Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice is a quick and easy rice dish which is best made with leftover cold rice.  It is a basic yet simple dish for those who want to try their hand at Chinese cooking. You can add some diced vegetables like carrots, peas and bell peppers if you want.

Ingredients for Egg Fried Rice:

  • Eggs (preferably Free-range): 4
  • Cooked rice : 4 (cups cooled)
  • Carrots, peas: 1/2 cup diced (optional)
  • Red onion: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Ginger: 1 tsp diced
  • Garlic: 1 tsp diced
  • Coriander (stem): 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Light Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Spring onions: ⅔ cup (finely sliced)
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp for garnish
  • Salt: to taste
  • Sesame oil: ¼ tsp
  • Oil: 4 tbsp

Method:

1. Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Heat half the oil in a kadai/wok . Pour the beaten eggs into the kadai and leave to cook for 10 seconds before lightly scrambling until almost cooked through. Keep aside.

2. Heat remaining oil in the same kadai and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic, and coriander  stems along with the diced  vegetables(optional) for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.

3. Add rice to the kadai with spring onions, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil and the cooked egg and stir fry for 3 minutes or until well combined and rice is heated through. Break up the egg  into smaller pieces if needed while cooking. Transfer rice to a bowl and serve garnished with coriander.

If you like it spicy, then you can serve it with a side of red chili in soy sauce ( finely slice fresh/dried red chilies with three tablespoons light soy).


Mixed Vegetable Pulav/Pilaf (Gluten free, Vegan)

This is an easy recipe and can be made for the lunch box or even for a party.

Recipe for Mixed Vegetable Pulav:

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

  • Brown Rice/ Basmati: 2 cups (soak in water for 30 mins)
  • Tomatoes: 3 medium (finely chopped)
  • Onions: 1 1/2 big or 2 medium sized (finely sliced)
  • Garlic: 3-4 (finely chopped)
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece (grated)
  • Green chilies: 1-4 (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Mixed vegetables: 1 1/2 cups cut into bite sized pieces(carrot,cauliflower, peas, green beans)
  • Cinnamon: 2″ stick
  • Cloves: 4-5nos.
  • Peppercorns: 5-6 nos.
  • Bay leaf: 2nos.
  • Cardamoms: 4 nos.
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp (heaped)
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Oil/ Butter/ Ghee: 3 tbsp
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Salt: to taste
  • Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp (chopped) for garnishing
  • Mint leaves: a few (for garnish)

Method: 

  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the whole spices (cumin, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, peppercorn).
  2. When the jeera seeds start to sizzle, add the chopped garlic and saute on a low flame till it starts to brown.
  3. Add turmeric and the onions, salt and saute till the onions start turning pinkish brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are completely mashed and oil starts to leave the sides.
  5. Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the mixed vegetables and mix till the masala coats the vegetables.
  7. Strain the rice and add it and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the water, mix and taste the water for salt and flavours.
  9. close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Switch off
  10. Once the pressure drops open the cooker and garnish with coriander leaves(cilantro) and mint leaves. Slowly fluff the pulav a little.
  11. Serve the mixed vegetable pulav with raita.

 


Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

The fennel bulb is actually the base of the fennel(saunf) plant. It’s a shame that it isn’t used in India as it is edible and has some of the benefits of saunf. The fennel bulb is low in calories and rich in fibre and contains vitamin C and potassium. Fennel (saunf) has been used for ages for aiding digestion after meals and also as a carminative (relieving flatulence/gas) and the same properties are present in the bulb too. It has a mild saunf flavor and a lovely crunchy texture and is perfect for salads.

ChatPata Fennel Bulb salad

Try out this easy salad with mixed fruits. I just use whatever fruits and salad vegetables there are at home, so feel free to try out your own combination:

Ingredients for Fennel Salad:

  • Fennel bulb: 1/2 (finely sliced)
  • Carrot: 1 medium (cut into thin sticks)
  • Apple: 2 (cut into sticks)
  • Blue Grapes: 15 ( quartered)
  • Navel Oranges: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Lemon juice: from 1 lemon
  • Apple Cider vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Chaat masala: 1 tsp (optional-I love the Indian flavour it adds to the salad)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice, salt and chaat masala and toss.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.
  4. Toss again before serving.

 

 


Bell Pepper Fried Rice (Vegan, Gluten free)

Capsicum Rice (Indian Style Bell Pepper Fried Rice)

Capsicum or bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, K, niacin and folate along with copper and magnesium. The red bell peppers have more vitamin A and  C when compared to the green peppers.

Ingredients for Capsicum Rice:

  • Cooked Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  • Capsicums(bell peppers)-2 big cubed or 3 small (you can use coloured too)
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely sliced)
  • Cashew nuts (or peanuts): a few (optional)
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 2 tsp
  • Channa dal: 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies(adjust spice level according to heat tolerance): 3-4 piece
  • Fresh Curry Leaves: 10-12 number
  • Roasted Peanuts: 3 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (chopped) for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Dry roast (no oil) mustard seeds,cumin seeds,urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies on medium heat till the rawness disappears and the flavors come out. Switch off and let it cool.
  2. Once cool, add the roasted peanuts and grind  to a make a fine powder.
  3. Heat oil in a vessel and add the sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
  4. Then add the sliced capsicums and cashew nuts(or peanuts) and fry them till the capsicum are still crunchy in texture. Add salt to taste and mix.
  5. Reduce heat and add the the ground masala powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the cooked rice and combine.
  7. Garnish with the chopped coriander.
  8. Serve hot with raita.

Mango Dosa (Gluten Free Mango Pancakes)

It’s mango season,and I just had to try something different.I tweaked this traditional Manglorean(a small seaside town in South India that my side of the family is originally from) Sweet Dosa recipe and added mangoes instead of cucumbers.As a kid,I grew up watching my mom and gran starting the next day’s breakfast preparations a day in advance.We always woke up smelling the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. This recipe too is no exception,I had to soak the rice once we were done with breakfast,grind it in the evening and let it ferment overnight,and voila the batter for the next day’s breakfast was ready.
Traditionally it’s made with either Southekai(Kannada for cucumber) or with watermelon. Otherwise it has all the original ingredients like:

Beaten rice/Rice flakes: ‘Poha’ is rice that is dehusked and then flattened into light flakes. Traditionally flattened with iron rods,it used to contain more iron than regular rice.
Jaggery: or ‘gur’,is a traditional non-refined sugar(made from either cane sugar or from date palm) which is rich in non-heme iron and other mineral salts.

Fenugreek seeds: ‘Methi’ seeds as it’s commonly known in India, is a known galactagogue and recent studies have shown that it has cholesterol and serum glucose lowering properties as well.
Ingredients:

  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Flattened rice/Poha: 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery(scraped): 3/4th cup (or sugar-1/2 cup)
  • Yogurt(preferably homemade)-1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek/Methi seeds-1/2 teaspoon
  • Ripe Mango:1 big or 2 small
  • Salt:1/2 teaspoon

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and the fenugreek seeds,then soak it in water for at least 6-7 hours.
  2. Wash and drain the flattened rice and let it stand for about 10-15 mins.
  3. Grind all ingredients(except the mango) till you get a fine batter.Let it ferment for at least 8-9 hours or overnight(works well in warm weather). The batter will double in volume.
  4. Make a puree of the mango pulp(when sugar is added to this pulp,it’s called ‘aamras’).If using cucumber instead of mangoes,then grate half (a big) cucumber and mix with the batter.
  5. Mix this puree with the batter and pour a ladle of the batter onto a hot non-stick pan and spread.
  6. Cover with a lid and cook on medium flame for two or three minutes. Then cook uncovered till the dosa is done.
  7. Serve hot(you can serve it with cut mangoes or even with some ‘aamras’).

Note:

  1. If the weather is not warm enough(as was the case when I made it),the batter will not ferment and the dosa will not get tiny little holes on it( the dosa will be flat as seen in the snap).
  2. The jaggery tends to add a brownish colour to the dosa(if you add sugar,the dosa will turn out a lovely yellow colour) but the dosas are more nutritious when made with jaggery.
  3. Traditionally the dosa is eaten hot with a little ghee spread on top. Since the dosas are sweet, you can eat it as it is.
  4. I used the Scarlet Sweet mango for this recipe,you could use any of the sweet mangoes available.

Green Apple Panna (An Indian style Summer Drink)

Beat the heat with this variation of the popular ‘Aam Panna’- The Apple Panna!!

Traditionally in North India, ‘Panna’ is made from green mangoes (unripe) and had as a drink during the sweltering summers. The unripe mangoes are tart which adds a different flavour to this drink. Added to that the different spices makes it an unusual, yet tasty drink. The Black salt /kala namak used in this drink is a type of salt found in India which due to the sulfur content, gives a distinct aroma and taste.
Since fall is also the season for apples and everyone seems to be making desserts with them, I thought a ‘Green Apple Panna’ will be a welcome change!
This recipe was tested out and also photographed by Taranjeet Kaur-Kothari. Thanks a ton TJ- the photos are superb ( do we see a budding photographer and blogger in the making???).

Green Apple Panna-An Indian Style summer cooler

Ingredients for the Green Apple Panna:
  • Green apples(Granny Smith) – 4nos.
  • Roasted cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Sugar: 4-5 tsp (or according to taste)
  • Black salt- 1 tsp
  • Lemon-1no.
  • Mint leaves- a few
  • Green apple chunks – 20-25g (optional)

Method:

  1. Coat the skin of the apples with a little oil and bake( or roast over a flame) till soft.
  2. Scoop out the pulp and mash in the mixie with lemon juice with water, sugar, mint leaves,black salt and roasted cumin.
  3. Whisk thoroughly.
  4.  Let the panna cool down and then add lots of crushed ice to the panna.
  5. Add green apple chunks(optional)
  6. Garnish the Green Apple Panna with some mint leaves and serve chilled.

Note: Black salt/Kala namak can be found in all Indian grocery stores.


Zucchini Majjige huli/ Moru curry/ Morkulambu/Majjige Pulusu (Buttermilk/Yogurt Curry)

Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is a low calorie, high fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
Majjige huli is a popular curry in Karnataka. It’s called “Morkulambu” in Tamil Nadu, “Majjiga Pulusu” in Andra Pradesh and “Moru Curry” in Kerala-just goes to show the similarities in cooking styles in South Indian cuisine.

‘Majjige’ is ‘buttermilk’ ,while ‘huli’ is ‘sour’ in Kannada. Usually majjige huli is made with one vegetable (like cucumber, eggplant, ashgourd, spinach,etc). I had a couple of Zucchinis in the fridge and decided to use it as the vegetable in the majjige huli.

Ingredients for the majjige huli:

  • Zucchini: 2 small cut into cubes (or any one of the vegetables listed above)
  • Coconut: 1 cup grated(fresh/frozen)
  • Channa dal/split chickpeas: 1tbsp soaked in water for 1/2hour (optional)
  • Green chillies: 2-3
  • Cumin seeds/zeera: 1tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Yogurt/ curd: 1 cup (should be slightly sour)
  • Water: 2-3 cups
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds/zeera: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves:3-4 nos.
  • Oil: 1tsp

Method:

  1. Boil the zucchini in just enough water till half done.
  2. In the meanwhile grind the coconut,green chillies, the soaked channa dal(optional), mustard and cumin seeds till you get a fine paste (add a little water when grinding).
  3. When the zucchini is half cooked add the ground masala and a cup of water and let it boil.
  4. Add salt, yogurt and another cup of water and cook for a minute or two.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the mustard,cumin and the urad dal. Wait till the mustard starts to pop, add the curry leaves , then pour the tempering over the majjige huli and mix.
  6. Serve the majjige huli hot with rice.

Q: What is your favorite side dish to go with rice?


Mangalore Basale Curry (Malabar Spinach and Whole Moong in coconut gravy)

Basale soppu or Malabar /Ceylon Spinach is also called as mayalu in Marathi and poi in Gujrathi . It’s very common to see houses in Mangalore growing it and Basale ghassi or Basale koddel is a specialty of the region. Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium, and is also good source of soluble fiber.  The addition of green moong not only increases the protein conent of the dish but also adds a lot of flavour to it.

I was lucky to find the seeds locally and have been making this curry with homegrown organic basala. This is how Basala and payar (whole moong) curry is made in my family.

Ingredients for Mangalore Basale curry:

  • Green moong: 1 cup (wash and soak for an hour)
  • Basalla /Malabar Spinach: 3 cups (washed, chopped, both leaves and stems are traditionally used)
  • Tomato: 2 small or 1 Big
  • Salt: to taste
  • Tamarind paste: 1/4tsp

Grind together:

  • Grated coconut/dessicated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion: 1 medium, sliced
  • Turmeric: 1/4tsp
  • Red chili powder(or 8-10 whole dried byadagi chilies roasted): 1-2tbsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder (or 1 tbsp corriander seeds roasted): 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 3tsp
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the moong and the basale (leaves and stem) without adding salt for one whistle.
  2. Grind the ingredients mentioned under grind together to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. Open the pressure cooker (if it’s too small, then transfer contents to a deep vessel), add the ground masala, little water, cut tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt.
  4. Allow the curry to boil vigorously for five minutes, check for salt, tamarind add more if required. Adjust the consistency if needed before switching off.
  5. It is traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with chapathis too.

Note: You can add seasoning/tadka if you want, but it isn’t added in our family recipe.

 


Tomatillo Chutney (Similar to green tomato chutney)

Tomatillos are a green Mexican fruit with a lantern-type shell surrounding it. They are commonly used in Mexican cuisine as ‘Salsa Verde’. They are a good source of vitamin C, B-carotenes niacin, vitamin K and manganese, iron, phosphorous as well as copper.

I’ve used tomatillo instead of red/green tomatoes in a chutney recipe that I learnt from my neighbour back in Bangalore.The use of roasted bengal gram and of course the tempering at the end gives this dish the Indian touch. The ‘ghee’ is supposed to reduce the heat of the green chillies,so do let me know if it does.

Tomatillo Chutney

Ingredients for Tomatillo chutney:

  • Tomatillos: 4 nos.(chopped)
  • Green chillies/Serrano:1 or 2(depending on how much fire you can take)
  • Garlic:4 cloves chopped(+ 2 to be added raw-optional)
  • Ginger:1/2″ piece
  • Oil: 2 teaspoon
  • Roasted bengal gram:2 teaspoons
  • Roasted peanuts: 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Zeera/Cumin seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida/Hing: a pinch(optional)
  • Jaggery: 1 teaspoon(optional)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick pan,add chopped ginger and garlic.
  2. When the garlic turns slightly brown,add the pinch of asafoetida(optional),chopped green chillies and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the chopped tomatillos,salt,jaggery (optional) and stir.Cook till the tomatillos are soft.
  4. Once it has cooled,add the mixture, the raw garlic(optional),roasted bengal gram and peanuts into a blender and blend till you get a fine paste. Pour the chutney into a bowl/airtight box.
  5. Heat the remaining oil,add the mustard,cumin,sesame seeds.
  6. Once the mustard starts to splutter, pour the tempering over the chutney and mix well.
  7. Serve with dosas or idlis or as a spread on your sandwich(or mix with yogurt and use as a spicy dip).

 


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.