“You made nothing else? Noodles are not food!” Imagine getting this sceptical retort after serving the labour of our love in a fancy dish with thoughtful presentation et al. The new generation, me and my brother, looked incredulously at the older one, Dad, and then bowed our heads low to hide our dismay. Mom quietly marched into the kitchen to quickly make khichdi for him, her “I told you so” loud enough to made Dad’s eyes flare even more.
Noodles are typically long strands of dough that are cooked in boiling water. They are then tossed together with sauces and ingredients of our choice. Both Italian and Chinese cuisines lay claim to its origin, although their tastes vary to a great extent. Italian noodles or pasta (spaghetti and other types) use olive oil, mild spices and are rich in cheese. Chinese noodles, alternatively, put greater emphasis on use of tangy spices and are prepared in a wok on high flame.
Maggi were the only noodles known to us back when we were kids. It was easy to get fantasised with the catchy jingle, the process of elegantly breaking the cube into two, mixing the masala and magically have this awesome dish ready for us in two minutes. We ate healthy otherwise; hence this junk food was our occasional precious reward. I must however confess that I never took to it like other kids my age. I found it sticky and rubbery. Yes, it’s true! 🙂
Chinese Hakka noodles made an appearance in our lives when I was in college. Exclusive Chinese food joints swiftly sprung up in every nook and corner of our city, making us all the more curious. They offered never-heard-before dishes like Veg. Manchurian, Schezwan rice, Chinese bhel etc that sounded deliciously exotic. The only catch was the sharp smell and smoke that made me cough and my eyes water. Also, they went a bit overboard with garlic and soy sauce. 🙁
Mom’s excellent culinary expertise and James Bond-like detective skills decoded their secret in no time. She not only found the right recipes but also learned to make all sauces at home. She smartly increased the vegetable quantity to lessen the unhealthy flour noodles consumption. Only the required amount of oil was used while MSG was replaced with regular salt. Just like that, she managed to make Chinese food healthier and tastier, at home. Her cooking skills have brushed off on me too, I believe. Alright, may be only a few? 😉
Interestingly, of all the Italian pastas spaghetti noodles are my least favourite. Their thick and slippery texture makes them tricky to handle (or may be I need a grooming lesson in it 🙁 ). This doesn’t imply that I don’t dig into them though. I love the generous olive oil drizzle and yum Parmesan cheese garnish on them. I’ve dared to try my hand at making them and have chosen to delegate the job to an expert since. One cannot make everything now, can we? 😛
Instant or otherwise, noodles are a temptation that is tough to resist. Healthier options like rice, semolina etc. noodles are easily available now which are good for some guilt-free binging. Noodle lovers don’t really need any excuse, do they? 🙂
Are you a noodles fan too? Which ones do you like more? Do tell me.
This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge for April 2019