Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chinese Fried Rice – A popular dish in India – Should we call this Indo-Chinese?

S usually prefers Biryani or Pulao over Fried Rice. Our friends were visiting us over dinner. I had decided to make Gobi Manchurian amongst several other dishes on Saturday, so I convinced S that it would best accompany Chinese Fried Rice. Another selfish reason for planning the menu this way was I could be done with the Fried Rice in no time. It doesn’t take a long time to prepare this, unlike Biryanis.

You can add just about any vegetable that appeals to you, and traditionally, it is topped off with scrambled egg or chopped omelet. I was close to adding the egg but S and I figured the dish was already veggie-heavy and there were other things on the menu.

Here’s what I needed:
1. Cooked Chinese Rice – I have explained this previously in the Schezwan Fried Rice recipe. This time, I used 3 cups of raw rice. You can moderate the measure according to the headcount. Cook the rice with salt and oil.

2. Assorted vegetables - I used half of a red, green, orange and yellow bell pepper; 1 potato; 2 carrots; 1 medium sized onion; 1 bunch spring onions – this is much more flavorful and stronger than green onions; a handful of green beans. Other veggies that go great in this dish are cabbage, baby corn, green peas, snow peas etc.

3. 1 tablespoon Soya Sauce; 1 tablespoon Schezwan Sauce; ½ tablespoon Tomato Sauce; 1 teaspoon White Vinegar.

4. Salt to taste, Ajinomoto, Sesame oil

5. 3 green chillis slit, if you do not cook your rice with chillis.

Here’s how you dish it up:
1. Fried rice is usually made with precooked rice that is refrigerated overnight. If you want to make yours fresh, make sure your rice is popped in the refrigerator as soon as it is cooked and cooled down.

2. In a wide skillet or pan, heat some sesame oil and first fry the beans and carrot. These vegetables take longer to cook. Add in the potato mid way. You could also steam these vegetables in the microwave till they’re half done, and sauté them through afterwards. Fry the onions, the spring onion bulbs, and the bell peppers.

3. Add the sauces and vinegar, and salt.

4. Mix the cooked rice and cook till it’s done. Sprinkle some ajinomoto and mix.

5. Garnish with chopped spring onion leaves.

As we observed our guests eat, we suddenly remembered that most people in India prefer eating this dish with ketchup! Serve with ketchup, or with Gobi Manchurian, like we did.

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