Okra Fried Rice (Ladiesfinger/bhindi Fried Rice )

Okra Fried Rice (Ladiesfinger/bhindi Fried Rice )

Want to try a different kind of fried rice?? Try out Okra Fried Rice!!

Okra Fried Rice

  • We first had Okra Fried Rice at a Caribbean inspired party and it was just awesome!Never knew that okra /bhindi could blend so well with rice. The whole dish has a subtle okra flavor and goes well with the jerk chicken (jerk potatoes for the vegetarians) and goat curry.
    I didn’t get the actual recipe, but tried it anyway and the result was almost similar to the original. So go ahead and try out this awesome Caribbean style Okra Fried Rice.

    Ingredients for Okra Fried Rice:

  • Fresh Okra/Ladiesfinger: 250g(finely sliced into thin rings)
  • Onions: 1 small (finely minced)
  • Garlic: 5 cloves(finely chopped)
  • Bell Pepper(optional): 1/2( finely chopped into cubes)
  • Cooked rice: 3 cups(cooled brown or basmati)
  • Bay leaves: 1-2
  • Cloves: 2
  • Cinnamon: 1/2 “
  • Allspice: 1tsp
  • Oil: 1tbsp
  • Soy sauce: 1-2 tsp
  • Pepper: to taste
  • Salt: to taste

    Method:
    1)Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon. Then add the chopped onions and garlic and saute till translucent.
    2)Add the bell pepper and saute for 5 mins(optional) and then add the okra rings and fry till it loses the stickiness.
    3)Add the soy sauce,allspice,pepper and salt and saute for a couple of minutes.
    4)Add the cooked rice(you can add some chicken soup base while cooking the rice for added flavor) and mix well.
    5)Serve the Okra Fried Rice with ‘jerk chicken’ or ‘jerk potatoes’, Chicken curry, or any spicy curry.


Green Apple and Mint Chutney

I had picked up 3 Granny Smith apples in the hope of turning it into a chutney that a friend had made.Well,the recipe involved some cooking and since I was feeling too lazy for that, thought I’d make it like raw mango chutney.So,I peeked into the fridge and got out all the stuff that goes into a regular chutney-mint leaves,cilantro,ginger,lemon,green chilies and put them all in the blender with the cored and peeled apples. The resulting Green Apple Chutney which came out of the blender reminded me of the “chaat” taste and so I blended some sugar and a little roasted cumin seeds,and the result was great. The Green Apple Chutney can be eaten with meals,mixed with yogurt and used as a dip, or used as a spread in a sandwich.Here’s what I blended together for the Green Apple Chutney:
Ingredients for Green Apple and Mint Chutney:

  • Granny Smith apples/tart cooking apples-2 nos.(peeled,cored and chopped)
  • Mint leaves-10 numbers
  • Coriander leaves/Cilantro-2 tablespoons
  • Green chilly/Serrano-1 no.
  • Ginger-1/2″piece
  • Lemon juice-2 tablespoons
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds-1 tsp(roasted)
  • Jaggery/Stevia-2 tsp/to taste (optional)
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend till you get a fine paste.
  2. Adjust salt and sugar according to your taste.
  3. Serve the Green Apple Chutney with sandwiches, as a dip or as a salad dressing.

Egg and Vegetable Muffins/ Frittatas

A protein-packed breakfast (can also be packed for lunch or eaten as a snack) with egg and mixed vegetable. You can make a big batch and freeze them. In the morning just defrost them in the microwave and eat.

I added some spices like cumin powder, turmeric and a pinch of red chili powder. You can play around with different vegetables/spices that you (or your family) like. You can even add some cheese if you like.

Ingredients for Egg and Vegetable muffins: (Makes approx. 12 muffins)

  • Eggs: 6 (beaten)
  • Spinach: 1/2 cup fresh(chopped fine) or frozen
  • Carrots: 1 medium (diced)
  • Mushrooms: 1/2 cup (diced)
  • Tomatoes: 1 small (diced)
  • Onion: 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Turmeric: 1/2tsp
  • Garlic powder: 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Cumin powder: a pinch (optional)
  • Red chili powder: 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1tsp
  • Butter: 1tsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, fry the onions, then add the diced carrots (or whatever vegetable you choose), then the spinach, tomatoes and finally the mushrooms.
  2. Add the spices-turmeric, cumin, red chili powder and garlic powder along with the salt and mix well. Saute till the water from the mushrooms evaporate.
  3. Switch off and let it cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
  5. Once it’s cooled-add the beaten eggs and mix well.
  6. Grease a muffin tray with the butter and pour the mixture evenly into them.
  7. Bake for 15-20 mins.

You can add some cheese if you like.

Let them cool and then freeze them in ziplock bags. My kids love to take these for lunch.

Calories/muffin: 32kcal

Protein/muffin: 7gms

 


Kothu Phulka (HEALTHY version of Kothu Parotta)

Traditionally in Tamil Nadu, ‘Kothu Paratha’ is made from ‘parotta’ or the South Indian ‘paratha’ which is a layered paratha made with loads of oil and maida. I did try it out once with frozen Kerala Parotta’s (available in all Indian stores) and I admit that it is sinfully delicious!
The tasty Kothu Parotta never became a regular feature as obviously I had my reservations of using the frozen ‘maida’ (refined flour) oily parotta’s.

Yesterday, I had 3 leftover phulkas (roti’s made whithout oil) from lunch and with it came the idea of the ‘healthy version of the Kothu paratha/ parotta’!! This I have renamed as “Kothu Phulka” !
Kothu Paratha’s are made by tearing up the cooked paratha and then cooking it in a gravy of either meat, chicken or egg. The kothu phulka that I made is with egg. Vegetarians/vegans can omit the egg and make it with just the onion+tomato gravy or replace the egg with tofu. Here are the ingredients for the ‘healthy version of the Kothu Paratha(the Kothu Phulka):

Kothu Parotta Healthy
Ingredients for Kothu Phulka: (Serves 2)

  • Phulkas/whole wheat tortillas: 3-4 nos. ( broken into 1″ pieces)
  • Eggs: 3 nos. (can be substituted with 200gms tofu/paneer or chicken)
  • Red onion: 1 medium or 1/2big (chopped fine)
  • Tomatoes: 2 medium (chopped fine)
  • Green chillies: 1-2nos. slit in half (use more or less according to your spice tolerance)
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 2-3 tbsp (finely chopped)
  •  Red chilli powder: 1-2tsp(again according to your spice tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin/jeera: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves: 8-10nos.
  • Turmeric: 1/4th tsp
  • Oil: 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and when it starts popping add the curry leaves.
  2. Then add the turmeric powder,chopped onions, the green chillies and salt and fry till the onions become translucent.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder and the coriander powder and stir till the tomatoes are cooked.
  4. Add the eggs/tofu and mix well. Keep stirring on a low flame till the eggs are almost cooked but not too dry. Test for salt.
  5. Now add the phulka/tortilla pieces and mix well such that the egg/tofu mixture coats all the phulka pieces.
  6. Garnish with lots of cilantro and serve the ‘Kothu Phulka’ piping hot.

For those who want to avoid the egg/tofu-add the phulka pieces directly after the tomatoes are cooked (point 4).
Enjoy this healthy version of the “kothu Paratha” at lunch/dinner, breakfast or even for a Sunday brunch !
It also makes a good lunch box recipe!

Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Online Dietitian India