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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vegetarian Mee Curry /Vegetarian Curry Noodle

These days ,more people are opting for healthier lifestyles due to fear of heart disease ,cancer and high blood pressure.We are seeing the changing of diets and food intake to counter health crises and increase longevity.Therefore more Malaysians are turning to vegetarian dishes.
Vegetarian meals in Malaysia certainly is not dull, what with the multi racial people that we are rich with, that it is made out to be, there are many vegetarian dishes one can enjoy.

With rich culinary traditions that bridge several cultures ,the vegetarian cook has at her disposal, a myriad of flavours from which to please even the most discerning of taste buds.
With a little imaginations, local favourites can be made to suit a vegetarian palate.
Most vegetarians in the country are religiously motivated.Hindus of certain castes are forbidden from consuming anything that is gained at the expense of an animal ‘s suffering and similarly, Buddhists who subscribe to this concept of non violence ,also practise vegetarianism.

Being a vegetarian is very much a lifestyle choice.While the average Malaysian is an omnivore, many followers of the Buddhist and Taoist faiths make it a point to abstain from meat on the holy first and fifteenth day of each lunar month so vegetarian restaurants tend to be crowded on these dates.
Similarly Hindus also abstain from meat on certain days like Tuesdays or Fridays and also on religious days.But frankly there are still many Hindus who are fully vegetarian in Malaysia.

The art of vegetarian cooking has been cultivated over many generations in Malaysia,resulting in a variety of dishes which have distinctly local flavours.The pinnacle of this must surely be the highly imaginative “mock meat” dishes one finds at chinese restaurants where food is cooked to taste,smell and look like meat dishes.This can be so well done that one cannot tell the difference.Central to this style of cooking is the use of gluten , a soy bean derivative that is highly versatile.

While vegetarian cuisine is almost always equated with healthy food, mock meat dishes often conceal a high level of fats as much as the flavour of gluten is derived by deep frying the food in hot oil.If you are using mock meats then always remember to deep fry it at least partially before cooking it to desired dishes.

The truly health conscious vegetarian is also likely to veer towards the organic lifestyle.There is a small , but growing, number of organic restaurants in Malaysia that cater to this demand.But one must be warned that its slightly expensive.By and large,Chinese vegetarian restaurants in Malaysia are of the mock meat variety. I have been to a few of these restaurants and can only say that the food is really tasty and the dishes are just as tasty as the non vege ones.The only trick is to get the exact correct restaurant that your family and you like since there are a few around.

Should you find yourself difficult to hunt for a vegetarian bite,head for an indian restaurant or food stall.Chances are,even when they are not vegetarian eateries,they can put a simple vegetarian meal of rice ,dosa or flatbread with a variety of lentil curries and chutneys.Just dont forget to let them know that you want a vegetarian meal ....and before you know it you will be served on a banana leaf !!Although Malay restaurants are generally non vegetarian , yet they also have some meat free dishes .

To cater some vegetarian blogger friends I would like to blog today a vegetarian noodle curry recipe. We are all familiar with the chicken curry noodle or seafood curry noodle that is easily obtainable in many restaurants and food courts in Malaysia, but yet at times as I wrote ealier, with a little imaginations, local favourites can be made to suit a vegetarian palate.The curry noodle is a favourite during breakfast ,lunch and dinner therefore you can prepare this noodle any time of the day!!I got the recipe from an old newspaper cutting but have made some changes.This recipe is onion and garlic free.






600gm yellow noodles,washed and drained
2 sachet 22g cream mushroom soup
1 cup vegetarian paste (see recipe below)
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 stalks lemongrass
1 string tofu puffs (has about 6 pieces of tofu puffs),sliced into 3 parts
1 litre water
1 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste

Garnishing

100gm cucumber(julienned)
100gm pineapple (tinned or fresh),
50gm beansprout
50gm potatoes,cut into a few parts
2 firm fried tauhu/beancurd
Some parsley


Vegetarian Curry Paste
(makes 2 servings)

100gm red chillies(deseed)
20gm dried red chillies(soak in lukewarm water)
50gm candlenuts(buah keras)
20gm coriander seeds
10gm turmeric root
4gm curry leaves
2 stalks lemongrass
¼ cup oil

Method:

First step prepare the vegetarian curry paste. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a fine paste,adding a little water .Pour in a wok with heated oil and fry fragrant .If the paste is too dried you can add a little more oil. Saute until oil floats on top.You need 1 cup of the paste only.Left over paste can be refrigerated and used to saute with vegetables.

In a pot, combine curry paste ,curry leaves, and lemon grass. Add in ½ liter of water. Dissolve sachet of mushroom soup powder in another ½ liter of water.Pour into the pot. Bring to a boil.
Season with salt and sugar. If you want more sweeter you can add more sugar.The gravy will get thicker due to the mushroom soup.Adjust the thickness according to preference.Finally add in tofu puffs.Lower the flame and simmer for 10 mins.Close fire.

Meanwhile cut the prepared vegetables for garnishing.Blanched the noodles in semi boiling water and sieve in a colander.Blanch the beansprout partially, it will taste nicer if its slightly crunchy.Deep fry cut potatoes .If using unfried tofu then cut in small parts and deep fry that too.

To serve : Assemble individual portion of noodles in a bowl,top with various vegetables then scoop enough hot curry over it.Decorate with parsley.


A few notes:
I bought Campbell’s cream mushroom soup which had 3 sachets of 22g each inside it.I used 2 sachets for this recipe.You can also use condensed mushroom soup .If so, use 1 can of the condensed soup.
You can deseed the dried red chillies also if you feel its too spicy.Its easier when you soak the cut dried chillies in lukewarm water. When grinding ,discard the seeds and use the chillies only. As for the fresh red chillies, cut in half, and deseed it.
If you can get your hands on mock vegetarian chicken or meat ,by all means serve them alongside.
You can also use rice vermicelli/bee hoon .Blanch it like noodle before using.


Am sending this recipe for two events:
1. WYF Breakfast Event hosted by
Simple Indian Food
2. It's A Vegan World - Malaysian hosted by Vaishali of
Vegan World


11 comments:

  1. I loved these, would you consider sharing at eat organic group at ecofuture? www.ecofuture.net/groups/eat-organic

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sudha, that's such a delicious recipe. One quick question-- I've never seen tofu puffs sold here in the US. Is it something one can make from scratch?
    Thanks for sending this in to IAVW Malaysian.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Vaishali,
    At present I dont have the recipe of making tofu puffs, its easily available here at the market and supermarkets. Try going to china town around ur area or noodle seller, they might have the puffs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The curry noodles look absolutely fabulous. I will try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds so yumm and tempting..thanks for the entry

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi sudha..i visited your blog ..i found it very delicious ...with good recepies ...could you suggest me some cakes...

    cathrin disusa
    Cash Online Get Easy cash at your door step

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Cathrin,
    Thanks ,hope you try out some of the recipes.
    There are some cupcake and cakes recipes in my blog that you can try out. The chocolate cupcake is delicious ,do try that first.

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  8. Inviting!!
    So many yummy recipes with delectable combinations to check out.
    Truly Asia.............Malaysia!!
    Chaitra

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  9. Sounds delicious. I did not have that much time to sample the vegetarian cooking in Malaysia, but still managed to go to several Chinese restaurants to sample mock meat versions of local dishes.

    You can hear more about this in my podcast about vegetarian and vegan Chinese food in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi, I've been looking for vegetarian curry mee recipe and finally found one. Thanks a lot. Can't wait to try this one.
    - http://amargisplatter.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi! I'm writing about vegetarians/veganism for a newspaper, and I came across your blog when I was doing my research. Is it possible to ask you a few questions?

    Do get back to me (via my email at phyllishsy@hotmail.com) as soon as possible! :)

    ReplyDelete

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