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.
- 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.
- Serve this rice with Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian or Sweet and Sour Carrots.