Indians are chaat lovers. Chinese bhel originates from one of those special minds. Chinese bhel is an Indo chinese chaat. It originated in the north eastern parts of India.
Chinese bhel is basically a modified version of American chopsuey. It is prepared by using some Indian chaat flavours hence the name bhel.
For the chaat lovers and those who have checked my earlier recipes of papdi chaat, dahi vada, Khaman Dhokla and my all time favourite chaat chutney the tamarind date chutney, this recipe is a must try.
Bhel is nothing but a mixture of some rice puffs with spicy and tangy flavours. This chinese bhel is a modified version of American chopsuey where in the ingredients from the original Bhel and mixed and matched to make a perfect chaat.
What goes in Chinese Bhel
Chinese bhel is made mainly by using fried hakka Noodles or any other flour noodles. You can even make it with Instant noodles like maggi. Just like Fried rice these noodles are tossed with various vegetables and sauces. Sauces like soy, chilli, ketchup and most important the tamarind chutney/dip is the bhel ingredient. These combinations add a perfect spicy and tangy flavour along with the crunchy noodles and veggies.
It’s a bit lengthy process as noodles are first boiled in boiling water, strained and rested and then deep fried until golden and crunchy. You may divide the process in two. Fry and store the noodles in an airtight container and use them whenever you feel like.
This bhel tastes delicious when crunchy. so prepare small portions every time you serve. The veggies if sauteed early and kept may lose its crunch and start watering. The noodles may absorb the veggie water and sauces may make it soggy. So every time make a fresh crunchy portion to enjoy it!!
Let’s check the super tasty and tangy chinese Bhel recipe in detail.
- 1 Packet Hakka Noodles
- 1 Long cut red onion
- 1 Long cut bell pepper
- 2 Long and thin cut long carrots
- 1 Diced tomato
- 1 Diced fresh and crunchy cucumber
- Diced / grated raw mango
- Any other vegetables like cabbage, corn kernels, spring onion etc
- Soy sauce
- tomato ketchup
- Chilli sauce
- Tamarind date sweet chutney
- Green chilli paste
- Oil to fry the noodle
- Coriander for garnish
- Salt to taste
Boiling Hakka noodles
- In a wide pan boil 3/4 pan water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon oil to it.
- Ater the water starts bubbling add the noodles to it and allow it to cook. Try to separate them with a noodle spoon.
- After about 7-9 minutes switch off the flame and strain the noodles.
- Run cold water over the noodles and keep them aside. Allow them to rest for an hour or so.
Frying the noodles
- In a frying pan heat oil.
- Now loosen up noodles in batches and fry small portions to get a crunch.
- Fry until noodles turn golden and crispy.
- Allow them to strain them on a tissue paper and cool down. Then just crumble them lightly to get medium sized crunchy pieces.
- Upon cooling you may either store in an airtight container and use the next meal or you may use it immediately.
- We will make this bhel in small proportions. It will help in retaining the crunch of the veggies and noodles for every serving.
- In a pan heat a teaspoon of oil
- Toss carrots, onions, bell peppers and cabbage for about a minute.
- Add soy sauce, chilli sauce/sriracha sauce and tamarind chutney. Mix well and switch off the gas.
- Now add the crunchy noodles, tomatoes, cucumber, raw mango and 1 teaspoon salt. You may add green chilli paste if you like spicy.
- Add 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup and mix it well until well incorporated. Garnish with coriander and serve fresh and crunchy.
- Make a separate batch every time you serve for best results.
- Hakka noodles give best results, but you may do the same process using any type of instant noodles. (Maggi or any wheat noodles). Just boiling time will differ with each.
- Fry it well until golden and crispy. This process takes time. You may fry and store it in a airtight box to use it any time.
- Usually ajinomoto is used in all chinese preparations. But I prefer not to use it. You may add a pinch if you like it.
- Always make the final bhel in small batches. This will help in retaining the crunchiness in the veggies and noodles and you can make it spicy, tangy or sweet as per each one’s preference.
- Vegetables can be any and optional as per choice and availability.
- The link for tamarind date chutney is here.
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