Sunday, 6 April 2014

Egg chowmein ~ Street Food (Kolkata)

If you walk the streets of Kolkata you shall see that the pavements are mostly occupied by food stalls and hawkers, mainly roll counters, jhaalmuriwallahs and fuchkawallahs as these three are the most popular street foods of Kolkata. Your gastronomic journey is never complete unless you taste these heavenly stuffs. But once you take a closer look into what those people are selling you will find out that these are not the only food they sell. For example the fuchkawallahs also sell 'Churmur' a delicious concoction of crushed fuchkas, mashed boiled potatoes and boiled chickpeas spiced up with bhaja masala(a mix of toasted ground spices) and tentul jol(tamarind water) and 'Alukabli' a delectable mix of boiled potatoes diced and kabuli chana sprinkled with chat masala, red chili powder, lemon juice, chopped raw onions, green chillies...another hot favorite of the Kolkatans. Similarly the jhaalmuri wallahs also sell bhel puri and the roll stalls sell egg chowmein, chicken chowmein the taste you can only get in Kolkata. 

Hakka Egg Noodles

This egg chowmein has nothing much chinese about it except for the use of soy sauce and green chili sauce and of course the noodles itself. Generally stir fried on a huge flat iron tawa or skillet at a very high heat and being tossed up frequently, it acquired a magical taste which I failed to find again since I left Kolkata. Though I gave it a try, its impossible to recreate that awesomeness in your kitchen. The sweat-soaked shirts, the smoke and dust take street food to another level, make the taste unique. 

This is how I made it:



  • Onions 2 sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Carrots 2 chopped/ finely sliced
  • Capsicum or green bell pepper 2 chopped/sliced
  • Spring onions chopped for garnish
  • Dark soy sauce 3 tsp
  • Green chili sauce 2 tsp
  • A pinch of ajinomoto(monosodium glutamate) if you want
  • Black pepper powder
  • Salt  to taste
  • Eggs 4 scrambled with a pinch of salt
  • Noodles boiled with 2 tsp of salt n a few drops of oil, strained and kept aside to dry
  • Any vegetable oil as per requirement

Hakka Egg Noodles


Step 1:

Heat oil in a wok. Fry onion and garlic. When translucent add the veggies carrots and capsicum ( You can also add other vegetables like chopped beans, shredded cabbage etc. if you want to). Fry for a few minutes, do not over fry or the vegetables will lose crunchiness.

Step 2:

Add salt, pepper, green chili sauce, ajinomoto and soy sauce. Stir and add the noodles, scrambled egg. Toss for some time on high heat. When all the ingredients get well mixed, emanating a brilliant aroma serve hot garnished with chopped spring onions. Savour egg chowmein Kolkata street food style....bliss!!!

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