January 6, 2010

Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice (Indian Style)


The title of this post seems to be a bit of a contradiction in itself. If a vegetable rice is Chinese, how can it be Indian? If you have read my post on Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian, you would know that we Indians love our own interpretation and adaptation of Chinese food. No Chinese person would ever recognize what we in India call "Chinese" food as what they cook, but we love our Chinese food all the same! Even small restaurants will invariably have some form of Chinese food on their menu. So you see, Chinese food can be Indian too!

Here at home, we quite enjoy vegetarian Chinese food. However, in the recent past, I have become a little choosy about the Chinese food I eat and a bit of what I would describe as a "Chinese food snob"! What I mean by this is that I really do not enjoy the vegetarian Chinese fare that most restaurants, even the fancier ones, dish out to their customers.
Take this fried rice for instance; most places I have seen serve it very oily and that just totally takes away from the dish for me. The over-riding flavours in other dishes would be that of soya sauce, vinegar or aji-no-moto (monosodium glutamate)!





On the flip side, this "snobbishness" has meant that I have learnt to cook some of the Chinese food we enjoy. This Chinese fried rice is one of them.
This particular recipe has been adapted from one of my oldest (and favourite) cookbook, The Vegetarian Menu Book by Vasantha Moorthy.



Ingredients:

1 cup long grain rice (Basmati is good)

1 medium carrot

1 medium green bell pepper

2 spring onions

1/4 cup peas

3 to 4 baby corn

5 or 6 french beans

1/8 th of a small cabbage

1/4 a small cauliflower

1 green chilli

3 tbsp oil

2 tbsp soya sauce

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp green chilli sauce

1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly crushed black pepper

salt to taste


Method:

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a wok and put in the uncooked rice. Over low heat, stir fry the rice till it starts looking white. Do not let it brown. Remove from the wok and cook the rice with 2 cups of water and some salt till done but still firm.

Chop the spring onions and chop both the whites and greens separate. Cut the beans and carrots into small pieces. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Julienne (cut into thin long strips) the cabbage, bell pepper and the baby corn. Chop the green chilli finely.
Steam cook (or in the microwave) the carrots, beans, cauliflower and peas till done but still firm.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok and over high heat, stir fry the chopped chilli, spring onion whites and greens. Stir in the cabbage, baby corn and the bell pepper and stir fry some more till the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy.
Now add the steam cooked vegetables and mix well. Add a little salt (remember the rice has already been salted and so is the soya sauce), vinegar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup and chilly sauce. Mix well.

Add the cooked rice and slowly mix well with the vegetables without breaking the rice grains. Serve hot, garnished with spring onion greens.
This recipe serves 3 to 4.

Serve this rice with Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian or Sweet and Sour Carrots (recipe to follow).



I would like to mention here 2 bits of good news related to my blog. Its not really a big deal, but I am excited enough about it to mention it here.
The first is that my blog was featured in a local newspaper, the Delhi edition of the Times of India. The journalist who did the article had lots of rather nice things to say. Flattery certainly made my day!



The second piece of good news is that my blog was chosen "Top Blogger in the Vegetarian Community" at the Wellsphere Healthbloggers' Awards. Thanks to everyone who voted for my blog and made this happen.




47 comments:

Madhuli said...

We too love the indian version of Chinese food!And you are so right about the amount of oil that they use outside! Yummy click..makes me hungry! :)

Madhuli said...

oops..congrats regarding the 2 recognitions,Diverse Diva!

The Cooking Ninja said...

Congrats on being featured on a local newspaper. :)

I like your fried rice. :)

Rachana Kothari said...

Congrats! I love the indian style chinese food:) the rice looks too tempting...

Happy cook said...

Congagulations, will go and read the article. I am having chinese Non for lunch too.
Will try this rice once, minus the cabbage, hubby and daughter don't like the cabbage.

Raaga said...

I've been traveling Aparna... happy new year!

When I get the time (working this weekend) I shall look up the paper and send you a cut out.

arundati said...

congratulations aparna, fabulous picture too, chinese fried rice is a firm fav... you've made me crave for it now!!

Pari said...

Hi Dear. The rice looks perfect, completely my kind of rice.Congrats on being featured,
I have the cut out of Times of India, if you want I can send that to you. You can write to me at cookingoodfood@gmail.com

Prathibha said...

I love this fried rice a lot...urss look perfect...
congrats for both the good news..

sra said...

Congratulations, Aparna! I only recently began experimenting with fried rice, in the last two weeks, in fact. I thought it was easy.

Trissa said...

I've always loved Chinese fried rice - and you've managed to put your own spin and create something even better! Well done for this and top blogger award!

simplyfood said...

Your rice dish looks devine.Congrats to your newspaper article and of couse the blog winner.Well done.

Usha said...

Congrats on the newspaper mention and the blog win ! Indo chinese is one of our favorites and this fried rice looks just perfect...

Ashwini said...

Hi Aparna,

Congratulations on your feat! I am from Goa too :)

I love your diverse set of recipes.

Pavithra said...

Wow my fav one .. the rice in the bowl is really tempting.

Happy cook said...

Just read the article Divers Diva :-)

Lavi said...

This is the best fried Rice, i have ever seen. I love the way, you have slitted the veggie's.

Asha said...

Happy 2010 to you and your's. Wish you the best in life. Fries rice is colorful and looks delish! :)

Simran said...

Indian Chinese is the best type there is :)

Love your fried rice. And did I tell you already how lovely your header looks!

Indhu said...

Congrats on the newspaper mention and the blog win :)
It is a great way to start the new year!
Whenever I try to make fried rice, I end up breaking the rice grains and end up with one sad looking mush:(
Looks like I have to exercise more patience!

Priya said...

Happy 2010...Indo chinese is our fav..ur blog is too nice to follow...

pigpigscorner said...

Looks so colourful! Nothing beats fried rice!

Sumi said...

my kind of fried rice...happy new year to you

lata raja said...

Congratulations on both accounts, Aparna.
Have a very happy and prosperous year ahead!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Congratulations on your accolades!
Delicious Indian Chinese rice dish.
I accidentally bought MSG a little while ago at the Indian market. (I have a habit of buying foods when I have no idea what they are..) It said Chinese salt on it, I later learned that that meant MSG!

SE said...

hey Congratulations !!! Agree with you on the chinese food...I'been avoiding since couple of years now..and I do make my own with twists minus some ingredients

Jayashree said...

Congratulations, Aparna.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Congratulations! You truly deserve the praise! But, where is your blog URL in the article! Serious oversight on the part of the journalist!

tigerfish said...

I made my veg biryani out of colored peppers, tomatoes, green peas, mushrooms. Is that Indian or Chinese? All I know that with the Indian spices, they always turn out delish!

Tejal said...

Congratulations on your well deserved applause!
Love the blog, especially the pics...and there is so much I love to learn from you..especially the baking part!

A big round of applause from my side to you!

Rajani said...

hi aparna, very nice write up, and u are indeed a very adventurous cook, (anyone who can make payasam out of cabbage has to be) and its always lovely to read your posts cos even the most complicated sounding cuisine from a region is most simplified by you, keep up the blogging :)

i enjoyed reading this post, nice delicious looking picture and most importantly how did you manage to have the rice grains stay separate. i find even when i undercook and keep covered for the steam to cook the rice, the bottom half of the rice gets invariably broken. i read somewhere that for the best chinese fried rice you need one day old rice from the fridge apparantly thats the key to good rice - cold roce. i did it once though made the rice at night spread it out on a plate to cool it and then refrigerated. next day for lunch added it to the stirfry, came out pretty good. but u know we indians do have a mind block against stale (fridge) food~!

Srivalli said...

Aparna, Lovely picture and even more lovely header!..looks so elegant!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I'll consider this fusion fried rice! I love everything about this, Aparna. Really. I've got to try this. And Happy New Year to you too, my friend!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Whoops. I forgot to congratulate you! Well done, indeed!

Ivy said...

Congratulations Aparna and the rice sounds delicious.

Devi Meyyappan said...

Perfect fried rice!!, looks very gooood!! and love the blog's header pic... very nice :)

Linda said...

Happy New Year, Aparna! Fried rice looks great, and I am bowled over looking at that gingerbread house!!

nina said...

this looks great - your blog has such great recipes - am definitely going to browse your breads - its my newest cooking passion! Thanks for stopping by my site...

Bong Mom said...

Aparna
Congrats on the mention and win. You truly deserve it.
Your fried rice looks so perfect. I will give up everything for that bowl

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That's absolutely wonderful news Aparna! Congratulations on that and I'm not surprised in the least, you definitely deserve the accolades! :D

Shri said...

There are days that I long for Chinese food, Indian style!But you don't come across that here in the States.Perhaps in Jersey but not around where I stay.That rice looks real delicious..I could use that recipe..Congratulations on the news!

Miri said...

Chinjabi food is rampant in Delhi - even in so called authentic Chinese restaurants....Mainland China is good though - their vegetarian dishes are very well done - not greasy and very flavourful

Soma said...

Love the Indo Chinese Fried Rice. I miss the green chili sauce here, sometimes I make my own, but most of the time have to do without it.

Congrats Aparna!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Congratulations on your recognitions, Aparna! And I'm a mized kind of person, I love the street style, overly flavored Chinese food, as I do the 'snobby, authentic' Chinese food too! So I'd love this either way :P

shayma said...

aparna yay! yay! yay! for the shout-out about you in the Times. congrats! and i totally know what you mean when you write chinese rice, indian style, we have the same in pakistan and i absolutely adore it. my mother makes a chicken corn soup with is supposed to be chinese, but is actually quite desi. i love your recipe for the rice. yummy so yummy. x shayma

Aparna said...

Thanks for all the wishes. Even a small bit of fame is fun. :)

Thanks, Raaga.

Thanks Pari. Have wriiten to you.

Good to meet someone from Goa, Ashwini. Where in Goa?

That must have been a revelation, Natashya. Happened to me once too.

Realised that, Roshni. Not much one can do though.

If you used Indian spices, guess it must be Indian. In the end, what counts is that you like it. :)

Frying the rice helps, Rajani. I also find that the cheaper varieties of Basmati tend to be starchier and break easily.

Thanks evryone, once again. :)

Shyla said...

YUM! That looks awesomely delicious.