Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Veg Stir Fried Rice

Now this name ie vegetable fried rice or veg stir fried rice reminds me of one thing I love about baroda, the amazing chinese food we find there. Quiet unimaginable but dingy looking small road side eatery called "lari" serves the best veg fried rice and noodles and soups and many more dishes. The key to their success - knowing their spices and knowing their customers. Usually all the dishes served on lari are quite spicy except veg fried rice, this has a subtle flavors to it.

Fried rice is a popular dish in many cuisines ranging from chinese to most of asian and even african nations. These days UK and America's too have their staples like american version of chinese food just as india has indian version of chinese food.
Last vacation I had been to one up beat restaurant called "Mainland china" located in Centre Square Mall and they served genuinely authentic chinese food, the best part, they served us with aromatic jasmine tea as a welcome drink, it was a treat to all of my senses. :)

Today the veg fried rice is for P's lunch pack. These days again he is working crazy hours so I really hope he enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Long Grain Basmati Rice washed and soaked for min 20 mins, then pressure cooked adding exact 1 cup water.
1 small onion sliced thinly
1 small carrot grated
2 spring onions chopped including the greens
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
2 green chillies slit
1 inch piece of ginger grated/thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red chilli powder/flakes
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
salt to taste
pinch of asafoetida
2 tbs oil

Method :
Cook rice and let is cool for atleast 30 mins before starting the stir fry process. This way rice has time to cool down and bind itself to a perfect shape which is less likely to break easily while stir fry process. Remember warmer rice means more prone to breakage almost like "don't comb your hair while they are wet- more prone to breakage".
Now take a heavy bottom pan and heat oil in it. Add cumin seeds and let them come to a crackle then add asafoetida to it.
Add green chillies and sliced ginger and fry for 10 seconds. Now add all veggies except onion greens. Stir fry for about 2 mins or till the veggies are raw but just a bit tender, specially keep an eye on onions once they are tender but retain the shape, you know its done.
Add rice gently along with onion greens, salt and red chilli flakes.

This recipe calls in for minimum salt and spices. You should be able to taste the sweetness of carrots and onions along with natural spiciness of green chilli and ginger. Cabbage and onion greens should give the taste of eating raw leafy veggie. So remember put only half the amount of salt you usually put in any dish with same quantity of rice and veggies.

To make a healthier version you can also add in mung sprouts or any other veggies in hand such as capsicum, cauliflower, zucchini etc.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gajar ke Parathe

There is something very sweet about this recipe, gajar literally adds sweetness to this paratha recipe. As it is, whats the point in eating paratha if it doesn't have that extra kick of something in it!!!!
The best thing about this recipe is it contains lots of fiber in form of pearl millet or bajri ka atta. It is a nice way of getting more vitamin A too, as it calls in for carrots. Just remember dry roast this paratha and apply just a dash of ghee on top rather than shallow frying it with about 1/2 to 1 tsp oil on each paratha. Ghee tends to give a nice rustic charm to it and that is way I like it. Feel free to play with your food!!
So get your sleeves rolled up, as we make this yumm parathas.

In a large vessel take 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour and same quantity pearl millet flour/bajri ka atta.
Add in 2 large grated carrots (squeeze the juice out of grated carrots)and 1/4th cup chopped parsley or coriander leaves
Add 2 tbs of oil, 2 tbs green chillies-garlic-ginger paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp sugar, pinch of asafoetida and salt to taste.
Now get your hands dirty and knead a medium soft dough using yogurt/dahi.
Now roll out paratha out of lemon sized ball of dough and roast or shallow fry it using minimum oil on a non-stick griddle.

Serve hot with chutney, achaar, raita or curry of your choice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gajar-Kakdi ka raita

Indian food platter is never complete without raita of some sort, may it be plain boondi raita or coriander mint raitha. Raita is a yogurt based dip served with kebabs or paapadums or biryani etc. It is specially served with spicy food so that this yogurt dip foils the effect of all those spices. Raita, in gujarat, is prepared in many different ways using either or combination of cucumber, mint, raw papaya, pineapple, onion, tomato, capsicum and even eggplants. Further dressed to perfection adding salt, pepper, cumin and other condiments of one's choice

Today I'm posting this simple Gajar-Kakdi raita recipe which I had prepared a few days back but hadn't been able to download the snaps, which delayed its posting.

In a large bowl I mixed in 1 medium sized grated carrot along with 1 medium sized chopped cucumber, 1 green chilli chopped and 2 tbs of chopped coriander leaves. Add 180gms of yogurt and added salt, freshly ground pepper corns and freshly ground cumin seeds/jeera.

Mixed well and refrigerated it for about an hour before serving it.
This raita tastes best when refrigerated for atleast 30 mins to one hour before serving.

I sometimes like to play up with the dressing and add 2-3 pinches of red chilli powder or 1/4th tsp of chilli flakes. Also sometimes I toss in a few chopped mint leaves, gives nice aroma.
So as I said play up with it and enjoy.