Lal aloo Wai Wai Recipe: Nepalese Noodle Packet Makes a Perfect Dinner

Indian delicacies has little or no to do with pasta or noodles. At finest, there are candy treats made out of the noodle lookalike, seviyan, a sort of vermicelli constituted of wheat flour that's was a sizzling or chilly pudding, seeped in milk.

There are noodle-like preparations—such because the South Indian idiyappam the place rice flour is pressed to create swirls which can be steamed and tempered with ample turmeric and curry leaves. There are just a few Indo-Chinese language influenced dishes the place noodles are concerned and an Indian-Muslim dish referred to as dabba gosht that’s loaded with curry. 

However that doesn’t make noodles much less compelling. In Darjeeling, a metropolis in West Bengal on the jap aspect of India, a dish referred to as lal aloo Wai Wai stands out. It actually interprets to pink potato served with Wai Wai, a Nepalese model of ready-to-eat noodles, obtainable in India and greater than 30 different international locations. 

“It’s actually bought throughout the entire metropolis,” says meals professional Rahul Jha, a third-generation proprietor of Keventers, a 110-year-old cafe in Darjeeling, who himself eats it “at the least as soon as in a month.” “In reality, as quickly as you enter town, alongside the freeway, you’ll discover stalls promoting it.” 

The precise influences of this dish are usually not identified, however its reputation may very well be due to the straightforward entry to Wai Wai noodles, since West Bengal (Darjeeling’s dad or mum state) and Nepal share a border. Jha factors out that this dish wasn’t as broadly obtainable 15 years in the past, however now each nook sells it. As we speak, lal aloo Wai Wai is as frequent to Darjeeling as a sizzling canine is to New York or a Buddha bowl is to Bali. Locals are identified to stroll round city carrying the plastic noodle packets, a perfect snack in Darjeeling’s chilly climate.

Lal aloo wai wai includes sizzling Indian-style tomato gravy poured over toasted noodles that moisten a bit with the liquid. All of the oils and spices that come pre-packed with the noodles are sprinkled on high of the dish. 

Whereas this drunk-with-a-red-gravy kind is the most well-liked model of those noodles, Wai Wai’s web site encourages you to show it right into a salad with arugula and strawberries, or a honey-soaked noodle dessert. However let’s begin with the unique model first. 

Lal Aloo Wai Wai


  • 17 ounces potatoes (diced)
  • 1 tbsp Nigella sativa/black cumin
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 10-12 dry chili
  • 5 tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 7 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour, salt as per style
  • ½ tsp pure edible pink colour (optionally available)
  • 1 packet Wai Wai noodles (or another prompt noodles)


1. Boil the potatoes and preserve them apart. 
2. In one other skillet, warmth 2 cups of water and tip within the tomatoes, dry chillies (save 2) and garlic. Enable it to simmer for 8-9 minutes. As soon as the tomatoes soften, switch it right into a blender. Enable it to chill and mix it right into a clean paste.
3. In a pan, warmth mustard oil and add Nigella sativa and fennel seeds. As soon as they start to crackle, add the saved chillies. Enable the tempering to prepare dinner for ½ a minute on medium flame.
Add the tomato paste and prepare dinner this additional for 8-10 minutes on medium warmth. 
5. In one other bowl, combine chickpea flour with water, simply sufficient to acquire a thick pancake-batter like consistency. 
6. Pour this into the cooked tomato combination and simmer the gravy for 7-8 minutes additional. Add water if it will get too thick.
7. Tip within the boiled potatoes and season with salt. Cook dinner this combination for 3-4 minutes and add the pure edible colour (if utilizing). 
8. Switch right into a serving bowl and get the noodles prepared.
9. Earlier than opening the noodle packet, crush it along with your fingers. Now open and switch it on a pan, add the dry spice combine that accompanies the noodles (and another seasoning or oil). Toast it for 2-3 minutes on a gradual flame.
10. To serve, equally divide the toasted noodles in a bowl or put it again into the packet, and pour the tomato-potato gravy on high.
Enable it to moisten the noodles for two minutes and eat sizzling.

Sonal Ved is a Thrillist contributor and the writer of Tiffin: 500 Genuine Recipes Celebrating India’s Regional Delicacies. She is the content material lead at India Meals Community and Tastemade India, and the meals editor at Vogue India. 

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