I’m a sucker for Chinese food and when we dine out, most often than not, I pick Chinese cuisine (you can guess the argument that ensues!). Nowadays, we aren’t eating out that much cos of two things…work’s keeping us busy so we just flop tired in front of the TV on weekends. And two, we are trying our best to eat healthy. Sure, eating out once in a while never did anyone any harm, but we’ve both turned into health freaks off-late.
I made us this simple rice entrée on the weekend cos I felt like some Chinese food and we didn’t feel like going out. If Abu doesn’t go to the mountain, the mountain comes to Abu yeah? Also made us some Baby-corn Manchurian to go with this and we enjoyed a relaxed meal as we caught a wonderful Romantic Comedy flick on our Home Theatre, and laughed hard…something we hadn’t done in a long time! As you may have already guessed, we had some wine to go along with our meal, and I’m not really sure what made us laugh so hard – the movie, the wine, or a combo of them both. I’ll leave that for you to figure. Hic! 😉
- Jeerak Samba Rice/Jeera Rice (short-grained, fragrant rice used in Chinese cooking) – 3 cups
- Onions – 2 nos (medium-sized; finely chopped)
- Capsicum/Bell-pepper – 2 nos (large-sized; finely chopped)
- Ginger – 2″ long piece; finely chopped/minced
- Garlic – 8-10 pods; minced/crushed (alter to suit your taste)
- Green Chillies – 2-3 nos (or as much as you like; finely chopped)
- Spring Onion Shoots – 15-20 nos (chopped to 1/2″ pieces)
- Soy-sauce – 1 tbsps
- Chilli-sauce (optional) – 1-2 tbsps (or as much to suit your taste)
- Salt – to taste
- Ghee – 2 tbsps
- Oil – 1 tbsp
Note: I do not use MSG or Ajinomoto in my cooking since it is believed to be very un-healthy and cancer-causing. If you are using it currently, I urge you to stop using it cos some of the things I’ve heard about it are not so pretty at all.
- Set the rice to cook with rice:water in 1:2 ratio. Ensure you add about 1/2 tsp of salt to the water before you place in the cooker. I cooked my rice in my rice-cooker and got perfect, non-sticky and separate grains of rice once done (You could even use your normal, everyday rice. Only, it wouldn’t taste just the same, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
- Once the rice is done, gently spread on a wide plate and let it cool, preferably under a fan whirring in full speed. Don’t stir too much, else you’ll end up with mashed rice. Just let it do its thing while you get the other things ready.
- Now, heat oil in a wok. Add the finely chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute on a medium flame till the onions are cooked tender and the whole house starts to smell like a Chinese restaurant.
- Add the spring onions and saute another 2 minutes till they wilt.
- Next, throw in the chopped capsicum/bell-pepper and continue to saute till the capsicum is cooked too.
- Add adequate salt (don’t forget the rice has salt added too, so be careful of how much you put in). Stir well.
- Add the ghee, stir well and let the lovely aroma fill your nostrils. (This is my secret ingredient in place of MSG. Try it..it works wonders! All you need to do is walk a mile or two extra the next morning, and you’re not guilty anymore)
- Simmer the flame and add the soy-sauce and chilli sauce (if using). Ensure you simmer before you add the soy-sauce, else you’ll end up with a funny, burnt taste in the fried rice…something I’m sure you wouldn’t relish. Stir well.
- By now the rice would have cooled. Use a long, flat spoon/spatula and gently flatten out any lumps in the rice. Add the rice to the wok , stir well to incorporate and cook on a high flame for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Remove from flame and serve hot with some appetizing Manchurian or some Sweet-n-Sour Sauce, or any other Chinese gravy of choice. Bon-Appetit!
Psst, Happy All Fools’ Day to y’all! Have fun fooling around! 😉