Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tsuivan (Mongolian Noodle Stew)

Tsuivan (Mongolian Noodle Stew)

This dish, like many others, dates back to my days with UNICEF. I picked this up from the cookbook of my Russian friend, God knows how he got it!! I never bothered to ask because it sounded wonderful, once cooked, tasted fabulous and I got hooked to this recipe. I make it a point to cook it at least once a month. Not because I love it, but as a mom, I also think about the nutritional factor of my sons, and this dish I full of nutrition, I can swear on that.

Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time      : 45 minutes
Difficulty              : Medium
Serves                  : 4 - 6

Ingredients :

The Mongols prepare their own noodles, which you can always do. Otherwise, like me, get good egg noodles and cook as per packet instructions.

  • 300 grams boneless Meat, cubed (They use beef, you can use goat or lamb)
  • 350 grams of Mixed veggies (Include carrot, baby corns, mushrooms, bell peppers, celery, cabbage or any other veggies that you want)
  • 1 medium Onion, cut into rings
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oil for cooking (any vegetable oil would do)
  • 1 1/2 litres of Water or Stock (you can use stock cubes in warm water too)
  • Spring onions to serve.

Method :

1) Cut the vegetables into narrow stripes.

2) Cut the meat into small pieces (about half the size as for a goulash).

3) Take a large pot with thick bottom and place on medium heat. Add oil. Check to see if the oil is sufficiently hot add saute half of the onion rings slightly on oil.

4) Add the carrot stripes and saute them for a few minutes as well (also any other types of vegetables that require long cooking, but don't add cabbage now). Cook for about 5 minutes.

5) Add the meat and saute as well. Sprinkle some water as and when required, so that nothing sticks. Saute this mixture for another 10 minutes.

6) Season well with garlic, salt, and pepper.

7) Add the cabbage, and let it cook under a closed lid for a few minutes to reduce the volume.

8) Add water, until it reaches about 2/3 of the vegetables. Let everything simmer for a few minutes. Add the remaining onion rings.

9) In case you are adventurous enough to prepare your own noodles then follow this instructions, otherwise go directly to step 10 :
Place the noodle stripes carefully on top of the vegetables, so that they keep sticking together in stacks. Close the lid! The lid must remain closed until the end, because the noodles are cooked by the steam from the boiling water below. Keep the water boiling for about 15 min. First on medium heat for the steam to replace the remaining air in the pot, then on small heat. At the end the water in the pot should be almost completely gone. Open the lid. The noodle stripes have taken a slightly reddish-brown colour, and are somewhat sticky at the outside. Take a small cutting board (or something similar) to fan fresh air into the pot - the noodles turn dry at the surface, lose their stickyness, and change their colour some more. Use a fork or some chop sticks to separate the noodles from each other. They should not stick to each other anymore. - Sticky noodles means that either there wasn't enough oil in between, or they haven't finished cooking yet.

10) Add cooked noodles to the stew. Shuffle everything to mix the ingredients. Check seasonings and adjust if required.

11) Add some spring onion rings from the top. Serve hot on a plate. You can also sprinkle finely chopped parsley to add a new dimension to this dish.

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