Monthly Archives: April 2015

World Palate Recipes: Singapore Style Rice Noodles

World Palate Recipes: Singapore Style Rice Noodles

Noodles are to Asian food, as pasta is to Italian cuisine.

China, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and even Sri Lanka, all have their own authentic versions of noodles and their varied preparing styles. Whether it is a main dish or a soup, noodles are a must at meal times. The three primary ingredients for making noodles are: wheat, rice or buckwheat.

As Asia is the rice bowl, rice is the staple diet here. Thus rice noodles are common. To add flavour and nutrition noodles are tossed with pork, beef, oysters, vegetables, Tofu or mushroom and garlic or spices differing according to the regional cuisines.

Here is a simple Singapore style rice noodle recipe often served popularly at Hawker centres. The HDB market located in Singapore’s housing estates are in proximity to the hawker centres. A great place to savour some authentic local dishes, at competent prices and a guarantee for freshness!

For other Singapore narrative on culture see here.

Rice noodles with Tofu

Rice noodles with Tofu


Rice noodles – about 2 cups after it’s been soaked
2 eggs (optional)
3 cups shredded cabbage (optional)
100 grams Tofu (Soy cheese)
1 carrot
½  a red onion
1 stick of celery or few baby corn
 2 large mushroom of choice
2 dried red chilli peppers
1 tablespoon oil
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of white pepper
     ( Non vegetarians may add – pork, beef or oysters of choice)
Large iron wok and 2 ladles to toss the noodles and vegetables.
Rice noodles and ingredients

Rice noodles and ingredients


As all stir fry recipes demand quick, hot wok cooking, it is best to keep all ingredients handy, all vegetables sliced thin and long ( just like the shape of noodles).

Remove desired quantity of noodles from pack. Place the crisp rice noodles into a large bowl of warm water, enough to cover them fully. Let them rest and fluff for about 10-15 minutes. Drain completely, taking care to gently lift and break the noodles into half-length. This makes it easier to eat 🙂

Now place the iron wok on stove. Heat it for few minutes. Add oil and fry the Tofu and keep aside to drain oil.

In same oil, add onion, chillies and stir fry quick on hot heat. Add all other vegetables and stir fry till crisp( not overcooked!). Toss the rice noodles into this mixture, reduce heat. Add salt, curry powder to taste.

When done, add desired amount of soy sauce. Add Tofu pieces. Toss all together. Prepare omelette of 2 eggs – sunny side up. Cut into long strips.

To serve: Gently toss the prepared noodles into large bowl, garnish with Tofu and vegetables. Top up with sliced omelette pieces. Serve hot. Fancy a beer? Grab a local Chang Beer, just like the locals at the hawker centre.

Rice noodles and little Red packets (Hong Bao)

Rice noodles and little Red packets (Hong Bao)

Ever eaten rice noodles? Where? What were the ingredients?  

Looking forward to some interesting comments. Till then, cook and eat.

All content copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) Please see copyright disclaimer.

Photo Essay from Singapore: Chinese New Year



Thanks friends Maithilee and Sanika for dozens of colourful photographs! They brought back a memories of our stay in Singapore and especially the Chinese New Year festivities. I’m sure my blog readers will appreciate your enthusiasm.

‘Gong Xi Fa Xai’ or ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’  is the popular Chinese New year greeting, I practiced in my head. I could almost visualize the street markets being decorated with abundance of red and gold festivities, flowers, posters and traditional Chinese dresses. And ooohh…if the night long impulsive shopping just BEFORE the New Year is frenzy and aggressive, then head to Chinatown for the AFTER effects to getting a “Hong Bao’ the much awaited red packet with cash present!

This year, Chinese New Year was celebrated on 19 February, 2015. It is the ‘Year of the Goat /Sheep.’ The Chinese zodiac or Sheng Xiao is based on a cycle of 12 years, each year related to an animal sign. As it’s a Goat(or sheep) year, it’s common to hear greetings of Three Goats: profits and prosperity, peaceful, worry free life and plump health.

Now find out which animal represents your birth sign. Chinese believe health, family and fortune depend on the particular zodiac sign and personality traits resemble the animal character. Have fun!

Chinese zodiac sign

Chinese zodiac sign








A goat mascot for the ‘Ýear of the Goat’ /Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year: Goat ma

More than a dozen street markets are conveniently located in the Housing Board developments (HDB’s) that dot Singapore’s geography. But the Pagoda street market, at Chinatown, is the place to feast your eyes. A month-long street light up, hanging lanterns, larger than life themed floats and ways side stalls beckon every pocket.. ‘Have money, will spend’ is the catch phrase. Here is a sample of photos clicked at Chinatown.

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For the Chinese living the world over, the time heralds a home-coming to mainland China or family place of elders in the country. It is celebrated as a grand Reunion dinner around the festive table. The items for the menu MUST include: long noodles, Mandarin and Pomelo, Kumquat fruit, Jiaozi dumplings shaped as currency, candied fruit, leafy greens and long beans, whole fish for fertility and prosperity and a ‘tray of Togetherness’ with 8 items.

There’s so much local buzz and festivities in China, Singapore and Asia prior to the Chinese New Year – parades, street food stalls, River floats, night markets, street light ups and more. Gong Xi Fa Cai to all the readers celebrating the New Year.

Have you witnessed Chinese New Year celebrations or the Lion dance? What food did you taste? Do leave your comments below.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2020) Please see copyright disclaimer.


World Palate Recipes: Maharashtrian Kairichi Dal (Raw Mango with Lentil)


Kairichi Dal /Aambyachi Dal

Here is another Maharashtrian recipe. For Maharashtrian rice recipe, see here.

Summer is almost here! In India, that translates as mango (raw and ripe) melons and ice cream season. Raw mango or kairi, is found in abundance in markets.

Summer brings back childhood memories of school holidays – of naughty times, spent stealing kairi and tamarind fruit that hung high on branches. Of aiming stones to hit them down, of hiding on roof terrace and slicing raw kairi. Of dipping them into salt and chilli powder to make an instant tangy salad. Summer also reminds me of kulfi or condensed milk ice cream, sold in small pots wrapped in cloth and kept cool in ice containers. Lastly, it reminds me of my mother’s kitchen – home-made pickles of kairi, lemon and tamarind. Yummm….delicious summer treats!

Mango tree and fruit. Photo courtesy: Tropical plant-flowers-decor

Mango tree and fruit.
Photo courtesy: Tropical plant-flowers-decor









Now here’s my summer treat for you. A simple, nutritious and quick recipe from coastal Maharashtra region. Enjoy!

This is typically made during the Chaitra month, Indian calendar falling in April /May. The dish is popular during Haldi- Kumkum or ladies function. Married women get together for a symbolic celebration. The hostess prepares many summer delicacies and gifts traditional items such as bangles, toe rings, kumkum or Bindi for forehead, a decorative blouse piece and betel leaf /paan and supari or areca nut. Kairichi dal is inevitably on the menu, tangy and spicy!

Kairichi Daal ( Raw Mango with Lentil)

Kairichi Daal ( Raw Mango with Lentil)


1 cup raw Chana dal /Bengal gram

1/2 cup grated raw mango ( desired to suit taste)

2-3 red /green chillies

salt to taste

Coriander, curry leaves for garnish


2 tbsp. cooking oil

1 tbsp. mustard

1 tbsp cumin seeds

pinch of asafoetida(optional)

1 tbsp. turmeric powder


Soak the Chana dal in 2-3 cups of water for 3- 4 hours. It should be well soaked, as raw dal is difficult to digest! Once soaked well, drain all the water. Coarsely grind it, leaving some crunchy bits of dal and taking care not to make a paste.

Keep aside. Mix the grated raw mango as much as desired to suit your taste. Add salt, little chopped coriander and few green chilli pieces. Set to rest.

Prepare tempering by heating oil, adding seeds to splutter, add turmeric and red chillies. Cool this for few minutes.

Add to dal and kairi mixture and gently mix it all. Adjust the taste.

Garnish with left over green coriander and curry leaves and spluttered red chilli. It’s tangy, tempting and nutritious!!

Kairichi dal /Raw mango and lentil

Kairichi dal /Raw mango and lentil










Do leave your comments on the result. Was it tasty? Tempting? What else can you make with raw mango?  

Alphabet Block Quilt


                        Alphabet Block Quilt

A thorough peek into my sister’s cupboard revealed the stashed away ABC block quilt I made almost 20 years ago. THAT was for the arrival of my little niece, a new-born baby. To date, the family cherishes this hand sewn quilt, filled with love and warmth.

I dedicate this post to Nandini, my loving and intelligent neice,who turned 21 years of age this January 2015.

Nandini is God’s gift to our family, a Down’s syndrome child. Each Down’s person has some intellectual and developmental problems that range from medium to acute. Nandini is a warm, loving, meticulous and smart child. Like other Down syndrome children, who love dance and song and learn through observation, she too enjoys participating in dancing. To develop fine motor skills she engages in drawing birthday cards, helping fold clothes and cutting vegetables.

Nandini brings positive energy and smiles to all those around her. She loves to enjoy life at its best – eat ice creams, meals in a restaurant or dressing up for functions and weddings, Nandini soaks it all up! Thanks to her family: strength, patience and medical knowledge has brought out the best in her!

Here is how Nandini keeps herself productive and busy.

Often she participates in school programme: dance, drama, speech giving and making Art projects.

Art Project by Nandini

Art Project by Nandini











For more on Down Syndrome:

Here is my quilt story:

About 20 years ago, I made this ABC alphabet block quilt as a special present for my sister’s baby shower. I was not so colour wise- blue for boys and pink for girls. The choice of fabric was determined by availability and time.

ABC Patchwork and Block Quilt

ABC Patchwork and Block Quilt

The quilt has six blocks. Three alphabet blocks of A,B and C with applique work and three blocks with matching motifs. An 8 inch white block was used as the base.

Block B of ABC quilt

Block B of ABC quilt

Bear patchwork on ABC quilt

Bear patchwork on ABC quilt

Printed border of 2 inches was stitched all around white block. Another 2 1/2 inch polka dot border and the lace trimming overlapping was added. Each finished block was about 14 inch wide.

Block C patchwork on ABC quilt

Block C patchwork on ABC quilt

The blocks were stashed together with the printed fabric. The back cloth was kept plain. Single batting was sandwiched between layers, making the quilt suitable for Mumbai weather. Yes, temperatures in winter are never below 25 degrees 🙂

Cat patchwork on ABC quilt

Cat patchwork on ABC quilt


Have you made an Alphabet quilt? Did you use stencils? What motifs did you make ?