Indian Laksa Recipe
This recipe is my version of this delicious one pot meal, of course adding my own Indian twist. Any variety of Asian noodle will work in the dish - so rice noodles, egg noodles, mung bean noodles… any type is fine. If you prefer, you can make this recipe using tofu and vegetables for a completely vegetarian version. Many of the ingredients are available in any large Asian market, Indian grocery store or in the Asian section of most large supermarkets.
INDIAN LAKSA (Spicy Noodle Coconut Curry Soup)
¼ lb of medium shrimps, peeled & de-veined but tail on
¼ lb of boneless & skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
¼ lb laksa noodles (or your favorite variety of Asian noodles), about 4-5 ounces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi)
¼ tsp ground coriander powder
¼ tsp ground cumin powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp curry powder
2+ cups good quality coconut milk
1 tbsp tamarind paste (or tamarind powder)
1 tbsp sambal olek (or sriracha or any chili sauce), to taste
½ cup baby corn, cut into 1” pieces
½ cup red bell pepper, julienned
½ cup green peas, frozen is fine
½ cup shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced (or you can use any variety of mushroom)
6-8 small grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
pinch of crushed red chili flakes, to taste
½ cup of bean sprouts
1 spring onion, finely sliced (or you can use a few stalks of chives)
2 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges (optional)
2 tbsp toasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
few drops of toasted sesame oil
freshly chopped cilantro leaves
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the shrimps and quickly stir fry for just a few minutes. Remove the shrimps quickly & set aside until needed, they will finish cooking in the soup. Now do the same with the chicken pieces, just stir fry the chicken for a few minutes and then remove quickly & set aside until needed. The chicken will also finish cooking in the soup.
Now reduce the heat to medium & add the onion. Sauté the onion until translucent and then add the ginger & garlic. Stir & let cook for a few more minutes before adding all of the spices (turmeric, ground coriander powder, ground cumin powder, paprika, curry powder, salt & pepper). Remove this mixture from the heat & allow it to cool slightly. Using a blender or a mini food processor, blend the onion spice mixture into a smooth paste by adding a little water.
Cook the noodles as directed on the package but subtract 1 minute from the cooking time. The noodles should be slightly “al dente”, as they will finish cooking in the soup. You should also cook the noodles right before use.
Now return the laksa paste back to the pan (medium heat), adding the remaining tbsp of oil if needed. Let it cook for just a minute or two and then add the coconut milk. Stir well to combine and then add the tamarind & sambal olek. Mix well and then add the cooked noodles. Let the noodles cook in the spicy coconut broth for just a few minutes before adding the chicken back. Let the chicken finish cooking & then add the shrimp along with all of the vegetables (baby corn, red bell pepper, green peas, mushrooms & tomatoes). If the laksa needs a little more liquid, just add a little more coconut milk or water as needed. Let the vegetables heat through and then transfer the laksa to a soup tureen or large serving bowl. Garnish with bean sprouts, spring onion, crushed red chili flakes, eggs, peanuts, sesame oil & cilantro.
Feel free to add your favorite vegetables in this laksa such as grated carrots, finely sliced cabbage or bok choy, edamame…. You could also make a completely vegetarian version by adding in pieces of extra firm tofu.
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