One thing about the month of September is the whiff of change it brings along. From really hot days, it slowly starts taking a downward trend and giving cooler mornings and nights. As much as I am no fan of the summers, I get too moody during winters too, so this is the time that I love to enjoy. Somehow, the weather gives a feel-good vibe, even in between the spurts of heat that may pass in. As days pass by, I sincerely hope we get more better news and the negativity in the air goes down. Hope is all we need to live on with life, isn’t it? 🙂
One of the most requested recipe that I have been asked, apart from the Kunafa – which I am yet to make, even though I have a Bread Kunafa recipe on the blog -, is the Fried Rice. I am not sure why since it is a readily available recipe on the internet. I also realize that this famous Indo-Chinese dish, though is very similar in terms of ingredients used, varies from person to person based on their taste profile. I have been trying to get my fried rice right for a long time. It just wouldn’t work out. Most of the time, it would taste like regular vegetable rice without any zing. I then realized what made it different – loads of white pepper!
Yes, white pepper gives it the smell and the flavor that is generally associated with Chinese food. I have mentioned regarding the same in this post of mine. If you do like to cook a lot of Indo-Chinese food and noodles, then this ingredient is a must have. Apart from that, the only other tip I have is to never overcook the rice. My blogger friend Suhaina had posted long ago some tips to make the perfect fried rice and one of the tip I stuck to was to cool the rice completely before tossing it into your fried rice mix. Of course, the rice shouldn’t be overcooked, but cooling the rice does a lot of good to make your rice stick out while tossing with the chicken and vegetables and not breaking. I have read in some articles that you can freeze your rice the previous night, which is not something I have tried. All I did was to cook the rice in lots of water until just done, drain the rice, wash it under running water, allow it to drain the water completely, and then spread it on a big flat plate and just set aside for an hour or so. It helps the rice to stay without sticking to each other.
I have used a big wok to make the whole portion of fried rice. Giving the rice a lot of space to run around does wonders to the end result. I am not kidding… 😉 I have only used chicken and eggs in this recipe, but you can add prawns marinated in salt and pepper, shallow fry them and add them into the dish just at the end. Even with eggs, you can scramble them separately and add so that they are visible. I scrambled it directly into the vegetables so that it melts away and Rasha doesn’t know I am feeding eggs to her. Hehe… She can’t stand eggs at all… The best part about fried rice is you can add more vegetables if you want. I would have added cabbage but I ran out of it the day I was cooking this, and capsicums if my girls wouldn’t lift them up and discard. *Mommy troubles* :/ Anyway, I hope you will try it as soon as possible and let me know your feedback… Off to the recipe…
- 3 cups basmati rice, washed well and drained (I used Sella)
- FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 750 gm boneless chicken, cut into small strips or squares
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp white pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- FOR THE REST:
- 25 gm butter
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 spring onions
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned or cut into small cubes
- 15-20 green beans, chopped
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbsp soya sauce
- 2 tbsp red chilli sauce
- White pepper, black pepper and salt to taste
- Cook the rice in lots of water till just done. Do not overcook. Drain the rice, wash well to stop the cooking. Allow it to sit in the drainer till all the water is gone.
- Spread on a big plate to allow it to cool completely till use.
- Toss up the chicken with all the spice powders. Heat the oil in a large wok. Fry the chicken pieces on high flame till cooked and stock is dried up. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cut the spring onion bulbs, thinly and separate the greens. Slice the greens up and reserve.
- In the same wok - continue on high heat - melt the butter. Add the garlic and sliced spring onion bulbs and and saute for a minute.
- Add the carrots and the beans and cook for another five minutes. Add the peas, break in the eggs and give it a good whisk. Sprinkle in the seasonings generously.
- Now add the chicken back along with the soya sauce and red chilli sauce. Toss well. Check seasoning. Add a little extra since while adding the rice, it will get adjusted.
- Add the rice in three batches. With each addition, toss well using two spatulas to coat the rice well, ensuring not to break the rice.
- Finally add in the spring onion greens and switch off. Serve hot.
Adjust vegetable quantity as per your requirement.
To make mixed fried rice, you can fry small prawns (around 250 gm), seasoned with salt and pepper till done and add it just before the rice is added.