A trip is incomplete without a stroll through the local markets and supermarkets and, more often than not, I return with arms full of groceries, sauces, spices, herbs and of course, cook/bake/serve ware.

Over the Diwali, we trekked (read: sat on many planes + cars) up to Shillong, the Scotland of the East. The place is an untouched beauty, the people are wonderful and it is a place where you realise that there is indeed beauty in simplicity.

The local food is simple, yet complex and heavy on the non-vegetarian. One thing that I did thoroughly enjoy – the chillies and noodles!

I brought back packets of ‘chow’ – thin wheat noodles made locally, which is perhaps as close to ‘fresh’ we can get over other packets. I am now the proud owner of 8, 3, 2 packets of these.

The beautiful juicy bright red chillies, look far calmer than they really are. I brought back a bundle to cook with – and I made these noodles with just one chilli – and the entire house started coughing, and I could barely make it through a few bites. It was an eventful evening!

I recommend you make these with half a Meghalaya chilli, or 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes.

The Recipe
Serves 4


  • 1 packet chow noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 7-8 ginger slices
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Meghalaya red chilli, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced peppers
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Set a large pot of water to boil. Once the water starts bubbling add the noodles in and let them cook for around 8-10 minutes. Strain the noodles out and set aside.
  • In the meantime, place a wok or large deep pan to heat and add the oil with garlic, ginger and onions. Allow them to fry for around 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  • Then add the peppers and chillies and cook for another 5 minutes, before adding the spinach, soya, salt and pepper.
  • After 5 minutes, stir in the noodles and toss for a few minutes, before serving.

Up Next

The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.