23 September 2011

Basic Vegetarian Summer Laghman Sauce Recipe

This is for a saucier laghman, not a dry one.  I prefer drier toppings for laghman when I’m using winter vegetables and wetter ones in the summer.  I never put meat in my laghman which isn’t traditional, but other than that, this recipe tastes a lot like what you’d be served in someone’s home in Tokmok.  My husband started asking if I’d bought the sauce too, in addition to the noodles. 

You can use all sorts of vegetables like summer squashes, carrots, green beans, green garlic, and lots of other things.  I happen to love eggplant and peppers together.  You can also use real tomatoes instead of the tomato paste.

1 large onion, sliced
Lots and lots of garlic, chopped or sliced or minced or crushed
1 pound sliced sweet peppers
1 pound julienned eggplant
Chopped hot peppers or crushed red pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste (or less because my tomato paste isn’t as solid as in the US)
Salt to taste

Heat a qazan or a wok or a large heavy pot or a frying pan or a cast iron skillet to high, then add some oil, as much as you choose.  Add the onion and the peppers (sweet and hot, if you’re using hot) and stir-fry for a minute or two, then add the eggplant and garlic and stir-fry another minute or two, till the onions and peppers are starting to soften.  Add the tomato paste (or a couple chopped tomatoes) and enough water to not cover the vegetables, but you want to be able to see it.  Bring to a boil and add the salt and crushed red pepper, if using.  Simmer till the vegetables are as cooked as you like them (I prefer some crunch left in them), then adjust for salt and spice and turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so because it’s better not too hot.  Serve over laghman or rice noodles or rice.  It also happens to taste delicious the next day on top of plov. 

This is especially good topped with chopped jusay, sliced tomatoes, lazy, and vinegar.  Cucumber is good too. 

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