There’s always that one staple item in every street stall, local fast food joint and middle-income restaurant. It’s hot, sweet, salty, tangy and definitely delicious. It’s the dish that transcends all boundaries of classes and coyness. It’s the dish that’s called “Fried Rice” under the “Chinese” section of every menu. And your mother didn’t feel too bad letting you indulge in it because it had it’s share of veggies and rice.
It’s the ultimate win-win.
It’s quick, tastes like an explosion of flavour and texture in your mouth and can be easily adapted as per your tastes.
This is that one dish that I’ve heard is most craved for by my home-sick friends abroad. And so to every student-away-from-home-and-on-a-budget, I have come to your aid.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup rice (preferably long grain rice because it will not be sticky and clumpy)
4 cups water
2 -3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
1/2 a capsicum, sliced
1 green chilly, sliced
1 large carrot, juliened (the fancy term for slicing it thin and dicing it into long matchstick like strips, or just chop them up however you please, no biggie!)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (roughly a chunk of cabbage that can fit into your palm)
1 egg, scrambled
2 – 3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp pepper powder
1 tbsp chilly flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
- Wash the rice in the sieve until the starch is removed, and boil the rice with the drinking water for 12 – 15 minutes. Drain the excess water away and spread it out to dry. (This recipe works great with day-old cold rice as well.)
- As the rice cooks, get all your chopping done and dusted.
- Heat the kadhai with 1 tbsp oil and scramble the egg. Set aside.
- In the same kadhai, add the rest of the oil and heat on medium flame. Add the ginger, garlic, green chilly and fry it until the garlic softens.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilly flakes and pepper powder to the kadhai and mix. Add all the vegetables and toss well until everything is coated in the sauce.
- Add the rice and scrambled egg and mix well.
- Add salt as per your taste (entirely optional, since soy sauce is salty as it is), mix well, and you’re ready to serve!
You can add shredded chicken instead of/in addition to the scrambled egg, to make this more meaty. Or even add some diced sausages. Add some prawns instead, while frying the veggies, and you’ll make yourself some seafood-Indo-Chinese insanity.
Want to go entirely vegan? Add some sliced beans instead of the egg, or even some soy granules (soaked for a few hours in warm water) to still get that meaty texture. Correct for salt, because the granules soak it up like crazy.
Feel free to adjust the sweetness, sourness or saltiness as per your taste with the sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. Heck, you can even play around with the chillies and pepper. Go nuts. (Add in nuts for another dimension! Peanuts, preferably.)
Accompany it with a little bowl of soy-vinegar-green chilly dressing (1:1:1 ratios) for an extra slap of flavour. Bon Appetit!