Vegetable fried rice is one of the very early dishes that I vividly remember having tried in my kitchen after seeing a cookery show in doordarshan during my school days. My mom was super impressed and we have made it together several times after that. I have improvised on the recipe in the years of cooking after that. This recipe is so special as my mom really likes fried rice. She is a vegetarian and fried rice and gobi manchurian is something she really enjoys and eats when I make for her.
Here is the video of Vegetable Fried Rice, வெஜ் பிரைட் ரைஸ், Vegetable Fried Rice in Tamil
Fried rice is very easy to make when you have the mise en place ready. Just like the veggie trinity mirepoix in western cooking, there is a holy trinity of veggies in Chinese cooking too! Its the combination of Ginger, Garlic and Scallions / Spring onions. Use them generously whenever you make chinese food!!!
First, lets talk about the rice. We will be using basmati rice for making fried rice. The whole idea is to get the texture right. Its very important that the grains of rice do not turn mushy. Here is how I do it. Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water. Add 1.5 cups of water to every cup of rice used. Cook in a pressure cooker, medium flame – for exactly 2 whistles. Switch off the flame and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. The pressure will release on its own during that time.
After 15 minutes, open the cooker and fluff up the rice. Immediately, transfer the rice to 2-3 plates to cool it down completely. The rice needs to be completely cool before you start cooking the fried rice. Note: For a very dry rice, release the pressure manually after 5 minutes.
Now lets talk about the flame. High heat is very important in chinese cooking. The chinese restaurants use heavy burners that can cook and slightly char the veggies and meat in seconds. Even though, we cannot replicate that at home, keep the flame of the gas stove to the maximum it will go. Cooking the veggies on high heat will give it a slight char and flavour that’s desirable.
Heat oil in a pan and add in the finely minced garlic and finely minced ginger. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Then comes the veggies. I do not like to use a lot of types of veggies in my fried rice. But its totally up to you. You can use whatever you find in your fridge. I have used finely chopped carrots, beans and cabbage. The flavour of cabbage is very essential for fried rice. You may add capsicum, corn, mushrooms etc… depending on what you like. Make sure you chop them as fine as possible so it cooks quickly!
Add a total of two cups of very finely chopped veggies. Add in the salt, pepper powder and the sugar. The little sugar will balance the taste. Fry briefly for 3-4 minutes.
Add in the rice and the scallions / spring onions. Saute for a couple of minutes more.
Fried rice is ready. Serve with gobi manchurian, chilli paneer or sweet and sour fish