian Mix
3 spring onions- bulbs sliced and soaked in water to flower and spring onion greens cut 2 inches long
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Salt to taste

I used frozen prawns and while thawing them I placed them in a bowl of water with a spoonful of sugar. That's the secret that our tour guide told's hardly a secret now.
The sugar ensures sweetness and perfect caramelising and the ice cold water keeps them fresh.
2 of the spring onion bulbs I shredded and used while one I to plate.
Mix the manchurian mix with a tablespoon of water and the vinegar and set aside.
Place a pot of salted water to boil and dunk in the pasta when the water comes to a rolling boil. Allow the pasta to cook to Al dente. Almost done. Not like mushy rice.
I time my pasta boiling.
I use my desi wok ,not a non stick pan to make my Chinese food.

It's all about the wok. An iron wok that has been seasoned well and can take the heat. 
Make sure all your ingredients are cut and lined up...we need to work fast.
The chilli paste is nothing but whole red Kashmiri chillies soaked in hot water and blended in the blender. I use the chilli paste in my schezwan chutney that my boys love. Since I was about to make another batch the red chilli paste was handy. Check out how to here.
Keeping an eye on the pasta, add the oil to the wok. 
In quick succession add first the garlic and the celery.
One hand on cell phone camera and one on the spatula.
I prefer to use a steel spatula , it cleans and lifts food easily off the base of the wok.
Prawns drained,now into the wok or Kadak.
No salt yet.
Once the prawns curl and pink up, add the chilli paste and stir. This is why that lady wore a face mask.she must be inhaling tones of chilli fumes a day.
So that's why chilli paste and not dry red chillies.
Ok stir.
And drain the pasta.

Pop in the pasta and stir to coat-pop in a handful of the spring onion greens and stir.
Now one handed again. Crack open the egg onto the wok, after clearing space. Don't drop the egg on the pasta, else you,lol have raw egg pasta. If you can't crack an egg open with one hand , first crack it into a bowl and then into the wok.
Stir to break the yolk and then mix into the pasta.

Add in the manchurian mix and vinegar and coat. Add in the shredded onion bulbs. Stir a few more more times and taste.

Quickly plate.
My green tea was ready and I sprinkled the spring onion greens and placed my onion bulb flower on my platter.

Ready for my solitary meal. 
And the pictures.

Ah, the curse of the food blogger.
Hot food=pretty pictures.
Cold food=eat.
That's why green tea.

To keep tasting my sweet prawns. I never liked sweetness in meat. Meat is supposed to be spicy and salty.
Not this time. 
My platter had less salt. The pasta was salted from boiling in salted water. And whatever salt was in the manchurian mix was in my dish. That's all.
I never needed to add any more salt.
Even the Kashmiri red chillies paste was a smoky ,sweet ,spicy ,fragrant flavour.
The prawns juicy and bursting with taste. As though the crust had sealed in the taste of the sea.
It's so easy to bring people and places close. Take the best of what they have to offer  and put it on a plate. 
If only this was the solution to world peace!
Italian pasta and Malaysian flavours creating a great bonhomie on my platter with Del Monte Oceans Apart Pasta -From Italy to Malaysia Char Kuay Teow Style Farfalle Pasta.

For much more ,Like Del Monte Facebook and bring the world closer.

"Pass"ta aao na...

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So what are you frying today ???

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