Best-selling cookery writer Anjum Anand certainly knows her stuff when it comes to Indian food; her breakthrough book (Indian Food Made Easy) actually knocked Harry Potter off the top spot! From her latest title – Anjum’s Quick and Easy Indian – this recipe for Indian stir-fried spring veg vermicelli with peanuts is a made-in-minutes supper staple. And it’s super healthy to boot!
Vermicelli and rice noodles feature on Indian menus, the former in desserts in North India as well as in quick stir-fries in many regions, the latter mostly in the South. This recipe is inspired by those northern vegetable stir-fries. If you make the recipe with fine vermicelli (available in Indian stores), you will produce a softer, more unctuous dish. Rice noodles, used here, are more textured but also more widely available. Both work well. Add edamame beans for a little protein, but you can use broad beans or peas for a burst of sweetness if you prefer.
- 2–3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 dried red chillies
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 2 tsp chana dal
- 14 fresh curry leaves
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 15g root ginger, peeled weight, finely shredded
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp turmeric
- 1 large carrot, cut into 7.5cm matchsticks
- 12 asparagus spears, tips cut whole on the diagonal, stalks finely sliced
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
- 2 handfuls of edamame beans
- 300g packet fine rice noodles
- 2–3 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
- small handful of finely chopped mint or coriander leaves
- small handful of roasted salted peanuts, lightly crushed
Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the chillies and mustard seeds and, once the popping dies down, the chana dal and curry leaves. Once the lentils start to colour, add the red onion, ginger and seasoning and sauté for three to four minutes before adding the turmeric. Fry for 20 seconds, stirring to mix well, then add the rest of the vegetables.
Stir-fry for two minutes, then add the rice noodles and lemon juice and continue to cook for another two minutes, or until the noodles are soft but the vegetables are still crunchy. Stir in the herbs and peanuts and serve hot or warm.